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.
Related Blog Posts on Racial Justice, Racial Equity, Diversity, and & Inclusion
Last week, the FBI released its annual compilation of hate crimes statistics, summarizing all hate crimes reported to the FBI in 2021. While the statistics themselves are grim and disturbing, the most alarming statistic in this year’s announcement is what was not reported. While underreporting of hate crimes has been an ongoing issue, this report is more inaccurate than usual.
As the Racial Justice LA, my work is rooted in my belief systems and experiences as a JOC. Not only do I get to be the person I never saw growing up, but I hope to help create more opportunities for those like me in the future. And as I finish up my first year at the RAC, I am eager to make my mark as I continue my work for another year to advocate to end the death penalty, pass legislation to study reparations for Black Americans, expand and protect the right to vote for all as we approach the primaries, and push for true policing reform. Those who are disproportionately harmed by these issues don’t have the benefit of growing up in communities who claim to be color blind. The world sees and treats us differently.
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 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.