Though the coming battle over the 2012 budget will be waged across line items on spread sheets and political talking points, those most affected will be real people with real problems.
Above it all looms the ballooning deficit and a new Congress replete with members from both sides who campaigned on cutting spending and lowering the budget. In such an atmosphere, the decisions facing the President are not easy ones: how to make the investments in our future and protect those suffering because of poverty and the recession while not contributing to the deficit.
Two years ago, during my freshman year at Queens College, I found my passion for Jewish social justice when I started a Challah for Hunger chapter on campus, an organization that raises money and awareness for hunger and disaster relief through the production and sale of challah bread.
Weekly, a group of students gather to knead and braid dough and discuss social justice issues. The next day, the fresh bread is sold to Jews and non-Jews alike to benefit both Darfur relief efforts and local hunger initiatives.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- With the prospect for the first American universal health care plan apparently dimming in Massachusetts because the three outsize personalities vital to its passage -- the state's governor, its House speaker and its Senate president -- could not agree on the details, Nancy Kaufman came to the rescue.
This is just so predictable, it makes me want to scream.
Congressional Republicans and the Obama administration will go head to head next month in what could be their biggest battle. The issue: whether or not to let Bush-era tax cuts expire in the face of incomprehensibly large deficts and an economy that has not yet recovered from the Great Recession.
And a slew of Jewish groups with a big stake in the debate will be struck mute.
"Speak truth to power!" "Power is corrupt!" These popular mantras have fueled rhetorical wars among the classes for generations and are still voiced by many activists today. The disdain for power long predates the Marxists and the counter-culture activists; it enters the discourse of the early Rabbis in the Mishnah: "Love work, hate holding power, and do not seek to become intimate with the authorities," (Pirke Avot 1:10).
Isn't it interesting how Jewish groups with a lot to say about almost everything have been so conspicuously silent about the politically charged debate in Washington on regulatory reform intended to prevent a recurrence of the financial meltdown whose impact is still being felt – by many Jewish organizations, as well as countless individuals?