RAC-NJ's work was made possible with generous seed funding from the Michael & Alice Kuhn Foundation.

As a project of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, RAC-NJ seeks to organize across lines of difference to ensure that our Reform Jewish values, including pikuach nefeshpikuach nefeshפִּקּוּחַ נֶפֶשׁThe concept that saving a life overrides all other biblical commandments. (saving lives), chesedChesedKindness (compassion), and tzedektzedekצדקJustice (justice), are included in policymaking as our state leaders work to build a more just and compassionate society for all New Jersey residents.

The RAC-NJ 2021 Ban the Box in Housing Campaign is Underway!

Following RAC-NJ’s August 2020 launch, which included our mandate to act for racial and economic justice based on feedback from the summer’s statewide listening campaign, twenty-two RAC-NJ emerging leaders from all parts of the state completed training to become RAC-NJ’s first Research Team. Beginning after the 2020 Presidential Election, we met with 18 New Jersey social justice organizations – some of them multiple times – before we formally concluded our research campaign in mid-March!

Learn more about the RAC-NJ Ban the Box Housing Campaign

Register to join the kickoff call Thursday, May 6 at 7:30 pm ET

Urge your legislators to give everyone a fair chance in housing


Ban the Box in Housing Campaign

RAC-NJ’s 2021 legislative campaign is to “Ban the Box in Housing” by passing A1919/S250, the Fair Chance in Housing Act, in partnership with Fair Share Housing Center on their 1968 Continues… #healthewound campaign.  

2021 Double Your Impact Civic Engagement Campaign

Did you know that New Jersey’s Governor’s mansion, Drumthwacket, and its entire 120 seat state legislature (40 State Senate seats and 80 General Assembly seats) are up for reelection this year – on Tuesday, November 2, 2021?  

Donate to RAC-NJ

Support the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism's RAC-NJ

Learn More and Get Involved

Contact and Support Our Team

  • Contact Sarah Blaine, Lead Organizer, to learn more and get involved.
  • You can support this critical organizing work in New Jersey online or by contacting Kenneth Cohen.

Join the RAC-NJ group in the Tent

to join an online community of New Jersey Reform Jews and congregations.

About RAC-NJ

RAC-NJ launched in August of 2020 to bring our Reform Jewish values of wholeness, justice, and compassion to the Garden State. 

In addition to Ban the Box in Housing and our RAC-NJ’s 2021 Double Your Impact Civic Engagement Campaign, RAC-NJ continues to support the work of our partners at New Jersey Institute for Social Justice on their #DemocracyInADay Campaign to support passage of A4548/S2824, a bill that, if enacted, would make New Jersey the 22nd state to implement same-day voter registration. Similarly, RAC-NJ is a member of the Thrive-NJ Coalition, and supports the Coalition’s campaign to pass S3030/A4848, the Reproductive Freedom Act, into law. If enacted, the Reproductive Freedom Act will codify the protections of Roe v. Wade into New Jersey statute and ensure that New Jerseyans in need of reproductive health services including but not limited to abortion care will be able to access the care they need regardless of their financial resources or documentation status.  

RAC-NJ Leaders, Leadership Development, and Training

RAC-NJ is led by a Core Team of clergy and lay leaders from congregations located across New Jersey. RAC-NJ’s current Core Team members are: 

  • Rabbi Philip Bazeley of Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple in New Brunswick 
  • Lynn Chaiken of Temple Emeth in Teaneck 
  • Liz Cohen of Temple Beth-El in Hillsborough 
  • Rabbi Benjamin David of Adath Emanu-El in Mt. Laurel 
  • Gail Donner of Congregation M’kor Shalom in Cherry Hill 
  • Nilene Evans of Temple Avodat Shalom in River Edge 
  • Brion Feinberg of Temple Rodeph Torah in Marlboro 
  • Cantor Jacqueline Menaker of Shirat HaYam in Ventnor 
  • Rabbi Melinda Panken of Temple Shaari Emeth in Manalapan 
  • Rabbi Ethan Prosnit of Temple Emanu-El in Westfield 
  • Rabbi Leah Sternberg of Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in Short Hills 
  • Barbara Schwartz of Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel in South Orange 

RAC-NJ leaders also participate in its work through its research team, its campaign strategy teams, and congregational social justice teams working on RAC-NJ projects. Recent RAC-NJ trainings can be viewed in the RAC-NJ Tent Group including our February 18 panel for people new to congregational social justice work, Imagining the Possibilities and trainings on organizing methods, such as a RAC-NJ update that included a one-to-one training using principles from Eitan Hersch’s book Politics is for Power: How to Move Beyond Political Hobbyism, Take Action, and Make Real Change.  

Learn more about RAC-NJ’s Research and Issue Selection Process