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Handmade sign reading LOVE THY NEIGHBOR

These remarks have been lightly adapted from those presented at the lobby prep session of the 2019 Consultation on Conscience on Monday, May 20, 2019.

At least 36 times, in 36 ways, the Torah commands just treatment of the immigrant. When we read this call to action and think about our own histories of migration, it is hard not to see the connections to today’s America. We have witnessed the separation of children from their parents, the narrowing of legal pathways to immigration, the infringement upon the right to seek asylum, and the stripping away of...

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Closeup of a mans chest wearing a button that says DO JUSTICE

   These remarks have been lightly adapted from those presented before the opening plenary of the 2019 Consultation on Conscience on Sunday, May 19, 2019.

Two years ago, 800 of us met at what was then the largest Consultation on Conscience ever – but today, we are more than 1,200 strong, and since we last met, so much has happened. We have done so much.

Since we last met, we launched the Urgency of Now, reflecting our tradition’s ageless and enduring call of Torah to rodeph tzedek, pursue justice. Focused on transgender...

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On May 15, Rabbi Rick Kellner, faith leader of Congregation Beth Tikvah in Worthington, OH and Core Team Member of the Ohio Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, had the opportunity to testify in front of the Ohio Senate Judiciary Committee in favor of a criminal justice reform bill that Ohio’s Reform Jews are deeply involved in. Senate Bill 3 aims to make low level drug possession a misdemeanor instead of a felony.

As it stands, Ohio is locking up those struggling with addiction, at great cost to the state and to human dignity. Felony convictions follow these individuals for...

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Fingers typing on a laptop keyboard

We recently told you about all the changes coming to the 2019 Consultation on Conscience, including delegation coaching, a strong emphasis on youth leadership, a student ambassador program, the welcoming of the URJ's JewV’Nation Fellowship’s Jews of Color Leadership Cohort alumni, and the debut of The Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus Initiative for Immigrant and Refugee Justice - in addition...

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California Governor Gavin Newsom responded to RAC-CA and our allies’ calls by tripling funding for local gun violence prevention (GVP) programs.

Newsom’s announcement came less than a week after the conclusion of our successful call-in week. Nearly 900 Reform rabbis, cantors and congregants called Governor Newsom urging him to include $39 million in funding for the California Violence Intervention and Prevention (CalVIP) local GVP programs in his budget. RAC-CA calls swamped the Governor’s switchboard, even shutting it down at times.

Ben Ginsburg, RAC-CA leader and member of...

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