The artwork on this note card was created by 5768 WRJ Art Calendar artist Césan d’Ornellas Levine.
Late last week, Congressional leaders announced a final deal to fund the government until September 2016. This was an important moment, as this budget had the potential to fund (or defund) a number of the priorities we care about as Reform Jews. Together, we sent hundreds of letters to members of Congress, urging them to pass a budget free that focused on fully funding the critical human needs programs. We can find much optimism in the final budget passed, showing that when we raise our voices, we can help make real change in Washington. At the same time, the lack of significant funding increases for certain programs show we have much more work to do to provide for the most vulnerable members of our society and to protect our planet.
The budget passed was free of some of the most harmful policy riders that would have threatened a great number of people. For example, the budget:
While we are glad that these policy provisions were not included in the budget, there were others that not included which we would help low income Americans and others in need. This budget:
Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner released a statement when the budget tax extenders deal was announced highlighting the mixed outcome of this budget. He explained:
“The Jewish tradition compels each of us to “speak up, judge righteously, and champion the poor and needy (Proverbs 14:31). These bills respond to that call, but there is so much more we must do to make our vision of a more whole world a reality.”
As we head into 2016, let us stay engaged with this process. If we continue to reach out to our elected officials, we will see a budget next year which builds on the progress we have made this year and will better the lives of all Americans, in the model of our highest Jewish ideals.
To learn more about the budget, visit the RAC’s Economic Justice page.