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advocacy & Action 

  The Religious Action Center Freedom to Vote Campaign

Group of people marching in a protest holding a RAC sign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Reform Movement is deeply engaged in working to enact national standards for voting to ensure that everyone has access to the ballot and every vote is counted. Talmud teaches that a leader should not be appointed until every member of the community is consulted. Last November, despite the pandemic and a patchwork of barriers to the ballot box across the country, more than 159 million Americans voted in the 2020 elections, the highest rates seen in over a century. Following the 2020 elections, which saw historic turnout of Black and Brown people, there have been a slew of voter suppression tactics across the country that create deliberate barriers to silence those same voices. 

This summer the Religious Action Center will be meeting with U.S. Senators to advocate for two bills that – if passed – will strengthen democracy and racial justice by protecting the right to vote and helping to dismantle a system that has long prevented every voice from being heard in the voting booth. Our federal legislative priorities are the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

RAC-FL has scheduled the following meetings with Senators Scott and Rubio:  

Senator Rick Scott: Wednesday, July 28      

Senator Marco Rubio: Thursday, July 29       

To learn more and get involved, contact Rachel Lilenbaum, Social Justice Fellow. 

    

Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism  

For nearly six decades, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (the RAC) has worked to educate, inspire, and mobilize the Reform Jewish Movement to advocate for social justice. We work on over 70 issues including gun violence prevention, immigration, reproductive rights, and criminal justice reform; and mobilize around federal, state, provincial, and local legislation. As a joint instrumentality of the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, we represent the values of the largest and most diverse Jewish Movement in North America to governments at all levels.

In July 2020, the RAC officially launched the Florida Religious Action Center (RAC-FL), coinciding with the launch of a statewide civic engagement effort through Every Voice, Every Vote: The Reform Movement’s 2020 Civic Engagement Campaign. This launch was the culmination of two years of organizing efforts in Florida.

Leading up to the 2018 mid-term elections, our Reform Jewish communities worked in coalition to advocate for the passage of the Amendment 4 ballot initiative, aimed at restoring the right to vote for 1.4 million Floridians (the fourth largest voter enfranchisement movement in U.S. history), which passed on Election Day. Just one year later, our communities partnered with immigration justice organizations to advocate for the closure of the Homestead detention center, the only private, for-profit detention center housing immigrant children. Both campaigns provided opportunities for our communities to carry out the values to tikkun olam and pursue a more moral and just Florida for all.

Visit their website, https://rac.org/, to learn more about their work and how you can get involved. 

Gun Violence Prevention Task Force

Gun violence prevention has been a social action priority for the URJ for decades. Gun violence remains a public health and safety issue with 100 deaths daily, almost two-thirds of which are suicides. Rabbi Pomerantz constituted the task force in 2017 with a threefold agenda: Education—to provide the congregation with evidence-based information regarding the issue; Advocacy—to provide information regarding pending gun legislation; Community Engagement—to partner with local partners to end gun violence. We welcome new members to our task force. 

In partnership with Mom's Demand Action for Gun Safety, our Task Force will be working on educating and spreading awareness of the Be SMART program. The Be SMART framework is designed to help parents and adults normalize conversations about gun safety and take responsible actions that can prevent child gun deaths and injuries. The Be SMART campaign was launched to raise awareness that secure gun storage—storing guns locked, unloaded and separate from ammunition—can save children’s lives. Through trainings and conversations with school PTOs, community centers, and physician offices, Be SMART emphasizes that it’s an adult responsibility to keep kids from accessing guns, and that every adult can play a role in keeping kids and communities safer.

Contact: Hilary and Lauren

 

Upcoming Events

  • Temple Beth Sholom Leadership meetings: Join with others who want to make a difference and are interested in participating in community grassroots change. Contact Rachel Lilenbaum, Social Justice Fellow for more information.
Thu, August 5 2021 27 Av 5781