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“Is such the fast I desire, A day for men to starve their bodies? Is it bowing the head like a bulrush And lying in sackcloth and ashes? Do you call that a fast, A day when the LORD is favorable?

No, this is the fast I desire: To unlock fetters of wickedness, And untie the cords of the yoke To let the oppressed go free; To break off every yoke.

It is to share your bread with the hungry, And to take the wretched poor into your home; When you see the naked, to clothe him, And not to ignore your own kin.” (Isaiah 58:5-7)

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Governor Brown recently signed into law SB-10, the Money Bail Reform Act. Reform Jewish clergy, lay leaders and students with the California Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC-CA) were early and outspoken advocates for SB-10. In May, Reform Rabbis Suzanne Singer and Zoe Klein Miles wrote in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal, “passing SB-10 [the Money Bail Reform Bill] will enable us to ensure that in California, no one is held in jail simply because they...

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2018-2019 Eisendrath Legislative Assistants

 

We are thrilled to begin our work as the 2018-2019 Eisendrath Legislative Assistants. We bring a diverse set of interests and experiences to the RAC but share a deep commitment to building a world of compassion, justice, and wholeness. These values are central to Reform Jewish tradition, and we are proud to represent the Reform Movement at this critical moment in history. Our work will include legislative advocacy, leadership development, and community organizing. Please feel free to reach out at any time. We look forward to partnering with you, both in Washington, DC and across...

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After decades of celebrating Rosh HaShanah, I learned something new this year: The holiday is riddled with Hebrew puns, particularly those involving goodies like beets and dates. 

This nugget of information intrigued me, as I have a soft spot for well-placed puns used in the service of social justice and Jewish education. Over the course of many years as a lay leader at my URJ congregation, I found wordplays irresistible.

From “Russia-Shana,” an elaborate event which paid tribute to our immigrant heritage, to “Don’t Rush Your Shana,” an invitation to a leisurely holiday...

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Each year, my dad starts our seder the same way: “We learn that on the seventh day of creation, God stopped working. In Hebrew, vayishbot bayom hashvi'i. The word vayishbot comes from the same root as the word sh'viytah, or strike. So what does the Torah really say? On the seventh day of creation, God went on strike.”

While my dad might have taken some liberties with his translation, he was right about Judaism’s deep roots in the labor movement. Our texts are full of commandments to ensure workers’ dignity, including the broad instruction that “you shall not abuse a needy...

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