The artwork on this note card was created by 5768 WRJ Art Calendar artist Césan d’Ornellas Levine.
On April 26-28, hundreds of Reform Jews will gather in Washington, D.C. for the RAC’s Consultation on Conscience, the Reform Movement’s flagship social justice event. This year’s Consultation will feature Former Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick, among many other luminaries. Tune in to the live stream of Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner’s installation as Director of the RAC at 10:15 a.m on Monday morning to hear Gov. Patrick’s remarks.
As Governor of Massachusetts (2006-2014), Gov. Patrick supported funding for public education at a record high for the Commonwealth and oversaw affordable health care’s expansion to over 98% of Massachusetts residents. Last year, Gov. Patrick signed legislation to raise the Commonwealth’s minimum wage to $11 per hour by 2017, which was at a time the highest in the country. Gov. Patrick led Massachusetts’ economy to a 25 year high in employment, despite the recession (2007-2009). He was also the first African-American to serve as Massachusetts’ Governor.
Gov. Patrick’s work complements our commitment to combatting economic inequality at the RAC. We advocate for much-need change and for reforms to fight inequality, such as a higher minimum wage, paid sick days for all Americans, and for important tax credits that help our most vulnerable. We also fight for all to have access to ample, nutritious foods and ensure that all Americans have a safe place to call home.
Our Jewish tradition is explicit in commanding that we advocate for programs that lift up our most vulnerable. Jewish history also provides us with an example for helping the needy. During Talmudic times, much of tzedakah (justice) was done though tax-financed, community-run programs that helped those in needed, paralleling the social safety net that we continue to fight for today. Our Jewish tradition calls on us to “speak up, judge righteously, champion the poor, and the needy” (Proverbs 31:9), and we must fulfill our obligation to engage in issues of economic justice. We have a responsibility to address these issues, and at the Consultation we will have the opportunity to delve deeper into these topics.
Be sure to tune in for the livestream at youtube.com/racrj, and learn more about the Consultation on Conscience here.