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Following in the tradition of Abraham, who heeded God’s call in Parshat Lech Lecha, 275 diverse Jewish communities in 33 states across North America responded to the urgency of the global refugee crisis by celebrating National Refugee Shabbat on October 19-20. This shabbat, coordinated by HIAS, served as an opportunity to learn more about the global refugee crisis—now the worst in history with 68.5 million forcibly displaced people worldwide—and to commit to action. Many Reform congregations...

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Rabbi Jonah Pesner takes a selfie outside a polling place on Election Day


The U.S. 2018 Midterm Elections were historic in many ways.

We saw more women, minority, and Jewish candidates than ever before run for office, and we can now celebrate the diversity of our newly elected Congress. This 116th Congress will include more than 30 Jewish members, including newly elected representatives Andy Levin from Michigan, Dean Phillips from Minnesota, Max Rose from New York, Susan Wild from Pennsylvania, and Elaine Luria from Virginia. The new Congress includes the first Muslim women elected to Congress (Rashida Tlaib from Michigan and Ilhan Omar from...

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Letters urging voters to vote YES on Florida Amendment 4

  The writer and Holocaust survivor Eli Wiesel once said that the greatest gift God gave humans was not the ability to begin, but the ability to begin again. Every religion teaches that forgiveness and redemption are possible, and the Jewish tradition is no different. As Jews, we believe in repentance (teshuvah) and self-improvement. We refuse to define people by their worst moment. And this is why we support Amendment 4, which will restore voting eligibility to Florida’s formerly incarcerated returning citizens. 

Today, there are 1.4 million Floridians who have no voice in the...

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Teens dressed for Halloween as Rosie the Riveter and a suffragette.



On October 31, my friend and I took to the streets. Not for the normal Halloween reasons, oh no. We had an ulterior motive. As we went door-to-door, we weren’t asking for candy, but instead asking people if they had remembered to vote in the midterms. Of course, we weren’t going to say no to the candy.

I didn’t know what to expect when we started out. I had no clue if any of my neighbors were politically involved or cared about voting at all. But regardless, my friend and I started walking, laughing nervously as we approached the first door of the night. Five...

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I love talking to strangers. I take after my mother that way. I love to learn about all types of people and hear their stories. It is because I care about others and want to know what makes them tick. Canvassing comes easily to me. Knocking on peoples’ doors to speak to them about a topic that is meaningful to me has always been exciting. I’ve met some incredible folks over my years as a volunteer with various campaigns and engaged in deep, effective conversations. When I was invited to canvass with RAC-OH in support of...

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