We hope that you will join us throughout the year as we explore how Racial Justice is manifest throughout the Criminal Justice system, and what we, as concerned Reform Jews, can do to bring justice to the system.
The number of incarcerated people in America quadrupled from 1980 – 2008, going from roughly 500,000 to 2.3 million people. The Florida Department of Corrections has the third largest prison system in the country with over-representation of people of color. One in three black men can expect to go to prison in their lifetime versus one in 17 white men. Black women are twice as likely as white women to be incarcerated.
Florida is also one of only 4 states with the harshest laws which bar people with past felony convictions from ever casting a ballot again, even after all terms of the sentence have been completed. One in four adult African Americans in Florida cannot vote – that is 1.68 million Floridians who cannot vote because of prior felony convictions. We will be collecting signatures for the Florida Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative for the 2018 ballot, which would restore the right to vote for people with prior felony convictions, except those convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense upon completion of their sentences. Other initiatives will be shared throughout the year.
The petition may be signed and mailed in: http://dos.elections.myflorida.com/initiatives/fulltext/pdf/64388-1.pdf
The PACT (People Acting for Community Together) Leadership group of Temple Beth Sholom is hosting Imam Mikal Hamim from Masjid Al-Ansar Mosque in Miami. The Imam will share: How the Islamic community understand interfaith work, why the Mosque chooses to participate in PACT, and to share some perspectives about Islamic and Jewish relationships in America. Monday evening, October 16, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. For more information, contact, Rabbi Davis.
- 2nd Chance on 2nd Sabbath: On Friday, September 8 at 6:00 pm for Shabbat Services, we will be participating in a state-wide advocacy Shabbat to restore the right to vote to Floridians who have been formerly convicted of a felony and have made restitution for their crime. Florida is one of only 4 states with this harsh penalty. Currently, 1.68 million of adult Floridians are unable to vote because of a prior conviction. As we prepare our souls for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, holy days when we celebrate teshuva and renewal, it is a perfect time to reflect on second chance for others as well.
- Annual Meeting: Participants explore pressing communal issues and vote on the priority issues. Monday, October 23, 2017.
- Rally: At the Rally, proposals that address the issues chosen are presented to the Justice Ministry Network members in preparation for the Nehemiah Action. Monday, February 26.
- Nehemiah Action Assembly: At this Assembly officials are asked to commit to reasonable solutions that can be accomplished here in Miami-Dade County. Monday, March 19.
- Celebration and Investment Drive Kickoff: PACT members gather to celebrate the victories of the Nehemiah Action, hear updates on the progress and status of this year’s issues, and begin the annual Investment Drive. Monday, May 21.
- Temple Beth Sholom Leadership meetings: Join with others who want to make a difference and are interested in participating in community grassroots change. Contact Rabbi Davis for more information.
Temple Beth Sholom is a proud member of Miami PACT – People Acting for Community Together. PACT is an interfaith social advocacy group that works to hold leaders accountable. Their current initiatives are juvenile justice and affordable housing. To get involved with PACT, please contact Rabbi Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org, or our Social Justice fellow, Maci Morse at email@example.com.
To learn more about the Reform movement’s commitment to tikkun olam by healing the world through advocacy, please visit the Religious Action Center’s website.
For up-to-date information on social justice issues visit http://www.rac.org/urgency-