Take The Food Stamp Challenge

10/31/2011 - 20:00

Could you get by on $4.50 a day for food?

While participants in Occupy Wall Street garner headlines in drawing attention to the imbalance of financial power in the U.S., a growing number of prominent Americans are taking the Food Stamp Challenge this month, a low-key but meaningful effort to draw attention to hunger in this country. They have agreed to spend a week on the average food stamp allotment of $31.50 per person, which comes out to $1.50 a meal.

A social justice Passover in Washington

Passover being a holiday marking affliction and freedom, it wouldn't be complete without Washington seders focusing on economic and social justice issues.

On Wednesday, the Jewish Funds for Justice and the Progressive Jewish Alliance will hold a “Food and Social Justice Seder” at the Department of Agriculture in downtown Washington, hosted by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Budget stuff: Reform ambivalent about Obama deficit speech, JCPA defends domestic programs, President defends foreign aid

I was wondering how Jewish progressives would respond to President Obama's big speech on deficit reduction on Wednesday – a speech that many critics called long on rhetoric, short on specifics.

Now we know; the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, the beacon of progressive Jewish activism in Washington, wasn't too impressed.

As Israel Debates Rage, Jewish Professionals Face Employment Repercussions

04/10/2011 - 20:00

WASHINGTON (JTA) – The speaker invited then uninvited. The signature on the petition removed. The activity joined, then unjoined.

The job threatened.

Rabbis and Jewish professionals increasingly are being faced with a dilemma over discussing divisive topics -- especially regarding Israel -- central to how they see their Jewish missions without losing their professional mission.

Paradigm shift in the federal budget debate; will Jewish groups fight?

 If you had any illusions this year's budget battle on Capitol Hill would be like past fights – a lot of huffing and puffing, but in the end no real change – Rep. Paul Ryan's new GOP budget plan should put an end to them.

Ryan, a seven-termer, is pushing a budget proposal he says will slash $5.8 trillion – that's trillion,, not billion- from the budget over ten years and, he says, begin to address the problem of out-of-control entitlement programs.

Jewish Groups, Lawmaker Rap U.S. House 2012 Budget Plan

04/06/2011 - 20:00

(JTA) -- Jewish groups and a key Jewish lawmaker condemned the U.S. House of Representative's budget proposal for 2012, saying it will hurt the Americans most in need.

The Jewish Council for Public Affairs said in a statement released Wednesday that the Republican-backed budget proposal unveiled the previous day, which slashes nearly $6 trillion from federal spending over the next 10 years, "relies on cuts which will be harmful to many of those in America who are most in need."

Jewish Leaders Fast Against Budget Cuts

03/27/2011 - 20:00

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Leaders of two Jewish groups are joining an organized fast to protest proposed congressional budget cuts to poverty programs in the United States and abroad.

The fast, initiated by HungerFast, a group led by anti-hunger activist Tony Hall, takes aim at proposed substantive cuts now under consideration in Congress that would target overseas food aid and domestic programs that provide food stamps, subsidized meals for preschoolers and their mothers, and subsidized heating for the poor.

Nuance in the delegitimization debate: why is the Jewish establishment so scared of it?

You want to know what bothers me the most about Jewish communal life?

In our zeal to protect Israel and our anger at a world that is habitually unfair to the Jewish state, we insist on rigid orthodoxies that can only undermine the cause we say we believe in.

There's no place for thoughtfulness and nuance in this world, only slogans, litmus tests and exclusion of those who disagree with specific ideologies about what's best for Israel.

Civility In Houston

02/28/2011 - 19:00
Staff Writer

(Houston) Lee Wunsch, president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston, recently told a friend at a Shabbat kiddush that he had attended a meeting where a representative of J Street, the self-described “pro-Israel, pro-peace” organization, spoke. Wunsch’s friend, who “nearly had a heart attack,” attacked J Street’s policies.

Lee Wunsch, shocked by growing lack of civility in Houston’s Jewish community, has started informal dialogue campaign.

JCPA Welcomes New State in Southern Sudan

02/08/2011 - 19:00

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The U.S. Jewish policy umbrella welcomed the emergence of a new state in southern Sudan, but said the international community must be vigilant in bringing about a broader peace.

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