The California Supreme Court’s May 15th marriage ruling caused a historic response on the part of leaders of PJA and three other Jewish Bay Area community organizations. We have joined together to form Kol Tzedek (Voice of Justice), a coalition for justice and LGBT rights. In addition to the PJA, Kol Tzedek members include Congregation Sha’ar Zahav, Jewish Mosaic: the National Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity and the LGBT Alliance of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, Sonoma and the Peninsula.
Kol Tzedek began our work together by creating a vocal supportive presence at San Francisco’s City Hall on the first day that marriage licenses were issued to same sex couples. We came equipped with a chuppah (marriage canopy), a ketubah-like document marking the historic moment and signed by nearly 200 people present, and wedding cake to celebrate with couples.
Our next goal is to mobilize the Jewish community against Proposition 8 which is on this November’s ballot. Prop. 8 would amend the Californian Constitution so that only marriage between a man and a woman would be valid in California. We will outreach to rabbis, organize community forums, and coordinate Jewish phone banking events throughout the Bay Area over the next three months, all in an effort to influence the Jewish community’s vote and public impact. The phone banking will take place every Thursday night in September and October from 6:30 to 9 PM at varying locations.
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See below for a complete list of all of our upcoming actions:
- Hold several community gatherings in collaboration with the Jewish Community Relations Council to address the Jewish community’s responses to Proposition 8.
- Organizing “Jewish Nights” of phone banking to call potential voters who are “on the fence” and advocate for their vote against Prop. 8. These will take place every Thursday in September and October (expect Yom Kippur) at a variety of locations throughout the Bay Area from 6:30 to 9 PM (in collaboration with the ACLU of Northern California).
- Gathering signatures of at least 125 Northern California rabbis for a clergy statement supporting the right of same-sex couples to marry (in collaborations with Los Angeles based Jews for Marriage Equality, who will gather 125 signatures in Southern California).
- Reaching out to rabbis in the Central Valley with encouragement to support the efforts against Prop. 8 and providing them with supportive materials, and Bay Area rabbis and same-sex couples who can speak at their synagogues.