Are you ready to change the world? Then, get excited for the Bernard and Audre Rapoport L’Taken Social Justice Seminar! In partnership with the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC), you will have the opportunity to impact our country as you share your views on social justice topics with decision-makers on Capitol Hill. Our sample schedule for the L’Taken Seminar, provides more details about the programming throughout the weekend and different topics that we will explore together.
Our program is designed to both expose you to a variety of public policy issues and explore the Jewish values that inform the Reform Movement’s advocacy around these issues. Throughout the weekend, we will give you the knowledge and tools to write an effective, persuasive and passionate speech on a topic of your choice to present when you visit the offices of your Senators and Representatives on the Monday of the program. The monday hill visits with Congress is a unique experience that very few Americans take advantage of and one that can have a significant impact on the course of legislation. After meeting with our students, Members of Congress have chosen to co-sponsor, offer amendments to and vote for pieces of legislation that participants discussed. We expect to have similar stories to tell after you present your speeches this year.
The trajectory of our programming goes from broad to narrow—first, exposing you to a range of topics and eventually encouraging you to focus on a single, specific issue about which you are particularly passionate. On Friday and Saturday, you will have the opportunity to attend programs on a range of topics, including Israel, the environment, reproductive rights, LGBTQ civil rights, church/state separation, international relations and more! On Sunday, with the support of your chaperones and the RAC Staff, you will pick a specific topic and write a speech to deliver on Capitol Hill on Monday.
Of course, we will also take advantage of the vast opportunities available in our nation’s Capitol by visiting the National Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Smithsonian National Mall and celebrating Havdallah at the Jefferson Memorial. And, all the while, you will have the chance to meet and mingle with Reform Jews from across the United States, all of whom are in D.C. for the same reason that you are—to pursue tikkun olam.
We look forward to seeing you in Washington, D.C. and to visiting Capitol Hill to advocate, as a unified voice, on issues of importance to the Reform Movement. Together, we can fulfill the commandment of “Tzedek, tzedek tirdof,” “Justice, justice you shall pursue” (Deuteronomy 16:20). For more information about the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, visit www.rac.org.