In the News
As we approach the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer 1964, a national movement is underway to protect the ability of every American to exercise his or her right to vote. You’d think by now this would be a non-issue, but recent events—including the Supreme Court’s Shelby County decision last summer striking down a key piece of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965—make this fight all too timely.
There is something quintessentially American and quintessentially Jewish about voting -- and fighting for the right to vote. After all, voting is an act of faith. It's a ritual, part of belonging to the community. Like all rituals, we may find them inconvenient when they interrupt our daily schedule, but we also hold them dear. It may not feel sacred in some moments -- filling in little bubbles or pulling little levers -- but it connects deeply with our past and our core sense of who we are as a people. And ultimately we do it because we believe in something bigger than ourselves, something that we can't see directly and are taught to trust in -- in this case, a sense that all of us, doing this little ritual, adds up to a government of ourselves, by ourselves, for ourselves, that stands up for liberty and justice for all.
KQED interviews Rabbi Melanie Aron about the launch of Bend the Arc's voting rights campaign.
Religious activism around immigration reform continues to build, many are expressing the same curiosity as Kimelman-Block’s cellmate: where exactly did this groundswell of faith-based support for immigration reform come from? And, will the efforts of religious Americans be enough to convince Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform?
In recent months, there has been discussion about this coming in the form of new partnerships between organizations and a new Jewish-Latino Congressional caucus. As Jews we believe it is essential to value every person and to ensure that all people are treated with respect and dignity. Naturally, we feel compelled to speak out against a broken immigration system that tears apart families and forces 11 million people to live in hiding. Jews have been there. We know how it feels to be on the outside looking in. Our own difficult history compels us to help lift others out of similar situations.