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Buffalo, Uvalde, Tulsa, and other recent incidents of gun violence highlight the fact that the U.S. has been locked in a cycle of apathetic “thoughts and prayers,” while little federal action has been taken on this public safety and public health issue. We must end the helpless, apathetic cycle of “thoughts and prayers.” Enough is enough. To stand idly by and do nothing in the face of such senseless slaughter is unconscionable and antithetical to our Jewish values and beliefs. To paraphrase Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, we will pray with our marching feet and voices.
Eisendrath Legislative Assistant
Shayna’s portfolio includes gun violence prevention, environment and climate change, Israel, foreign policy, antisemitism, the Holocaust, international religious freedom, and Native American rights. She is proud to be in the first cohort of the Jews of Color Initiative partnership with the RAC LA program.
“In the aftermath of the unceasing spate of recent mass shootings – including the horrific mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde and recent gun violence at a church in Alabama, a Juneteenth concert in Washington, D.C., and in a neighborhood in New York City – it is incomprehensible that the Supreme Court has once again decided to value guns over the safety of our communities, children, and houses of worship."
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.
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.
On Sunday, June 12, 2022, congregants and clergy from over twenty Reform synagogues gathered at Temple Shalom of Newton for the launch of RAC-Massachusetts, the Religious Action Center’s ninth and newest statewide project. The room had an energy I haven’t felt since before the pandemic, reminding everyone there what can happen when we are in community.
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.
Every year on June 20, we honor the resilience and courage of refugees and celebrate their contributions to our communities and to our entire nation. The best way to honor and celebrate refugees is by taking action to make the U.S. a more welcoming place for those seeking safety.
I write this as the Sines vs. Kessler trial commences. This long-awaited lawsuit seeks to hold the organizers of the deadly 2017 Unite the Right rally accountable for their actions. Bone-chilling evidence will be presented in this trial that will make us realize how close we came to experiencing an even greater tragedy than the death of Heather Heyer and the wounding of so many others.
Eisendrath Legislative Assistant
Lillie Heyman (she/her) is originally from Florham Park, New Jersey, where she was a member of Congregation Beth Hatikvah. Lillie graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Michigan's Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy in 2020 with a BA in Public Policy and minor in Sociology: Law, Justice, and Social Change.