New from CCAR Press, The Social Justice Torah Commentary demonstrates that the Torah is a guide to addressing the most urgent challenges of our time. This excerpt is from Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center and Senior Vice President, Union for Reform Judaism.
I write about International Day of Persons with Disabilities (December 3, 2021) as a quadriplegic wheelchair user and as a Jewish woman accustomed to advocating for physical inclusion in places of worship. I am all too familiar with common barriers to access and have offered potential solutions.
I have always felt a strong sense of family when in Jewish spaces. Yet, my life experience has taught me that it is through the encounters with people of different backgrounds who have unique stories that the direction we take is shaped. This idea has helped me to no longer ask about what I deserve in life, but rather how I can use my privilege to give back to others. The same drive is what led me to apply to the Eisendrath Legislative Assistant Fellowship at the Religious Action Center - a unique opportunity to make a difference not many people believe is possible.
Transgender Awareness Week is a chance to educate the public. It is important for people who are not part of the trans community to understand the oppression transgender and gender-expansive people face every day. While it is always important to affirm trans identities, Transgender Awareness Week provides an opportunity to center the voices of trans and gender-expansive people.
When my family lived in Strawberry Mansion were able to move up in the world, people that live there now are being thwarted and pushed down by a lack of representation. And that is why RAC-PA is proud to stand with the Keystone Counts coalition to demand that the LRC adopt these unity maps.
The Reform Movement's Racial Justice Campaign continues to be a central part in combating the daily oppression and dehumanization of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) individuals that is rooted in the 400-year history of systemic racism embedded in every corner of North America.
Help Lead the Reform Movement’s Social Justice Initiatives: Apply to be a Member of the Commission on Social Action
At this moment, we are faced with an array of challenges: racial injustice, attacks on abortion rights, immigration justice, climate change, economic inequality, and more. As Reform Jews, we know that we can and must work to repair what is broken in our world. The Commission on Social Action leads the Reform Movement's social justice work - and we are eager for you to join us.
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.