Reform Judaism

Jewish groups play different roles in climate change bill

Sunday, June 28th, 2009 A couple of Jewish groups played a role in Friday’s passage of a landmark climate change bill by the House – the first major piece of legislation to address the issue of carbon emissions and global warming. Another played a role in one aspect of the legislation.

DC Vouchers: Obama straddles, Jewish groups not thrilled

Monday, May 11th, 2009 If you thought the issue of school vouchers for parents whose kids attend private and parochial schools would fade away now that the Democrats control both the White House and Congress, guess again. Last week President Obama announced a proposal that would allow a controversial Washington, DC voucher program that has divided Jewish groups to keep its funding for now but not provide money for new students.

Rabbi Jack Moline Names His Own Poison, Takes On Major Washington Role

Monday, May 4th, 2009 For years, Rabbi Jack Moline – leader of a synagogue in suburban Washington  – argued that the Conservative movement needed a stronger, more visible Washington presence, like the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and the Orthodox Union’s Institute for Public Affairs, both of which are active players in the capital.

Good news for Jewish groups on the domestic front: Hate crimes, immigration reform, budget

Thursday, April 30th, 2009 It’s been a good week for Jewish groups active on the domestic front. On Wednesday the House passed by a 249-175 vote a hate crimes bill Jewish groups have had as a legislative priority for more than a decade.  For the past eight years former President Bush promised to veto it, but the strong Democratic majorities in both Houses and a new president who supports the measure have dramatically improved its chances, and backers are moving quickly to take advantage of the altered political landscape.

Reform leader, former Holocaust Museum official arrested in Darfur protest

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009 When it comes to Darfur demonstrations, Rabbi David Saperstein of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is a recidivist. On Monday Saperstein was arrested in a protest at the Sudanese embassy just down the street from RAC headquarters, along with several members of Congress and a former official of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council.

Jewish silence in the face of torture

Friday, April 24th, 2009 I know I’m sounding like a broken record on this, but where is the Jewish outrage  over the sanctioned use of torture — “harsh interrogation techniques” is the favored term in the media – by U.S. intelligence and military forces in the war on terror?

Meeting season for Jewish groups starts

Friday, April 17th, 2009 The cherry blossoms have come and gone, which means it must be spring meeting season for Jewish groups. Next week it’s the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, which has a star-studded program for its annual “Consultation on Conscience.” As usual, the focus will be on domestic and social social justice issues, with a strong focus this year on the impact of the global economic downturn and its economic implications.

Gillibrand’s ‘No’ Vote on DC Gun Ban Repeal Pleases Jewish Groups

Thursday, February 26th, 2009 James Besser in Washington A while back this blog reported on suggestions Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand could face tough going with Jewish voters in 2010, when she runs for a full term, in part because of her strong pro-gun stance – a position that sells well in her former upstate congressional district but generally doesn’t impress Jewish Manhattanites.

Are Jewish Groups living in economic la-la land?

Friday, February 6th, 2009 James Besser in Washington It just me, or is there a kind of surrealistic atmosphere surrounding Jewish activism in the early days of the Obama administration? The issues are mostly the same as always, but the context has changed dramatically. And it’s not at all clear our leaders understand the potential extent of that shift.

Obama Announces New Faith Based Office, Many Questions Unanswered

Thursday, February 5th, 2009 James Besser in Washington President Barack Obama unveiled his revamped faith based initiative today, but the rollout left a lot of questions for Jewish groups that have been bitter adversaries on questions surrounding  government funding for religious health and social service providers.
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