RAC-OH

The Ohio Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC-OH) is an organizing community bringing Reform Jews from across Ohio together in the pursuit of justice in our state.

Legislative Agenda

Criminal Justice Reform

​​​​​​RAC-OH affirms our commitment to criminal justice reform and our three-year campaign for drug sentencing reform in Ohio. Contact Legislative Assistant Ali Rosenblatt at arosenblatt@rac.org for more information about the RAC’s criminal justice reform work.

Gun Violence Prevention

​​​​​​RAC-OH will continue working to make our communities safer from gun violence by supporting initiatives to expand background checks in our state. For support on gun violence prevention, reach out to RAC youth organizer and leader of our national gun violence prevention campaign Logan Zinman Gerber at lgerber@rac.org.

Reproductive Rights

Our reproductive rights work will be led by our state’s chapters of the Women of Reform Judaism, with Karen Sim and Liz McOsker at the helm. You can reach them at ksim@fuse.net and lizmco@me.com . Our work will continue to be supported by Ally Karpel, WRJ-RAC Reproductive Health & Rights Campaign associate. You can reach her atakarpel@rac.org.

Civic Engagement

In Ohio, our congregations are invited to partner with Ohio Votes for local “Get Out the Vote” work and with Ohio Voice to advocate for voting rights and full democratic participation. You can also reach out to Organizing Director Joy Friedman for civic engagement support at jmfriedman@rac.org.  

Image

Our Partners

We will be continuing our partnerships with the Ohio Transformation Fund, the ACLU, Women of Reform Judaism, and state-wide faith-based organizations as we pursue legislation that supports our key priorities.

RAC-OH Victories

Targeted Community Alternatives to Prison (TCAP) program

Thanks in part to Reform Jews across the state of Ohio, after Shabbat fell on Friday night, June 30, Governor Kasich signed the Targeted Community Alternatives to Prison program (TCAP) into law. TCAP diverts low-level felons away from incarceration in favor of community supervision or treatment and will keep an extra 3,400 people a year in their communities receiving the support and rehabilitation they desperately need.

Senate Bill 66: Record Sealing and Probation Reform

Teshuvah means a return to our true selves, a return to our community and ultimately a return to our Creator. Citizens returning and making teshuvah after prison face a period of probation and a permanent criminal record viewable by prospective employers, lenders, renters etc. Senate Bill 66 (SB66) returns autonomy to judges to treat probation violators within the community. It provides the options of intervention and treatment in lieu of conviction and makes time in prison for violating probation shorter and less likely.

SB66 was the focus of RAC-OH’s first lobby day in 2017. Seventy Reform Jews traveled to Columbus, Ohio to lobby to our representatives to pass this important legislation. The power of the Reform Movement in Ohio shows, as the bill was passed in 2018.  

Donate to RAC-OH

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

Past Events

Ohio Lobby Days

On October 25, 2017, RAC-OH gathered in Columbus, Ohio to lobby our elected officials on criminal justice reform and other important Jewish issues.

On November 13, 2019, RAC-OH returned to Columbus with a focus on criminal justice reform and preventing gun violence. 

Contact Us

Rabbi Rick Kellner can be reached at rabbirick@bethtikvahcolumbus.org, and Amy Katz can be reached at ajkatz@fuse.net.

Learn More and Get Involved

RAC-OH is led by a Core Team of rabbis and lay leaders. The Core Team meets monthly to discuss state-wide legislative issues, determine opportunities for partnerships, participates in selected actions taken by faith-based organizations, and offers outreach and support to Reform congregations as they engage in social justice work. The Core Team is led by Rabbi Rick Kellner of Congregation Beth Tikvah and Amy Katz, a lay leader and past president of  Isaac M. Wise Temple. We are supported by national RAC staff overseen by Joy Friedman, the RAC’s organizing director. Core Team members include Rabbi Allison Vann of Suburban Temple-Kol Ami, Rabbi Josh Caruso and Laura Katz of Anshe Chesed-Fairmount Temple, Rabbi Josh Brown of Temple Israel Akron, Rabbi Karen Bodney Halasz of Temple Israel Dayton, and Maria Rosenthal of Congregation Beth Tikvah.