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Tyler Dratch

hand holding a bullhorn

Our hearts are breaking.

Images of immigrants attempting to cross to safety in America while we were journeying to camp or vacationing at the beach are seared in my mind. The one of Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his 23-month-old daughter, Valeria,drowned in the Rio Grande is particularly painful. Seeing the father-daughter pair face-down in the water, sharing the same t-shirt for protection from the sun, awakens the prophetic urge inside me. 

This image is not right; it is unjust, it is un-Jewish. 

The prophetic voice within me echoes those of our tradition....

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doctor and patient having a conversation

 

During the Israelites’ journey to Israel, Miriam is afflicted with leprosy and was separated from the rest of the community. The Israelites recognized a responsibility to care for her, and the Torah explains that, “the people did not journey on until Miriam was brought in [to the camp] again (Numbers 12:15).” The Israelites recognized that each member of the community had to walk toward the Promised Land together. No one would be left behind. Those who were sick would be taken care of until they were healthy and whole again.  

When it comes to affordable healthcare, far...

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Only one month after the horrific mass shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Florida, a different Florida shooting evoked new pain. On July 19, police officers, responding to what they understood as an attempted suicide, shot Charles Kinsey, a caretaker of people with disabilities. Kinsey had left the center where he worked to assist his patient, who was sitting in the street playing with a toy car. The police told both men to put their hands up and lay on the ground. Kinsey complied, but moments later was shot by one of the officers. Neither Kinsey nor his patient were armed.

While...

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vegetable trays on a lunch line

Underneath our country’s anti-hunger programs for children is one clear expectation: all hungry children who are eligible for the programs will always be fed. For this reason, the anti-hunger programs have been incredibly important, especially during some of our country’s most difficult times. During the Great Recession, the number of students eligible for the free school lunch program participation increased from 13.3 million in 2007 to 16.3 million in 2010. Luckily, as need increased, assistance also increased.

The latest version of the House’s Child Nutrition Reauthorization...

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soldier holding a small child

 

With Father’s Day soon approaching, it is a good opportunity to think about all the policies that exist and ought to exist to support families, especially paid parental leave.  Even in the military, paternity leave, after the birth or adoption of a child, is offered to service members is far less than what is offered to women. Currently, women in the military receive 12 weeks of paid maternity leave, while their male colleagues receive only 14 days.

While paid leave is still far too rare for men and women alike in the United States, men have less access to...

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