The following blog post is adapted from the invocation given by Rabbi Jonah Pesner and remarks given by Jordan Berg-Powers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Jewish American Heritage Month event celebrating Jewish contributions to agriculture and the fight against hunger in America.
Related Blog Posts on Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Racial Equity, Diversity, and & Inclusion
This is the cover note of a letter to the 118th Congress outlining the Reform Jewish Movement's policy priorities and urging all Members of Congress to join us in pursuit of a more just and equitable world.
Thursday night's passage of a bi-partisan gun bill filled me with hope, even as the Supreme Court ruled against New York, which forces some states to actually loosen their gun regulations.
In honor of Shavuot and the Giving of the Torah, I have been spending some time reflecting on some of my favorite teachings from Jewish sacred literature, both those that resonate with me, and those that feel most important or most timely.
In the story of creation, the first story we read in the Torah, we learn that every person is created b'tzelem Elohim - in the holy image of God (Genesis 1:27). Discrimination against any person arising from apathy, insensitivity, ignorance, fear, or hatred is inconsistent with this fundamental belief. It is this principle that guides that Reform Movement's advocacy for LGBTQ+ equality.
I read a quote today by Sy Smith that said, "Black people in the U.S. are expected to keep on keeping on, no matter what..."
For a community relentlessly targeted by hateful legislation, this year’s Transgender Day of Visibility (celebrated on March 31) holds a heightened sense of urgency. I am ashamed to say that this day wasn’t even on my radar until I had a personal stake in it, but it now holds a special place of significance in my family.
February is typically a busy month for me and for my fellow Jews with disabilities. It is JDAIM-Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion month. As the first female Deaf ordained Rabbi, I am often asked to speak, write, teach Torah, and share insights on how we can create a more inclusive Jewish community.
As a graduate of both Tougaloo College and Jackson State University, the recent bomb threats to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are personal to me. Since January 2022, over a dozen HBCUs have received bomb threats; several of those threats were received on the first day of Black history month. The continuous attacks on institutions of higher learning; places of worship and individual attacks are a direct threat to our everyday existence.
Many Americans remember Rosa Parks as the tired seamstress who refused to move to the back of a bus, but Rosa Parks is much more than that story: though she did not identify as Jewish, her life reflected a commitment that we might identify as tikkun olam – repairing what is broken in our world. Here are three key insights from Rosa Parks’ life we can bear in mind as Black History Month begins.