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Passover

Imagine you are running for your life. Your survival depends on the mercy of strangers. Your home is in ruins and your neighbors have fled.

Karen Wallace Lipson

On Passover, we confront a central, inextricable tension: we must simultaneously hold the joy of our exodus from slavery in Egypt with the persecution we see all around us in the world.

Adam Waters

The haggadah teaches that we should read the story of Passover feeling as if we were personally freed from Egypt.

Tyler Dratch

Earlier this year, the United States took meaningful action to further prohibit products made by slave labor to enter our country.

Tracy Wolf

Now that it is Passover, boxes of matzah are abundant in the RAC office. Jews around the world are eating matzah instead of leavened bread to remember how the Jewish were slaves in the land of Egypt. Although matzah may not be the most delicious food, we are lucky to be able to eat something of substance at all.

Under the current budget debates, there is risk that many of the food programs that we care about so deeply will have their funding slashed. The House budget also has major impacts on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which provides nourishment for those living in poverty. The House plans to turn SNAP into a block grant block-grant and cut SNAP funds by $125 billion, or over one third, from 2021 to 2025. Further, “block-granting” SNAP would force states to make deep cuts to food assistance programs, and the benefit cuts would especially impact low-income workers, families with children, seniors, and people with disabilities.

By Becky Wasserman

Passover is a time to remember the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt. It’s a time to remember slavery and celebrate liberation. It’s a time to reflect on the modern sources of oppression we still face today. As Jews, Americans, and as citizens of the world, that is our responsibility. I challenge everyone this Passover to discuss violence against women around your seder table. It’s a modern affliction that deserves attention from all of us.

By Erin Glazer

As a mom, I spend a lot of time thinking about what my daughter eats. And if I stop thinking about it, even for just a minute, she reminds me! Our days are peppered with refrains of “I’m still hungry” or “I want a snack.” Like most parents, I do my best to make sure she has a balanced diet, with the occasional treat thrown in for good measure.

Even on her pickiest days, I know that my daughter is well fed. I can’t imagine opening the refrigerator only to find empty shelves, or worrying every morning about whether or not I have enough food to pack in her owl-shaped lunch box. And yet, for too many American families, this is the harsh reality of daily life.

Whether you observe Passover according to the strict rules of Jewish law, or you attend one family Seder, or whether your Passover observance is watching The Prince of Egypt, or whatever traditions, practices or customs you find meaningful, the weeks leading up to Passover (April 3-11, 2015) feel like a Jewish March Madness. Between planning Seders, cleaning your house of chametz or mentally preparing yourself for a week of matzah, there’s a lot to get done and it always feels like not enough time.

The Department of Justice released an updated version of its Hate Crime Data Collection Guidelines and Training Manual earlier this month, including new information on identifying hate crimes against Hindu Americans, Sikh Americans and Arab Americans. The FBI agreed to start tracking hate crimes against these groups in 2013, following a push by advocacy groups, including the RAC, for the FBI to expand the categories of biases it collected hate crime statistics for in the wake of the 2012 shooting at a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, WI.

As a kid, “Dayenu” was perhaps my favorite Jewish holiday song. It’s catchy, it’s upbeat, and, if you sing the full 15 verses, it goes on forever. With “Dayenu,” we express our thanks for the myriad miracles that took place at the time of the Exodus. We sing that each was so powerful that one alone would have been enough.