Each week, as I light the Shabbat candles, I whisper a silent prayer. Often the prayer is for the health and safety of my family and friends – particularly my three granddaughters. Recently, however, my prayers have been more universal. I pray for the people who find themselves facing the difficult prospect of ending a pregnancy and, living in Texas, are unable to do so.
The following blog post is adapted from remarks given by Cantor Jason Kaufman (Beth El Hebrew Congregation, Alexandria, VA) at Keep the Faith, Build Back Better: Prayer Vigil and Fast outside the U.S. Capitol on October 20, 2021.
After 12 hours of storytelling and prayer at the Washington Interfaith Staff Community's Build Back Better Prayer Vigil outside the U.S. Capitol on October 20, it was clear: bold investments in our economic recovery are crucial to the livelihood of workers, children, and families in the US. To rebuild the American economy and address the structural inequities that long preceded the pandemic, Congress must pass a robust Build Back Better Act.
Today, we stand at a critical crossroads in the climate crisis. The reconciliation bill is a historic, watershed approach, uniting the success of American families, the American economy, and environmental protection and climate crisis amelioration. We must take care not to destroy or spoil God's creation. We still have time to prevent the worst aspects of the climate crisis.
Hate Crimes Continued to Rise in 2020: Will the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act Give Us Hope for the Future?
In late August, the FBI released its annual compilation of hate crimes statistics, summarizing all hate crimes reported to the FBI in 2020. The data is alarming and only tells part of the story, as an increasing number of law enforcement agencies did not report data to the FBI. A new law will strengthen hate crimes data collection, reporting, and response measures, giving us hope that future statistics will be more accurate.
In response to the current racial reckoning as well as to centuries of oppression and systemic racism towards Black and Brown people in this country, on April 28, 2021, the Reform Movement launched a Racial Justice Campaign. Learn about this campaign and how you can join in these efforts.
The Union for Reform Judaism’s (URJ) is now accepting applications for the 2022 Jews of Color (JOC) JewV’Nation Fellowship Cohort, the second cohort led exclusively by and for Jews of Color.
The use of executive power to protect our right to vote has never been more important: over 400 anti-voter bills have been introduced around the country in 2021 alone. Examples include the elimination of polling locations, reducing early voting, and enacting stricter voter ID laws. Some laws sink to new lows, including the banning of providing food and drink to those standing in line to vote, many of whom wait for hours.
We are excited to dive into our work as the 2021-2022 Eisendrath Legislative Assistants! We bring a diverse set of interests and experiences to the RAC but share a deep commitment to the pursuit for a more just, compassionate, and equitable world. We are proud to represent and join the Reform Movement and its values in this crucial moment in history.
The right to abortion is meaningless if it is not accessible. On September 2, 2021, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to uphold Texas’s anti-abortion legislation, the most restrictive in the country. This new law is a novel strategy to restrict abortion access by banning abortions after six weeks and giving people the power to sue abortion providers. In fact, private citizens are incentivized to sue, as anyone who successfully sues an abortion provider, or anyone suspected of helping someone access an abortion, is entitled to at least $10,000 plus their legal fees. Anti-abortion politicians in other states are eager and ready to follow suit, with Florida legislators already drafting their own bill.