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A man and two women standing at a podium

Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center, made the following remarks at the 2019 URJ Biennial in Chicago. 

Only a few short years after the founding of the United States of America, George Washington expressed in an exchange of letters with the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island, the oldest synagogue in the U. S., the following historic sentiment:

“For happily the Government of the United States gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good...

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People with their arms around each other

We are living in an urgent time. Reform Jewish communities are pursuing justice through the Brit Olam at the local, state/provincial, and federal levels to bring about a world in which all people experience wholeness, justice, and compassion. This past week, thousands of Reform Jews gathered in Chicago for the URJ Biennial 2019, marking an important moment for social justice engagement across the Reform Movement. In addition to social justice learning sessions and an intensive, we also launched our Movement-wide 2020 Civic Engagement Campaign.

Whether or not you were able to join...

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Census

Next year, 2020, is a Census year in the United States. The official count kicks off April 1, Census Day. Here are some resources to help you and your congregation or Reform community get ready and spread the word to get out the count.

1. It’s in the Constitution Article 1, Section 2 of the United States Constitution places the census at the core of its democratic system of governance by calling for a national count of the population every ten years. Responses from the decennial census...

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As a person who is passionate about disability rights, I am excited to attend the 10th annual Jewish Disability Advocacy Day (JDAD) in Washington, D.C. and encourage you to join me and register for JDAD today. Hosted by the Religious Action Center and The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), JDAD is a one-day event on Capitol Hill where Jews with disabilities and their allies learn about disability policy and advocate for positive change. Next year it will take place on February 4, 2020.

...

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Temple Judea is a 2019 Fain Award recipeint for its project, Pathway to Citizenship. 

During a high-level meeting with Mayor Garcetti in 2017, Temple Judea learned that Los Angeles has over a half a million residents with green cards who are eligible for citizenship. We decided that as Reform Jews, it is our mandate to help as many people as possible become U.S. citizens.

Our program has three components: 1) eligibility determination, 2) application assistance with legal review, and 3) free classes geared toward passing the...

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