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Two men holding signs that say "Reform Jews Welcome Immigrants"

If someone told me as a high school senior that after graduating college, I’d find myself working in Washington, D.C. for the largest Jewish denomination in North America, I would have been skeptical. In the years following my Bar Mitzvah, I barely set foot in temple. I loved lighting Hannukah candles and celebrating Passover with my family. But I wasn’t drawn to more formal synagogue activities that felt often like obligations – that, coupled with my lifelong desire to sleep in on the weekends, made me think I might never have particularly deep involvement with the Jewish community....

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Woman giving a speech in front of a crowd

Joy Friedman made the following remarks at a rally to support bail reform in New York. 

I am Joy Friedman, the Director of Organizing for the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. I am a New Yorker and a Reform Jew myself.  

Reform Jews across the state of New York joined the effort to enact bail reform, firm in our belief that doing so fulfills the mandate of Pirke Avot, Sayings of the Sages, that reminds us that justice itself must be pursued through just means. Every day in 2018, over 16000 people were sitting in New York’s jails in pre-trial detention because they...

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Head shot of man

On January 20, 2020, Mark Epstein, organizer of the Gaston County Better Angels Program, will be the recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Award where his name will be etched into the base of the Martin Luther King Jr. statue in North Carolina. We asked Mark about his involvement with the Gaston Interfaith Trialogue, his insipriation for creating the Gaston County Better Angels Program, and how his Reform Jewish faith impacts his important work.

  1. What is the Gaston Interfaith Trialogue (GIT) and how are you involved in it?

This effort began in the tense...

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Religious Action Center banner outside Homestead Detention Center in Florida

Throughout 2019, the Religious Action Center worked across North America, and at the state level in the United States, to advance principles of justice, wholeness, and compassion. At a time when our biblically-inspired values to love the ger, or immigrant, to uphold kavod ha’briyot, respect for individual dignity, to till and tend the earth as did Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and more are under threat, we worked with Reform Jews across North America to build power and create the change we want in the world.

The renewal of our Brit Olam, covenant with our world, at the 2019...

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Martin Luther King Jr. and Kivie Kaplan

Civil rights are in the RAC’s DNA. It was amidst the tumult of the Civil Rights Movement that Kivie Kaplan, vice-chair of the Reform Movement and national president of the NAACP, created the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. Rabbi Maurice Eisendrath supported Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during Freedom Summer, leading the Reform Movement to stand in solidarity with this effort.  ...

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