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Church-State Committee

Synagogue creates a committee to speak about issues involving Church and State.

Community Contact Information:
KAM Isaiah Israel
Chicago, IL
www.kamii.org

Goals:

  • Educate community about the importance of keeping the line between church and state distinct.
  • Create an advocacy group to speak out about the Faith-Based Initiative.

Overview:
Preparation:

Recognizing the importance of advocacy on behalf of church-state issues, the synagogue leadership voted to create a Church-State Committee.

Project Implementation:
The committee engaged in multi-faceted programming, including:
Advocacy: The Committee prompted a Board resolution opposing federal regulations that permit religious organizations receiving government funds to discriminate based on the religion of employees. In addition, the Church-State Committee delivered testimony at a congressional hearing in Chicago on employment discrimination provisions of the Faith-Based Initiative. The Committee hosted an address by a United States senator on the importance of preserving the separation of church and state.
Education: The committee conducted a scholar-in-residence weekend on the First Amendment which featured lectures by scholars, panel discussions and advocacy skills training.

Results:
Over ten percent of KAM Isaiah Israel Congregation’s members joined the Church-State Committee when it formed. The senator’s address was attended by over 500 people. In addition to educating its own members, KAM Isaiah Israel Congregation has successfully brought church-state issues to the attention of other local congregations.