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Current Actions

  • Call on Congress to Continue Bipartisan Support of Israel

    In September 2016, the United States and Israeli governments agreed on a new $38 billion, ten-year military assistance agreement covering fiscal years 2019-2028. This aid is essential to ensure Israel’s security. U.S. foreign aid reaffirms our commitment to a democratic ally in the Middle East and gives Israel the military edge to maintain its security and the economic stability to pursue peace. The United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018 (H.R.5141) would authorize annual security funding for Israel in accordance with this agreement. Urge your Representative to support this legislation to continue strong U.S. support for Israel’s security.

  • Protect our car emissions standards

    Thank you for taking action and asking the EPA and NHTSA to preserve robust car emissions standards. States can play a role in car emissions as well. You can ask your governor to ensure that your state maintains robust vehicle emissions standards regardless of what the EPA regulations are. When Congress passed the Clean Air Act, it specifically allowed California to create its own clean air standards, as long as those standards were at least as stringent as the federal standards. It also allowed states to choose to adopt the California standards and join California in their more ambitious regulations. Ask your governor to move your state to the California standards and make sure your state is protected regardless of EPA action.

  • Protect our car emissions standards

    Decreasing emissions from cars is a critical component of combatting climate change. On August 2, 2018, Acting Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler released a proposal to lower the greenhouse gas emission standards for cars and light trucks for model years 2021-2026, which could increase U.S. oil consumption by 881,000 barrels per day by 2035 and cost car owners $1,650 over the lifetime of their vehicle. Not only would this proposal further hinder our response to climate change, the added gas costs will impact low-income families the most.

    From now until October 26, 2018, the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are collecting comment from the public on this proposed change.

    Tell the EPA and the NHTSA that you want to keep existing car emissions standards that can make real climate progress. Then urge your governor to adopt the California emissions standards so your state can lower its emissions with or without the EPA.

    Background

    Transportation is the second leading source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the U.S., trailing only emissions to produce electricity. Cars and light trucks make up 60% of our annual transportation emissions. This means making our cars cleaner is crucial in the fight against climate change.

    Before the Clean Air Act was passed, California had already regulated air pollution in order to combat significant pollution problems in the LA valley. In recognition of California’s existing regulations, the Clean Air Act specifically allowed California to create its own clean air standards as long as those standards were at least as stringent as the federal standards. It also allowed states to adopt the California standards and join California in their more ambitious regulations.

    In 2012, after an extensive research and comment period with input from automakers, advocates, and the public, the Obama administration set ambitious but achievable car emissions standards. These standards harmonized the regulations from the NHTSA, the EPA, and the California Air Resources Board to create a single standard across the nation. On August 2, 2018 Acting EPA Administrator Wheeler announced a final proposal to lower Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards and Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards for cars and light trucks model years 2021-2026. The proposal would also revoke the waiver that allows California to set higher car emission standards than the federal standards. These rollbacks are an arbitrary revision of the standards which were reviewed and found reasonable in January 2017.

    Climate change is a real threat that we need to deal with now. Some estimates indicate that climate change is already responsible for 400,000 deaths worldwide each year, and some estimates peg the Trump administration’s environmental rollback at a cost of 80,000 U.S. resident lives per decade. Rolling back federal standards would weaken our already inadequate response to climate change and cause an estimated 140,000 cases of respiratory ailments in American children over the next decade.

    Robust emissions standards also help low-income Americans by saving them money at the pump. The EPA estimates that the standards would save car owners $1,650 over the lifetime of their vehicle, savings which are especially critical for low-income Americans.

    States can have a big impact in keeping America’s cars clean. The Clean Air Act allows states to choose to join the California standard, which means that states can choose to avoid the proposed lower EPA standards. Joining the California standard not only protects the air quality of states that join, it can help create change nation-wide too. If enough states join the California standard, car manufactures might choose not to create two versions of their vehicles (one to conform to the lower EPA standard and one to conform to the higher California standard) and just make cars to sell nationwide that follow the California standard. So far, 13 states have joined the California standard. The EPA and NHTSA’s proposed rule would revoke the waiver which allows California to set its own standard, which, if the rule is adopted, would also mean that the states on the California standard would be forced to the federal standard. However, it is still important for states to join the California standard now, as these states could join California in challenging an unprecedented revocation of the waiver.

    Tell the EPA you support robust clean car standards, then ask your governor to move your state to adopt the California standards and keep your state clean regardless of the standards the federal government sets.

    Jewish Values

    Jewish tradition teaches, “Do not destroy my world, for if you do, there will be nobody after you to make it right again” (Midrash Ecclesiastes Rabbah 7:13). The Talmudic concept bal tashchit, “do not destroy,” is derived from Deuteronomy 20:19–20 and was developed by the rabbis into a prohibition on senseless waste. Undoing regulations which encourage conservation furthers the waste of resources that our tradition abhors. 

  • Urge the Senate to reject the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court

    On July 31, 2018, the Reform Jewish Movement announced opposition to the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. An examination of Judge Kavanaugh’s record makes it clear that his elevation to the Supreme Court would significantly jeopardize or adversely affect the most fundamental rights the Reform Movement has long supported. These rights, rooted deeply in enduring Jewish values as expressed in biblical, rabbinic, and modern sources, are specifically articulated in our Movement’s resolutions and illustrate our commitment to the principles of justice, equality, the rule of law, and compassion. The recent allegations of sexual assault by Judge Kavanaugh have added urgency to our concerns.

    It is the Senate’s responsibility to provide advice and consent to the President’s nominee to the Supreme Court. In these final hours, tell your Senators to vote no on Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

  • Urge Prime Minister Netanyahu and Ambassador Dermer: Stop the Nation-State Bill

    Right now in Israel, the Nation-State Bill is a Basic Law proposal that would carry the weight of a constitutional amendment, impacting the entire Israeli legal system if passed. The Nation-State Bill would prioritize Israel’s Jewish identity over its democratic identity, upsetting the balance between these two foundational values and seriously undermining the rights of minority groups.

    The Knesset will vote on this bill on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. Urge Prime Minister Netanyahu and Ambassador Dermer, Israeli Ambassador to the United States, to preserve pluralism, equal rights and the centrality of democracy in Israel and oppose the Nation-State Bill.

    Background:

    The Nation-State Bill is a Basic Law proposal that would carry the weight of a constitutional amendment, impacting the entire Israeli legal system if passed. The Nation-State Bill would prioritize Israel’s Jewish identity over its democratic identity, upsetting the balance between these two foundational values and seriously undermining the rights of minority groups. The Knesset will vote on this bill on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. We call upon Israeli leadership to preserve pluralism, equal rights, and the centrality of democracy in the Jewish State and oppose the Nation-State Bill.

    This Bill would downgrade the status of the Arabic language, undermine efforts to advance religious pluralism, and give legal sanction to discrimination against marginalized groups. This threatens the Israel we know and the brighter future we want to see for our Homeland. As IMPJ President Rabbi Gilad Kariv said at a rally against the Nation-State Bill, "We want to bring our children up in a nation where Hebrew and Arabic are both official languages. We want to bring our children up in a country where people choose where to live without anyone inspecting their religion or national identity...[W]e bear an obligation to prevent the aggressive attempt to place an obstacle along the path we seek to travel together. Here is more information and answers to frequently asked questions about the bill.

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  • Support Paid Family and Medical Leave

    No person should have to choose between caring for themselves or a family member and keeping their job and income. Urge Congress to pass the FAMILY Act (H.R.947/S.337) to provide paid family and medical leave for all workers in America.

  • Tell Congress and the Administration: End Zero-Tolerance Policy and Reunite Immigrant Families Immediately

    In April 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the federal government would adopt a zero-tolerance policy of criminally prosecuting all migrants for unauthorized border crossings, including those legally seeking asylum. This policy officially instituted practices that separated children from their families. Within the first six weeks of this zero-tolerance policy in place, the number of children separated from their families rose well beyond 2,000.

    Congress and the Administration must act immediately to terminate the zero-tolerance policy and take swift action to reunite children with their families.

  • Urge Congress to Pass Comprehensive Sentencing Reform

    Over 2 million people are incarcerated in the United States, an increase of 1.9 million since 1972. “Tough on crime” law enforcement and sentencing policy adopted in the 1980s has exploded incarceration rates in the U.S., particularly among people of color, quadrupling the number of prisoners per capita in the United States. Throughout every phase, from setting bail, to initial sentencing, to serving time, to release and re-entry, our system is one of over-criminalization and mass incarceration, which disproportionately ensnares low-income people and people of color.

    This week, the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the FIRST STEP Act (H.R.5682), an attempt to implement limited reforms in the federal prison system. Unfortunately, this legislation alone will not achieve meaningful change, and many provisions within the bill will disproportionately harm people of color. Moreover, pursuing prison reform without sentencing reform will not stem the tide of mass incarceration, a phenomenon that is devastating American families and communities and perpetuating racial disparities in the criminal justice system.

    It is critical for our elected representatives to hear that Reform Jews demand meaningful sentencing reform and oppose efforts to pursue harmful prison reform legislation. Urge your Representatives to oppose the FIRST STEP Act and urge your Senators to support the comprehensive Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act (S.1917) so that we can remedy unfair sentencing laws, improve prison practices, and encourage successful reentry for formerly incarcerated individuals across the country. 

  • Protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

    The Bureau of Land Management is accepting comments from the public as it takes the initial steps toward opening drilling in the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Drilling would have a devastating impact on the ecosystem as well as on the indigenous Gwich’in tribe who lives on the land. Let the Bureau of Land Management know that you oppose opening the Refuge to drilling and that you stand with the Gwich'in People.

    Once you submit comments, you can also urge your members of Congress to take legislative action to protect the Refuge.

  • Stop Congress from Creating a New Federally Funded Voucher Program


    Impact Aid is a program that helps fund school districts that lose local tax revenue because their district includes federal tax-exempt land such as military bases or Native American reservations. This funding is critical for these school districts and directly benefits military families, Native American families, and other families living in areas that generate little tax revenue. 

    Members of Congress recently introduced the Military Education Savings Accounts Act (H.R. 5199 / S. 2517), which would create a private school voucher program for students with an active-duty parent in the military. This bill will hurt the very students it claims to help by draining Impact Aid funding, which is designed to support the public schools that serve military-connected students, in order to pay for vouchers at private and religious schools.

    Urge Congress to oppose the Military Education Savings Accounts Act (H.R. 5199/S.2517) to protect public schools and ensure that Congress uses public funds to support public schools.

    Background:

    From both a public education and separation of church and state perspective, vouchers, often couched as “school choice,” divert public, taxpayer money to private schools, including parochial schools, by offering government money to families to assist them with the costs of sending a child to a private school. Instead of voucher programs, we should support public schools with public funds. Not only does support for public schools translate to ensuring access to a high-quality education for all our nation’s children, but only in public schools are certain rights, programs, and support systems ensured for students and their families.

    If passed, the Military Education Savings Accounts Act would undermine the public schools that will continue to serve the majority of military-connected students. The bill would create education savings accounts (ESAs), which would essentially establish a voucher program for military families. These ESAs would funnel money set aside for Impact Aid away from public schools and toward subsidizing the cost of private educations, including religious schools. That is why groups like the National Military Family Association and the Military Officers Association of America oppose this bill.  

    It is likely that this bill will be attached as language to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which Congress is expected to consider in the spring of 2018.

    Jewish Values:  

    Supporting voucher programs with public funds endangers the separation of church and state. As Jews, we value the separation of church and state because we are a religious minority and recognize religious liberty as a bedrock principle of a free society. In a 1972 resolution, the Reform Movement stated that we: “historically opposed using public funds for non-public elementary and secondary schools, believing that such aid would infringe the separation of church and state and have damaging impact on public schools.”

    More Information: 

    You can email your elected officials through our form above, or you can call the Capital Switchboard at 202.224.3121 and ask to speak directly with their offices.  

    For more information on this issue, visit the RAC's page on the separation of church and state or contact Eisendrath Legislative Assistant Noah Fitzgerel 

  • Urge Congress to Hold the Burmese Military Accountable for Ethnic Cleansing

    Since August 2017, nearly 700,000 Rohingya refugees have fled violence and ethnic cleansing in the Rakhine State, a region on the western border of Burma. The survivors made their way to refugee camps in Bangladesh, a three-day trek from their home villages, where they now face daily challenges accessing food, health care, and basic living conditions. The Rohingya are an ethnic Muslim minority in Burma who have historically faced persecution in the region. In late 2017, the Burmese military escalated violence against the Rohingya people, including the burning of villages and mass murders of entire communities. This crisis has quickly become the world's fastest growing refugee emergency. Congress must act now to condemn the ethnic cleansing and support the survival and safety of the Rohingya people.

    Background

    As hundreds of thousands of Rohingya are being driven out of their villages and across the border into Bangladesh, global leaders must work to restore human rights and dignity for this stateless population. The United States has an opportunity to play a role in holding accountable the people responsible for the mass atrocities taking place in Burma as well as providing humanitarian assistance.

    The Burma Human Rights and Freedom Act (S.2060) was introduced by Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Benjamin Cardin (D-MD). This bipartisan bill would promote democracy and human rights in Burma, implement sanctions as accountability mechanisms for ethnic cleansing practices taking place in Burma and begin to restore human rights and dignity for ethnic minorities who are still in Burma and who have fled across borders. If passed, this bill would be a positive step towards restoring human rights for this extremely vulnerable population.

    Senate leadership should bring this important bill to the floor for swift passage and implementation.

  • Urge Congress to End Pay Discrimination

    American women today make, on average, 80 cents for every dollar earned by men. This disparity is even worse for women of color: African American women make 63 cents for every dollar earned by their white, male counterparts, and for Latina women, it's 54 cents. The Paycheck Fairness Act would deter pay discrimination by closing loopholes in the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and by barring retaliation against workers who disclose their wages. 

    Urge your Member of Congress to support the Paycheck Fairness Act!

  • Tell the Trump Administration: Hands off Critical ACA Protections

    Following an executive order by President Trump last fall, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services proposed a new rule that would make it easier for consumers to purchase short-term insurance plans. The rule would reverse the Affordable Care Act’s restrictions on these plans, leaving consumers vulnerable to higher costs and weaker protections.

    Through April 23, 2018, the Department of Health and Human Services is accepting comments on this proposed rule from individuals like you. Your comments can demonstrate that while Americans want relief from costly premiums, we do not want to return to the unregulated days of skimpy insurance and higher costs for those who are sick.

    Use the form below to submit your comments to the administration. We also invite you to add your own views or personal story about the importance of critical ACA protections and a strong marketplace.

  • I am marching today and I demand common sense gun legislation.

    Last weekend, we joined with students across the nation as together, we Marched for Our Lives to demand common sense gun legislation.

    A month has passed since the devastating mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, when 17 students and teachers were killed and 14 were injured by a gunman armed with an assault weapon at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. As Reform Jews, we cannot afford to stay silent. We marched to demand that our legislators take immediate action to stop these massacres.

    Use the letter provided to email your member of Congress. We encourage you to add your own reasons why gun violence prevention matters to you.

  • Urge Congress to Take Immediate Action to Stop Gun Violence

    Our nation is once again reeling from another devastating mass shooting. This time, a gunman armed with an assault weapon murdered 17 students and teachers, and injured 14 more, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. As Reform Jews, we cannot afford to stay silent. We need your help to demand that our legislators take action to stop these massacres and address the unacceptably high rates of gun violence in our country. 

  • End Violence Against Women Around the World


    One out of three women worldwide will be physically, sexually, or otherwise abused during her lifetime, with rates as high as 70% in some countries. Violence against women is a human rights violation that devastates lives, fractures communities, and prevents women from fully contributing to the economic development of their countries. The International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA) would provide concrete tools to change the circumstances that lead to violence against women and girls. 
    Urge your represenative to co-sponsor and support IVAWA.

  • Urge Congress to Take Immediate Action to Stop Gun Violence

    Gun violence kills over 30,000 Americans every single year. The rate of gun violence in the United States is up to 25 times higher than other developed countries. Enough is enough. As Reform Jews, we cannot afford to stay silent. We need your help to demand that our legislators take action to end the unacceptably high rates of gun violence in our country. 

  • Call for a Pathway to Citizenship for DREAMers

    The administration’s decision to bring an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in September 2017 put nearly 800,000 immigrant youth at risk of deportation. As of March 5, 2018, the date the administration declared as the end date of the program, nearly 1,000 DACA recipients are estimated to be losing status every day. This is on top of the nearly 22,000 young people who lost their legal protections between the announcement in September and March 5. Congress must act immediately to protect DREAMers from deportation and provide a permanent, legislative fix that provides DREAMers with a pathway to citizenship.

  • Protect Key Provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act

    Defending and expanding the rights of individuals with disabilities is one of the core civil rights priorities of the 21st century. Legislation was introduced that would undermine some of the most important measures that protect equal accessibility for individuals with disabilities. It is important to make our voices heard that no undermining changes should be made to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

    On February 15, 2018 the House passed the ADA Education and Reform Act. Now we must work to make sure this dangerous legislation does not pass the Senate.

    Urge your Senator to oppose any legislation similar to the ADA Education and Reform Act (H.R. 620), legislation that would reverse the progress the ADA has ensured for over 27 years.

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  • Act now to support SB-10 and SB-100
    Two key bills intended to protect the environment and make our criminal justice system more fair are coming up before the California Assembly before the end of January. SB-100, The 100% Clean Energy Act of 2017, requires that all electricity in California come from carbon-free and renewable sources by 2045. SB-10, The California Money Bail Reform Act of 2017, makes our judicial system more fair by ensuring that people are held in pretrial detention because they are a danger or a flight risk and not simply because of their inability to afford to pay bail. Urge your assemblymember to support these two important bills.

    Call-in script
    Good morning/afternoon. My name is _______ and I’m a member of _________________[congregation name] and Reform California, and I am a resident of _______ [Assembly District]. I’m calling to urge Assemblymember______ to vote YES on SB-100, the California Clean Energy Act, and SB-10, the Money Bail Reform Act. My Reform Jewish values compel me to advocate for a world filled with justice and compassion. This includes protecting our natural resources for generations to come and ensuring that our criminal justice system treats everyone equitably. Thank you. 
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  • Urge Congress to Oppose a Tax Bill that Harms the Most Vulnerable

    On December 2, 2017, the Senate voted in favor of tax legislation that represents a fundamental restructuring of the federal government’s priorities. Now, a conference committee of House and Senate members will work to reconcile the differences between their two bills, after which it must be voted on once again by both chambers – leaving one more opportunity to let your representatives know you oppose this dangerous legislation.

    The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would limit the government’s ability to meet the needs of Americans nationwide and would make our tax code more regressive, threatening the programs and policies that help the most vulnerable Americans.

    Urge Congress to oppose any tax overhaul that will hurt the most vulnerable in our communities and limit the government’s ability to fulfill its responsibility to all Americans.

  • Support Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization

    For the last several months, Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) have been negotiating a bipartisan fix for some of the Affordable Care Act’s challenges. The ACA has allowed millions to access insurance for the first time, but high costs and decreased marketplace competition have prevented it from expanding access even more. On October 17, Senators Alexander and Murray announced the product of their negotiations, the Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act of 2017.

    The legislation is an exciting step forward for the future of health care and a strong show of bipartisanship. At a policy level, the legislation offers several worthwhile measures for stabilizing the individual marketplace. It will give insurers and consumers the certainty necessary for reducing costs and increasing access. From a political perspective, this type of bipartisan approach will hopefully allow members of Congress to move away from the gamesmanship that has prevented any meaningful action to further strengthen our health care system this year.

    Urge your members of Congress to support the Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act of 2017 and take a much-needed step forward for the future of health care.

  • Urge Congress to Protect Transgender Servicemembers in Our Armed Forces

    In August 2017, President Trump issued a directive banning transgender individuals from serving in the United States military. The Reform Movement condemned this policy change in an open letter to President Trump. While legal battles have been launched to fight against the ban, the most tenable and sustainable solution is a legislative fix.  

    In September 2017, Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), John McCain (R-AZ), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Jack Reed (D-RI) introduced S. 1820, a bill that would reverse the effects of President Trump's discriminatory ban. An identical bill, H.R. 4041, was introduced shortly after in the House, led by Representatives Jackie Speier (D-CA), Charlie Dent (R-PA), Susan Davis (D-CA), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Adam Smith (D-WA), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ). This legislation would directly address the effects of President Trump's directive by protecting servicemembers on account of their gender identity.    

    Urge Congress to support this bipartisan legislation to protect transgender service members on account of their gender identity and reverse the effects of President Trump's transgender military ban.  

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  • Urge Congress to Pass Comprehensive Sentencing Reform

    Over the past 40 years, the American prison population has grown by 500%. Over two million Americans are currently incarcerated, and a disproportionate number are people of color. The explosion in the prison population has resulted in overcrowding, poor treatment of prisoners, and staggering costs for the public.

    On October 4, 2017, Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Richard Durbin (D-IL) reintroduced the bipartisan Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act (S.1917) in the Senate. The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act (SRCA) includes provisions that seek to address the problems of mass incarceration and over-criminalization by reducing mandatory minimums for nonviolent drug offenses and granting judges greater discretion in sentencing decisions. The legislation represents the most significant attempt at criminal justice reform in years.

    The Senate should act on this bipartisan consensus and demonstrate much-needed unity around urgent reforms to the criminal justice system. The SRCA has robust bipartisan support – if your Senator is already cosponsoring the legislation, please thank them. If not, urge your Senators to cosponsor the legislation, so that we can create fairer sentencing laws, improve prison practices and encourage successful reentry for formerly incarcerated individuals across the country.

  • Urge President Trump to protect sacred spaces and our public lands

    On October 27, 2017, President Trump indicated that the administration would be moving forward with a proposed plan to shrink Bears Ears National Monument. Bears Ears is one of several public lands under threat of reduction which contain important ecological and cultural sites that need protections. Urge President Trump to protect our public lands and preserve our national monuments.

    Background

    On April 26, 2017, President Trump issued an executive order directing Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review all public lands that have been given national monument protections since 1996. The purpose of the review was to consider shrinking or eliminating special places previously conserved under the Antiquities Act of 1906 for being of national, historic, or scientific interest.

    On August 24, 2017, Secretary Zinke submitted a private set of recommendations to the White House. Weeks later, his recommendations were leaked to the press, and the public learned of ten national monuments Secretary Zinke has recommended to be diminished. The report recommends shrinking and rolling back protections in Bears Ears in Utah, Cascade-Siskiyou in Oregon and California, Gold Butte in Nevada, and Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah. The report also recommends rolling back protections in while keeping the current boundaries of Katahdin Woods and Waters in Maine, Northeast Canyons and Seamounts in the Atlantic Ocean, Organ Mountains Desert Peaks in New Mexico, Pacific Remote Islands near Hawaii, Rio Grande Del Norte in New Mexico, and Rose Atoll in Pacific Ocean near American Samoa. If Secretary Zinke's recommendations move forward, it would be the biggest loss of conservation protections in U.S. history. This could mean mining, oil and gas drilling, logging, commercial fishing, and grazing could take place in previously protected areas. It also could mean loss of wildlife habitat, destruction of delicate watersheds, and lost public access to wild places.

    In addition, Bears Ears National Monument was in large part set up to protect historic and sacred sites for five American Indian nations, the Navajo, Hopi, Uintah & Ouray Ute, Ute Mountain Ute, and Zuni. Removing protections and shrinking the area of the monument endangers sacred land that these tribes have spent years trying to protect.

    Sign our public petition, along with other Reform Jews and interfaith partners. Your name will be added to a letter we will deliver to President Trump telling him that we believe our public lands and national monuments must be protected.

    Jewish Values

    Our Jewish tradition insists that we care for the earth and preserve the goodness of God’s creation.  We are instructed in the Torah not to destroy (bal tashchit).  Rather, we are to become stewards and protectors of the land.  According to midrash, God charged Adam: “See my works, how fine and excellent they are! Now all that I created, for you I created. Think upon this, and do not corrupt and desolate my world; for if you corrupt it, there is no one to set it right after you.” (Ecclesiastes Rabbah 7:28)

    More Information

    For more on this issue, visit the RAC’s environment page, or check out the RAC Blog. You can also contact Legislative Assistant Jonah Baskin at (202) 387-2800

  • Call on congress to be stewards of the arctic refuge by keeping the refuge out of the budget process

    A provision in Friday's budget resolution calls on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to cut $1 billion of funding over the next 10 years. This provision is meant to pave the way for congress to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, which would devastate the indigenous Gwich'in people and cause irreparable environmental damage. As Congress goes through the budget process, insist that they keep drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge out of the budget. Please join an interfaith effort to save sign the petition below.

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  • Protect Common Sense Gun Safety Laws

    The House of Representatives may still vote on the SHARE Act (H.R. 3668), a bill that would weaken an 80-year-old federal law that regulates the sale of gun silencers. Silencers disguise the sound of gunfire and make it difficult for people - including law enforcement officers - to recognize and locate an active shooter.

    We are calling on Congress to reject and immediately forgo a vote on the SHARE Act. Rather than voting on legislation that would severely weaken gun safety laws and threaten the safety of our communities, Congress must implement common sense solutions that will help to prevent tragedies such as the recent carnage witnessed in Las Vegas.

  • Call Your Senators: Defend Affordable Health Care

    In a last-ditch effort, Senators Graham, Cassidy, Heller, and Johnson have offered a proposal, known as "Graham-Cassidy," that would repeal substantial portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The legislation would replace the ACA with a block grant system that would substantially limit funding for medical treatment for low-income and moderate-income Americans. It would also fundamentally alter Medicaid, disproportionately harming access to care for people with disabilities, children, and the elderly.

    Call your Senators and urge them to preserve the ACA and ensure millions of Americans maintain their access to health care. Fill out the form to access the talking points and call details to reach your Senators!

  • Oppose Repeal of the ACA

    In a last-ditch effort, Senators Graham, Cassidy, Heller, and Johnson have offered a proposal that would repeal substantial portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The legislation would replace the ACA with a block grant system that would substantially limit funding for medical treatment for low-income and moderate-income Americans. It would also fundamentally alter Medicaid, disproportionately harming access to care for people with disabilities, children, and the elderly.

    Urge your member of Congress to oppose this proposal.

  • Urge your Members of Congress to Extend Funding for CHIP

    The Children Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides critical health coverage to almost nine million children across the United States. CHIP helps ensure that kids receive the medical treatment they need, and offers piece of mind to their parents and families. Thanks to CHIP, as well as the Affordable Care Act, the percentage of children in the U.S. with health insurance is at all-time high of 95%.

    Federal funding for CHIP expired at the end of September, meaning Congress must act quickly to ensure that all eligible children keep their coverage. On Friday, November 3, the House of Representatives reauthorized funding for the program, but its bill included harmful funding offsets that threaten health care access and critical public health programs. Urge Congress to extend funding for CHIP and protect the millions of families relying on the program without harmful cuts to programs that help Americans access quality, affordable health care.

  • Urgent Action: Protecting Immigrant Youth from Deportation

    DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, has allowed for nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrant youth who were brought to the United States as children to obtain work permits, attend school, and contribute openly to our economy without fear of deportation. In many cases, these youth grew up in the United States and want to give back to society and raise their own families in the only nation they know as home.  
     
    President Trump is expected to make an announcement on September 5, 2017, about whether to terminate or phase out the program that provides protection from deportation.
     
    It is urgent that President Trump and your members of Congress hear from you today about the importance of protecting these youth from deportation or detention.   
     
    In addition to sending an email through our form above, you can also call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be directly connected to your Senators’ and Representative’s offices, and call the White House at 202-456-1111.

  • Protect DREAMers from Deportation

    On September 5, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the administration’s decision bring an end to the DACA program. DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, has allowed nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrant youth who were brought to the United States as children to obtain work permits, attend school, and contribute openly to our economy without fear of deportation. In many cases, these youth, known as DREAMers, grew up in the United States and want to give back to society and raise their own families in the only nation they know as home. By ending DACA and its protections, the administration has made DREAMers vulnerable to deportation or detention.

    Take action now to protect DREAMers from deportation.

  • Support the Presence of Israeli and International Staff at URJ Camps

    The Trump Administration is considering ending the J-1 Visa program that allows international staff – including Israelis - to work at Reform Movement camps for the summer. The recent White House order on “Buy American, Hire American” misguidedly targets these kinds of vital international cultural experiences for elimination – directly and negatively impacting our camps and our campers.

    Take Action: Contact your Senators, President Trump, and Secretary of State Tillerson and let them know you support the J-1 visa program.

  • Urge your Member of Congress to Condemn Hatred and Bigotry

    On Saturday, August 12, 2017, white nationalist and neo-Nazi protestors marched in Charlottesville in a day full of hate, bigotry, and violence. The protestors’ racist, anti-Semitic, and xenophobic language, chants, and images are deeply disturbing, and we mourn the violence that led to the loss of three lives and many injuries. All people of good will, especially public officials, have a responsibility to denounce the ideology that inspired the tragedy and stand up for equality, freedom, and justice for all.

    Urge your members of Congress to denounce the racism, anti-Semitism, and xenophobia that were at the heart of Charlotteseville’s events.

  • Urge Your Member of Congress to Protect SNAP!

    The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides basic food assistance for low-income families to combat hunger, food insecurity, and poverty. In 2016, SNAP lifted more than 3.5 million Americans above the poverty line, making it one of the government’s most effective anti-poverty tools.

    SNAP exists within the farm bill, legislation that expires every five years. The current bill is set to expire on September 30, 2018, and work has been underway for many months to draft the next farm bill.

    The House and the Senate each passed their own versions of the farm bill in June. The House farm bill undermines SNAP by imposing new barriers that make it harder for people to access the support they need to eat an adequate, nutritious diet. In contrast, the Senate bill protects SNAP, continuing to support the vulnerable Americans who rely on the program to help feed their families.

    The two chambers of Congress are currently negotiating an agreement bill. This process, called conference, will occur over the next few months. As the House and Senate negotiate, it is imperative that members of Congress hear from their constituents about the importance of SNAP and support for the Senate’s bipartisan bill.

    Urge your Representative and Senators to protect SNAP in the farm bill and support the millions of Americans who utilize this critical anti-poverty program.

  • Thank Your Senators for Defending Affordable Health Care

    Early in the morning on Friday, July 28, the Senate rejected the proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act by a 51-49 vote. The legislation would have substantially rolled back the enormous progress the ACA has made in the lives of millions of Americans. Thanks to the outcry of constituents like you, the Senate voted to protect access to affordable health care.

    Thank your Senator for voting against repeal of the ACA and urge them to work together in a bipartisan, transparent way to improve America’s health care system so that all people may access the medical treatment they need.

  • Defend Affordable Health Care!

    The Senate is currently debating the future of the American health care system. Senators will vote in the coming hours and days on various proposals to repeal or substantially undermine the Affordable Care Act. These plans are grave threats to the millions of Americans who have benefitted from the Affordable Care Act.

    Urge your Member of Congress to preserve the ACA and ensure millions of Americans maintain their access to health care.

  • Call Your Senators: Defend Affordable Health Care

    The Senate is currently debating the future of the American health care system. Senators will vote in the coming hours and days on various proposals to repeal or substantially undermine the Affordable Care Act. These plans are grave threats to the millions of Americans who have benefitted from the Affordable Care Act.

    Call your Senators and urge them to preserve the ACA and ensure millions of Americans maintain their access to health care. Fill out the form to access the talking points and call details to reach your Senators!

  • Defend Affordable Health Care!

    The Senate is currently debating the future of the American health care system. Senators will vote in the coming hours and days on various proposals to repeal or substantially undermine the Affordable Care Act. These plans are grave threats to the millions of Americans who have benefitted from the Affordable Care Act.

    Urge your Member of Congress to preserve the ACA and ensure millions of Americans maintain their access to health care.

    Contact your members of Congress and ask them to designate the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as a wilderness area. S.820 and H.R.1889, introduced by Senator Edward Markey (MA) and Congressman Jared Huffman (CA), would grant the highest possible protections to one of our world’s last true wilderness areas, protecting the local ecology and Gwich’in way of life.

  • Expand Gun Violence Protections for Victims of Domestic Abuse

    Although a high percentage of women murdered by a current or former intimate partner experienced stalking in the year preceding the murder, federal law allows convicted stalkers to possess and buy firearms. Moreover, though the law prohibits convicted domestic abusers from accessing firearms, it does not apply to dating partners. Loopholes also allow domestic abusers to access firearms. The result is that many victims of domestic abuse are particularly susceptible to gun violence. The presence of a gun in an abusive home increases the chance a woman is killed by 500 percent. 


    In the 114th Congress, legislation was introduced in both houses of Congress to close those loopholes. In the House of Representatives, Debbie Dingell (D-MI-12) and Robert Dold (R-IL-10) introduced the 
    Zero Tolerance for Domestic Abusers Act (H.R. 3130). In the Senate, Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced the Protecting Domestic Violence and Stalking Victims Act (S. 1520). The bills, which are identical except for their titles, extend domestic violence protections to include “dating partners” or others “similarly situated to a spouse,” and make it illegal for convicted stalkers to own guns.

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  • Tell Congress: Expand Judicial Discretion and Bring Needed Justice to Criminal Justice System

    There is a growing bipartisan consensus in Congress and throughout the country that mandatory minimums make our criminal justice system unjust. Not only does our system also displays deep racial disparities, on the federal level, half of all inmates are locked up for drug crimes. Many of these individuals are serving harsh mandatory minimum sentences that are disproportionate to the crimes they committed. There have been legislative proposals to reform sentencing and corrections, and the Obama administration issued guidelines instructing federal prosecutors to not seek mandatory minimums to ameliorate these challenges in lieu of system-wide reform.

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently revoked these guidelines, reinstating the high likelihood that offenders may face longer sentences that many have deemed to be unjust. Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR), along with Representatives Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Thomas Massie (R-KY) have introduced the Justice Safety Valve Act (S. 1127/H.R. 2435) in order to return discretion to federal judges in sentencing decisions. This bill would expand the safety valve, a tool judges can use to sentence offenders below the mandatory minimum in certain cases.

    Urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor the Justice Safety Valve Act today.

  • Urge Congress to Oppose Any Effort to Weaken or Repeal the Johnson Amendment

    For more than 50 years, a provision in the federal tax code has prohibited 501(c)(3) organizations, including houses of worship, from engaging in partisan politics. This crucial provision, known as the “Johnson Amendment,” has safeguarded the integrity of both religious institutions and the political process by protecting the separation of church and state. Any effort to weaken or repeal the prohibition on partisan politicking undermines synagogue’s independence and the First Amendment principle of religious freedom and must be opposed.

  • Tell Congress: Fully Fund State Department Office for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism

    On March 16, 2017, President Trump released his budget blueprint for Fiscal Year 2018. This document proposed cuts in a variety of vital government agencies, including a 28% cut to the State Department from FY 2017 funding levels. With such deep gauges to the State Department ‘s budget as proposed, funding for the Office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism is vulnerable. This position is crucial for documenting human rights abuses against Jewish communities abroad, and it also develops vital programs and policies to combat anti-Semitism. In documenting anti-Semitic incidents abroad, the Special Envoy has worked closely with foreign leaders to address anti-Semitism in their countries and also inspired the creation of similar offices around the world.

    Underfunding or fully cutting funds for the Office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism would signal to the rest of the world that the United States is abdicating leadership in this important area. Without this essential office, Jewish communities around the world will lose a crucial advocate and ally.

  • Call Your State Senators and Urge Them to Vote Yes on SB 54

    Call today and urge your State Senator to support SB54 the California Values Act, which protects the safety and well-being of all Californians by ensuring that state and local resources are not used to toward deportation and separating California families. This important bill is up for a vote in the State Senate on Monday, April 3.

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  • Defend Affordable Health Care!

    In the six years since the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), over 20 million Americans have gained health care coverage. Few laws in the last 50 years have positively affected as many people on a daily basis. Despite the outcry of opposition, the 115th Congress is considering repealing the ACA without a comprehensive replacement.  Urge your Member of Congress to preserve the ACA and ensure millions of Americans maintain their access to healthcare.

    In the six years since the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), over 20 million Americans have gained health care coverage. Few laws in the last 50 years have positively affected as many people on a daily basis. The 115th Congress is considering repealing the ACA and replacing it with a less comprehensive alternative.  Urge your Member of Congress to preserve the ACA and ensure millions of Americans maintain their access to healthcare.


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  • Tell Senators: Oppose Nomination of David Friedman for U.S. Ambassador to Israel

    President Trump has nominated David Friedman to be the U.S. Ambassador to Israel. Mr. Friedman has long been an outspoken voice on Israel-related issues, advocating for policies that would alter decades of U.S. policy toward Israel. This includes his support for a one-state solution and financially supporting West Bank settlements. While Mr. Friedman moderated some of his positions during his confirmation hearing, we simply can’t accept that Mr. Friedman’s suddenly altered views replace a long and detailed record that he has on Israel, both in his stated comments and his philanthropy. For these reasons, the Reform Movement opposes Mr. Friedman’s nomination.

    Urge your Senators to reject the nomination of David Friedman as U.S. Ambassador to Israel. 

  • Oppose Nomination of David Friedman for U.S. Ambassador to Israel

     

  • Call your Senators: Oppose Nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions as Attorney General

    On November 18, 2016, President Donald Trump nominated Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to be the 84th Attorney General of the United States. The Senate is expected to vote on Senator Sessions’ nomination in the coming days.

    As Attorney General, Senator Sessions would have great influence over many policy areas of key importance to the Reform Movement, including civil rights, religious freedom, women’s rights, LGBTQ equality and immigration. Senator Sessions’ record and his testimony at his confirmation hearing indicate that, as Attorney General, he would impede the Justice Department’s mandate to enforce crucial laws for which our Movement has advocated.

    As the full Senate vote approaches, it is crucial that we raise our voices in opposition to Senator Sessions’ nomination. Join Reform Jews around the country in calling your Senators, urging them to vote against Senator Sessions’ confirmation.

    Fill out the form to access the talking points and call details to reach your Senators!

  • Support Comprehensive Immigration Reform

    President Trump has announced plans to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Such a wall is a deeply misguided means of addressing the very real challenges facing our immigration system. Instead of myopically prioritizing border security alone, we need immigration policies that holistically fulfill our national security imperatives, meet the needs of employers and workers, and unite and strengthen families.

    Today, we face the enormous challenges posed by our nation's broken immigration system. More than ever, we need comprehensive reform of our immigration system. Over 11 million undocumented immigrants live in the shadows of our communities across the country. Families face up to decades-long backlogs in acquiring visas, workers are left without protections, and children are left behind as parents are deported. Comprehensive reform is based on streamlined processing, a commitment to obey the rule of law, payment of taxes owed, family reunification, and a path to citizenship. Urge your Members of Congress to swiftly introduce and adopt comprehensive immigration reform.

  • NFTY-TOR: Urge Texas Legislature to Oppose SB 6

    BACKGROUND:

    On January 5, Senate Bill 6 was introduced in the Texas legislature. This bill specifically targets transgender and gender nonconforming individuals by requiring people in government buildings and public schools to use the bathroom corresponding with the sex assigned to them at birth.

    Simply put, the issue of restrooms is being used to perpetuate a false narrative about a supposed threat posed by transgender people, particularly to women and girls’ safety. Studies repeatedly show that transgender individuals are more likely to be victims of harassment in public spaces, rather than its cause. We must reject this untrue and harmful rhetoric.

    Urge your state legislator to oppose SB 6.

    JEWISH VALUES:

    Judaism teaches that all human beings are created b'tzelem Elohim, in the Divine image (Genesis 1:27). The belief that the stamp of the Divine is present in all humans is fundamental to Reform Judaism and teaches us that we cannot tolerate discrimination against any person because of their identity.

    MORE INFORMATION:

    For more information, contact Eisendrath Legislative Assistant Max Antman at (202) 387-2800 or visit the RAC's LGBT Rights issue page

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  • Tell Congress Not to Curtail Women’s Reproductive Rights

    The House of Representatives is poised to vote on the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2017 (H.R. 7), a dangerous bill that severely threatens a woman's right to make decisions about her reproductive health. This bill would prevent women seeking needed health care from using their own private insurance money to pay for abortion services. Bans on taxpayer funding for abortion also deny women the right to deduct abortion services in their health care tax credit, infringing not only on federally-administered health care plans, but also on privately-run and paid-for plans. This legislation would incentivize many private health insurance plans to eliminate abortion coverage altogether, thus dramatically reducing women’s access to safe and affordable abortion services.

  • Protect DREAMers from Deportation

    Background:

    In 2012, the Obama Administration created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for DREAMers, the over 750,000 undocumented immigrants who grew up in the United States and who want to give back to society and raise their own families in the only nation they know as home.

    Now, as we transition to a new administration, participants in and applicants to DACA are in a vulnerable state. Their names and contact information are known to the federal government, and if the succeeding administration seeks to deport all undocumented immigrants as was stated during the campaign, the DACA program provides a robust list.

    The Bridge Act (S. 128/H.R. 496) is a bipartisan piece of legislation which would allow DACA recipients and those eligible for DACA to apply for “provisional protected presence” and work authorization for a three-year period. The bill would also impose restrictions on the sharing of information in DACA and provisional protected presence applications with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection for purposes of immigration enforcement. The Bridge Act does not offer a pathway to citizenship, but it does allow DREAMers the ability to work and participate in American society without fear of deportation.

    Jewish Values:

    Jewish tradition is clear on the treatment of immigrants. Leviticus commands, “When strangers sojourn with you in your land, you shall not do them wrong. The strangers who sojourn with you shall be to you as the natives among you, and you shall love them as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (19:33-34). This teaching permeates Jewish tradition and is echoed 35 times in the Torah – the most repeated of any commandment. Our own people’s history as “strangers” reminds us of the many struggles faced by immigrants today, and we affirm our commitment to create the same opportunities for today’s immigrants that were so valuable to our own community not so many years ago.

    MORE INFORMATION:

    For more information, contact Eisendrath Legislative Assistant Max Antman at (202) 387-2800 or visit the RAC's Immigration issue page. In addition to sending an email through our form above, you can also call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

  • Tell Senators: Oppose Nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions as Attorney General

    On November 18, 2016, President-elect Donald Trump nominated Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III (R-AL) to be the 84th Attorney General of the United States. If he is confirmed by the Senate, Senator Sessions would assume the new office after President-elect Trump’s inauguration on January 20, 2017.

    As Attorney General, Senator Sessions would have great influence over many policy areas of key importance to the Reform Movement, including civil rights, religious freedom, women’s rights, LGBTQ equality and immigration. His extensive record in public life has been one of insufficient commitment to the advancement of these issues.

    Reform Jews have been steadfast advocates for civil rights and equal protection for all people for over 50 years. Senator Sessions’ record and his testimony at his confirmation hearing indicates that, as Attorney General, he would stand in the way of the Justice Department’s mandate to enforce crucial laws that our Movement has advocated for.

    Urge your senators to oppose Senator Sessions’ nomination to be the next U.S. Attorney General.

  • Protect Access to Women’s Health Care!

    Women’s health care providers, including Planned Parenthood, are essential to providing critical services to women, such as breast cancer screening, birth control and preventative care. On Thursday, January 5, 2017, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced that the House’s budget legislation will end federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood provides affordable, quality preventive health care and treatment to 2.7 million people across the U.S. Speaker Ryan’s plan threatens the future of women’s health care nationwide.

    Urge your Representative to oppose this harmful plan and to support safe, legal and affordable access to women’s health care.

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  • Urge Congress to Pass Sentencing Reform

    Over the past 40 years, the American prison population has grown by 500%. Over two million Americans are currently incarcerated, and a disproportionate number are people of color. The explosion in the prison population has resulted in overcrowding, poor treatment of prisoners, and staggering costs for the public.

    In the 114th Congress, members from both sides of the aisle have come together in support of comprehensive reforms to our nation’s sentencing laws. The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 (S. 2123), the Sentencing Reform Act of 2015 (H.R. 3713) and the Corrections and Recidivism Reduction Act (H.R. 759) represented the most significant efforts at criminal justice reform in decades. Provisions in these bills would tackle the problems of mass incarceration and over-criminalization by reducing mandatory minimums for nonviolent drug offenses and granting judges greater discretion in sentencing decisions.

    The 115th Congress can act on this bipartisan consensus and demonstrate much-needed unity around urgent reforms to the criminal justice system. Urge your Representative and Senators to support comprehensive legislation to create fairer sentencing laws, improve prison practices and encourage successful reentry.

  • Urge Congress to Restore Voting Rights

    On June 25, 2013, the Supreme Court ruling in Shelby County v. Holder invalidated parts of the Voting Rights Act. In the aftermath of the Court’s misguided decision, many states have tested the extent to which they can legally limit citizens’ access to the ballot box, by introducing--and in many cases passing restrictive voting laws. 

    Urge your Members of Congress to support the passing of the Voting Rights Advancement Act (S. 1419/H.R. 2978), which would help restore protections against these restrictive voting laws.

  • Call Your Senator: Defend the ACA

    The Senate is currently debating the future of the American health care system. Senators will vote in the coming hour and days on various proposals to repeal or substantially undermine the Affordable Care Act. These plans are grave threats to the millions of Americans who have benefitted from the Affordable Care Act.

    Call your Senators and urge them to preserve the ACA and ensure millions of Americans maintain their access to health care. Fill out the form to access the talking points and call details to reach your Senators!

    In the six years since the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), over 20 million Americans have gained health care coverage. Few laws in the last 50 years have positively affected as many people on a daily basis. The American Health Care Act has been introduced to replace the Affordable Care Act, and would dismantle the enormous advances made by the ACA. The AHCA would deprive millions of coverage, and increase insurance costs for millions more. Urge your Member of Congress to oppose the AHCA and preserve the progress the ACA has made for millions of Americans. 

  • Oppose Divisive White House Leadership

    This week, President-Elect Donald Trump named Steve Bannon as White House Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor. In his roles as editor of the Breitbart website and as a strategist in the Trump campaign, Mr. Bannon was responsible for the advancement of ideologies antithetical to our values as Americans, including anti-Semitism, misogyny, racism and Islamophobia. There should be no place for such views in the White House.

    Urge your Members of Congress to oppose the appointment of Steve Bannon to a White House leadership position.

  • Urge Congress to Pass Sentencing Reform

    Over the past 40 years, the American prison population has grown by 500%. Over two million Americans are currently incarcerated, and a disproportionate number are people of color. The explosion in the prison population has resulted in overcrowding, poor treatment of prisoners, and staggering costs for the public.

    Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle have come together in support of comprehensive reforms to our nation’s sentencing laws. The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act (S. 2123) and the Sentencing Reform Act (H.R. 3713) represent the most significant efforts at criminal justice reform in decades. These bills would tackle the problems of mass incarceration and over-criminalization by reducing mandatory minimums for nonviolent drug offenses and granting judges greater discretion in sentencing decisions.

    With only a few weeks left in the 114th Congress, time is running out to act on this historic, bipartisan legislation and demonstrate much-needed unity around urgent reforms to the criminal justice system. Urge your Representative and Senators to support bringing S. 2123 and H.R. 3713 to a vote today.

  • Pledge to Vote 2016

    Rabbi Yitzhak taught, “A ruler is not to be appointed unless the community is first
    consulted.” – Talmud, B’rachot 55a

    The General Election will be held Tuesday, November 8, 2016. At stake are numerous local, state and federal offices and a number of issues of concern to American Jews. Pledge to vote and make your voice heard, and ask three of your friends to do the same. After you take the pledge, you will be directed to a page that will help you share it with others.

    PLEDGE HERE TO VOTE:

  • Oppose Taxpayer-Funded Discrimination in the NDAA

    Every year, Congress passes the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which sets defense policy and funds the Department of Defense. The NDAA for FY 2017, which is currently under consideration, contains a deeply problematic provision – known as Sec. 1094, or the Russell Amendment – that would authorize employment discrimination on the basis of religion using money provided through government contracts and grants. This is taxpayer-funded discrimination, and must be removed from the final version of the NDAA. Take action today to urge your Senators to adopt the NDAA for FY 2017 without the Russell Amendment.

  • Urge U.S. Leadership in Ending Syrian Conflict

    For six years, the Syrian conflict has raged, with an unimaginable human cost. Over 50% of Syrians have been forced to flee their homes, and hundreds of thousands of civilians have died as a result. The Assad regime has targeted airstrikes, chemical attacks, and sieges against noncombatants. Indiscriminate attacks against civilians in hospitals, schools, and supermarkets offend our shared humanity, and the U.S. has an obligation to take action as a global leader on human rights.

     

  • Demand Equality at Israel's Holiest Site

    Have you ever been promised something only to find out that your promise was not going to be fulfilled? Something so near and dear to your heart that you had been hoping for years would happen, and when it finally came true it was subsequently blocked by others?

    How would you feel?

    What would you do?

    Well, this has been happening to us, and we're asking you to do something about it.

    On January 31, 2016 the Israeli Government passed an agreement to create an egalitarian section at the Kotel. Since then, certain ultra-Orthodox parties have been working to prevent the agreement from implementation.

    Israel's Supreme Court recently declared the following: “Enough is enough. Stop the foot dragging on implementing what was already agreed upon.”

    We agree, and we’re asking you to speak up about it.

    Why is this important?

    1. The Kotel is a symbol of the Jewish State and for the Jewish People and we must ensure that there is a place for all Jews to come and pray.

    2. This will be the first time in history the Government of Israel will recognize the Reform and Conservative movements in an official capacity. Under the agreement, the egalitarian section will be administered by our movements effectively resulting in government recognition of the liberal movements.

    3. We believe that Israel must be a Jewish and Democratic state that champions the values of freedom of religion and pluralism.  A victory here will be an essential step in achieving that.

    What can I do?

    Fill out the form below to send a message to Prime Minister Netanyahu, President Rivlin, Speaker Edelstein, and Minister Bennett (your message will be emailed to all four simultaneously). You can customize the message or use the default message we have included. After sending your letters, please share this with your community and networks.

  • Pledge to Vote on Prop 57


    Tikkun Tikvah graphic
    On November 8, people across California will head to polling stations to vote in crucial state and federal races. There will also be a chance to weigh in on several state propositions. One of these is Proposition 57, also known as the Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act of 2016.

    If passed, this ballot measure would allow nonviolent offenders to earn time off for good behavior, pursue more rehabilitation options, and be eligible for earlier parole. Prop. 57 would also make a path for more teenage offenders go through the juvenile system with access to more rehabilitation programs rather than through the adult prison system.

    By pledging to vote Proposition 57, you will be a part of Reform CA’s Tikkun Tikvah campaign to restore hope, reform sentencing and engage voters in California.


    PLEDGE HERE TO VOTE YES ON PROP 57

  • Urge your Representative to Pass Sentencing Reform

    Over the past 40 years, the American prison population has grown by 500%. Over two million Americans are currently incarcerated, and a disproportionate number are people of color. The explosion in the prison population has resulted in overcrowding, poor treatment of prisoners, and staggering costs for the public.

    Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle have come together in support of comprehensive reforms to our nation’s sentencing laws. The Sentencing Reform Act (H.R. 3713) is one of the most comprehensive efforts at criminal justice reform in decades. H.R. 3713 would tackle the problems of mass incarceration and over-criminalization by reducing mandatory minimums for nonviolent drug offenses and granting judges greater discretion in sentencing decisions.

    Time is running out for Congress to act on this issue before the end of the year. Urge your Representative to support H.R. 3713 today.

  • AN Launch Registration

    On August 18 in Raleigh, NC, Movement leaders will gather to launch a non-partisan voter registration, get-out-the-vote, and voter protection effort that will continue across the country through November 8, Election Day. We are partnering with the NAACP, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the PICO National Network to do that work together. Here’s what you can do:

    • August 18-21, 2016: Join us in North Carolina or tune in online. At the invitation of NAACP President Cornell Brooks and Rev. William Barber, Reform Movement leaders will gather in Raleigh, NC to launch Atem Nitzaviim: Standing Up for Voter Protection and Participation. Hear from moving speakers, participate in valuable trainings and register North Carolinians to vote.
    • August – November 2016: Get out the Vote! With your congregation or as an individual, you can help get out the vote in your community.
    • Election Day, November 8, 2016: Protect the Right to Vote! Recent elections have shown that too often, eligible voters are turned away at the polls. Reform Movement congregants with legal expertise are encouraged to join the effort to protect the right to vote.

    For any and all information on Atem Nitzaviim, sign up below. We'll keep you updated about our launch in North Carolina, action opportunities around the country and ways you and your congregation can get involved.

  • Sit Together with NFTY to End Gun Violence

    Despite the historic sit-in staged by Members of Congress demanding a vote on gun violence prevention, the House of Representatives adjourned through July 5 without action.

    Send this petition to Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and demand that the House vote on gun violence prevention immediately upon reconvening:

  • Sit Together to End Gun Violence

    Despite the historic sit-in staged by Members of Congress demanding a vote on gun violence prevention, the House of Representatives adjourned through July 5 without action.

    Send this petition to Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and demand that the House vote on gun violence prevention immediately upon reconvening:

  • Urge Your Senators to Vote for Mandatory Background Checks

    On June 12, the largest and deadliest mass shooting in American history occurred at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. With 50 lives tragically lost, and 53 injured, there has never been a more important time to strengthen our gun laws. Though the Orlando gunman bought his gun legally, there remains much to be done to make guns less accessible to those who seek to do harm. A key step is to close loopholes in the background check system for people purchasing guns.

    While there is no evidence that the shooter was prohibited from having firearms, mass shootings generally happen more frequently in states that do not require background checks for all gun sales, which means felons and other prohibited people there can evade background checks and obtain guns in unlicensed sales. One Everytown for Gun Safety analysis shows that in states that require background checks for all handgun sales, including guns offered in unlicensed sales online and at gun shows, there are 52 percent fewer mass shootings.

    Soon, the Senate will vote to expand mandatory background checks to all firearm sales. It is imperative that you urge your Senator to support the Fix Gun Checks Act of 2016 (S. 2934) when it comes up for a vote. 

    Background: Currently, when someone purchases a gun at a store in the United States, a background check is conducted. The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) has been able to conduct background checks almost instantaneously since it was started in 1998, and has prevented hundreds of thousands of people who are prohibited from owning guns, from purchasing one. Unfortunately, a background check is not required for every gun sale in the United States, so many people are still able to legally purchase guns in places like gun shows or online even if they wouldn’t be able to in a store.

    The Fix Gun Checks Act of 2016 (S. 2934), introduced in May 2016 by Senator Schumer (D-NY), would expand Brady Background Checks to all gun sales (including those made at gun shows and online). It would also improve reporting of prohibited purchasers to NICS and require federal agencies to certify that they have provided appropriate records to NICS. Lastly, it would require gun owners to report their lost or stolen firearm(s) within 48 hours.

  • Submit a Comment to the CFPB on the Payday Lending Rule

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a proposed rule on June 2 that would regulate unethical and predatory payday lending practices. This rule requires all lenders to consider their customer’s “ability to repay” before issuing high-interest, short term loans, sometimes with interest rates exceeding 300%.

    The CFPB is asking for comments on their proposed rule. Submitting comments is very important to the process, not only to provide key feedback on the content of the rule, but also to encourage swift its implementation.

    Make your voice heard and submit a comment here!

  • Reinstate the Assault Weapons Ban

    Background:

    On June 12, the largest and deadliest mass shooting in American history occurred at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, with 50 lives tragically lost and 53 injured. As we continue to mourn the lives of those murdered, it is our collective responsibility to advance sensible gun-laws aimed at curbing future violence.

    Many guns that have been used in recent mass shootings, including one of the guns used in the Orlando attack, are military-style assault weapons that are designed to enable the shooting of mass numbers of bullets quickly and efficiently without reloading. When an assault weapon or a high-capacity magazine is used in a shooting, the number of victims who are killed, increases by 63%. Sadly, this is demonstrated by not only the most recent attack in Orlando, but by the violence in San Bernardino, Sandy Hook, Aurora and too many more places. It is time to make sure that these weapons are taken off our streets.

    The Assault Weapons Ban of 2015 (H.R. 4269), introduced by Representative David Cicilline (D-RI-1) would prohibit the sale, transfer, production and importation of 157 of the most commonly-owned military-style assault weapons. The ban extends to weapons that accept a detachable ammunition magazine, and that have one or more military characteristics. The ban would also prohibit large-capacity magazines and other ammunition feeding devices that are capable of holding more than 10 rounds. New magazines containing more than 10 rounds were banned under the Federal Assault Weapons Act of 1994, but became available again when Congress failed to renew the law in 2004. 

  • Urge Your Governor to Act on Climate

     The Clean Power Plan provides the first-ever national limits on carbon pollution from power plants, and aims to reduce emissions to 32% below 2005 levels by 2030. The Clean Power Plan has the potential to develop a clean energy economy, create new jobs and reduce health risks from carbon pollution.

    Under the Clean Power Plan, each state received different emissions reduction targets and were tasked with creating an implementation plan to reach those targets. Currently, the Clean Power Plan is being challenged by 28 states in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The Court heard oral arguments in September 2016 and we are still waiting on a decision. On March 28, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order calling for a review and rewrite of the Clean Power Plan. A coalition of 17 states and environmental groups filed a legal motion asking the Circuit Court for the District of Columbia not to pause ongoing court proceedings. Despite the uncertainty of the future of the Clean Power Plan,  we must work to ensure that despite legal challenges, states continue to create plans to reduce emissions from power plants.

    Urge your Governor to create an implementation plan that cuts carbon pollution from power plants in a just and sustainable way. 

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  • Protect People from Gun Violence at the Hands of Domestic Abusers