Apr 30, 2012

New Adult Class: People, God, and Whirlwinds: Wisdom from the Book of Job

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People, God, and Whirlwinds: Wisdom from the Book of Job
with Rabbi Menachem Creditor 
Tuesday nights: May 29; June 5, & 12 7:30pm
at Congregation Netivot Shalom, Berkeley
Tuition: $60 for the series, no one turned away for lack of funds
Register with Rachel at office@netivotshalom.org

The story of Job asks the question of human suffering in a reality that includes God. This is among the hardest of issues within every faith-based conversation. Join a text study based on the Book of Job, utilizing Netivot Shalom member Robert Alter's translation "The Wisdom Books" (W. W. Norton & Company, 2011), available at Afikomen Judaica. (Please call to reserve your copy 510-655-1977!)

On the 10th Anniversary of my Rabbinic Ordination

On the 10th Anniversary of my Rabbinic Ordination
7 Iyyar, 5772 -- April 29, 2012
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor
grateful for my holy shul, Congregation Netivot Shalom

Judaism contains the phrase "acharon, acharon, chaviv / we save the dearest for last." But here at Netivot Shalom we are a community that believes fervently in both tradition and change. And so, in the best embodiment of our community, I challenge inherited tradition and begin by thanking the dearest person in my life.

I remember under the chupah being described as a kite who aches to touch the heavens. The stunning person next to me was described as an anchor. That was deeply true. It was also completely inadequate. I am blessed, more than by anything else, to share life with the strongest, most trustworthy, person I know. That's Liz, my anchor. That's what I knew I needed when we got married, almost 13 years ago. But I could never have known that i was also in need of a kite myself, as even the highest-flying of kites can become stuck in the ground now and then. It can take irrepressible humor and an incalculable amount of power to lift my kind of kite when I'm grounded. My life partner is everything I'll ever need and infinitely more than even she knows herself to be. My heart has been overflowing through the gifts she has brought into our life, not the least of which is our precious children who are blessed themselves to have a warrior of a mother to admire and emulate. I ask you to help me in acknowledging my "Ir Miklat / my safe place", my kite and anchor, my precious Liz. 

To those who made tonight the incredibly overwhelming experience it's been, I am simply humbled by the honor you've paid me by supporting our community in with such grace and skill.

To Michael Tarle and April Oldenburg: I don't know what I did right to merit becoming family with you both. We've shared learning, an Israel trip, a mission to Washington, DC on behalf of our homeland, and in less than a month, I get to stand under your chupah as you marry. The countless hours you have poured into this event are only matched by the immeasurable love i have for each of you, and for you both. Thank you for tonight.

To Dan Schifrin, Josh Kornbluth, Charlene Stern, Hannah Dresner, and Lisa Zeiler: imagination pulses through your hearts and pervades our friendships.  You make my creative juices flow and I am in the Presence of God when I am in yours. My heart sings (and so does my mouth!) even more because of what you are to me. Thank you for your gifts tonight, and for your priceless friendships.

In my work on behalf of our community, I have been blessed to serve with a cadre of volunteer leaders who passionately give of their skills, their time, their money, and their spirits to help sustain and further the mission of Netivot Shalom. The board this past year has acted heroically to bring us from fearing for our future to enthusiastically and successfully ensuring it. Our current president, Mel Sibony, is the face of the dedicated members who are leading our shul into the future. Thank you for this year, and for every year.

Though they likely would ask me not to mention them, I cannot but express my gratitude to Al and Connie Weissman, and Julie and Michael Weissman/Steinbaugh. Al and Connie flew in from New York to share this event with all of us. Their family's multigeneration commitment to Netivot Shalom since its birth, and especially this past year, has challenged and inspired us to emerge stronger than ever before, and their dreams for the shul we must continue to become are a goal I commit to helping us fulfill. Thank you for your love and friendship, and for traveling so far to share this moment.

And to my colleagues: Every day we give everything we have, and then some, to actualize a sacred dream entrusted to us. I thank Lisa, Lauren, Rabbi Shalom and Rachel for being here tonight to support our community, and for sharing the incredible work we do day in and day out. All of us and the staff we oversee, are entrusted with coordinating a staggering amount of detail and programming. And it works. It soars. And that is true because each of you embodies a work-ethic no one could afford to pay for. Trust me! And it is my privilege to work with you. Any honor afforded me is a reflection of the team we are. Thank You for every day.

If I could offer the briefest of reflections on what it feels like to have been a rabbi for ten years, it is this: I am so in love with being Jewish, I am so in love with the Jewish People, I am in so in love with People, I am so in love with the world, and I am so in love with God. I am intoxicated by life. I am fueled by my awareness of the fragile nature of every one of those things. I am fueled by the worthy urgency of everything that matters. All of that has only increased every year I've been a rabbi. All of it.

I am an amalgam of every thing and every person I've ever encountered, beginning with the wisdom of my precious parents sheyibadlu lechayim / may they be blessed by many years of health and life. Without the model of their lives, I would never be where I am today.

These ten years have been intense blend of people, moments, and experiences. I have buried many people. I have succeeded and failed many times. I have married people, blessed people, mourned with people, celebrated with people. I get to live what Rabbi Yitz Greenberg calls an intense life and what Lisa Gershony calls, as she watches my comings and my goings, a "24/7 purposeful life." And I love it.

Yes, being a rabbi can make a person tired every once in a while. But I've found that as soon as I retreat a bit to recharge, all the possibilities in the next moment draw me right back with enthusiasm and renewed energy. I remember my pre-rabbinical school interview with my teacher Rabbi Bill Lebeau at the Jewish Theological Seminary. He asked me why I wanted to be a rabbi, and all I could say in that moment was "I can't not be a rabbi." He smiled. And now, sixteen years later, I'm smiling too. I'm smiling because, despite a perhaps unconventional theology, I know to my core that I'm called to do this holy work.

Ten years of rabbifying. I can't believe it's been ten years. But I've been a rabbi 7 weeks less than I've been a father, and both journeys just fly by. Five years, so far, sharing the most special synagogue in the world. I can't believe it's been five years. But I became rabbi of Netivot Shalom eleven days after my youngest child was born, and both journeys have expanded my heart beyond any capacity I could have imagined.

I recently reread the remarks I shared upon being installed as rabbi of Netivot Shalom. What I said then has become even truer over time. This is what I said on that ecstatic day:

What makes me happiest is that, despite my public role, here at shul my family is a family just like any other, joyful to be with our community, a community that spans every generation and starting point. We are a holy community that celebrates each other unconditionally. Jews and non-Jews call this holy place home. We celebrate our diversity of race, the spectrum of sexuality, the incredible blend of spirituality and personality each of us brings. There is no prerequisite to being part of our community here at Netivot Shalom. I was, for my whole life, a rabbi's child always looking for a sacred home to call my own. Today I am rabbi of that very sacred home. I am your rabbi. And I am home. I will work with all my heart, all my soul, and all my might to live up to the intimate and lofty dreams we share. We can make it happen. And we must. I stand before you humbled, my precious community. I am proud to be your rabbi. I am humbled be your rabbi.

When I considered what to say tonight, I remembered the words spoken by the actor Geoffrey Rush in "The King's Speech." He said: "My job was to give them faith in their own voice, and let them know that a friend was listening."

That's my job too. An often-quoted teaching from Pirkei Avot is: "Aseh lecha Rav ukneh lecha chaver / find a teacher for yourself and gain a friend." But I'm here to tell you that ten years as a rabbi has taught me that you can read that teaching either way and end up blessed. I've gained friends, and only through those friendships have I become a rabbi. I am here to give you faith in your own voices, voices I crave to hear and sing with. I am here because I love to listen as much as I love to be heard. I am here because, when it comes down to it, I love all of you. I can't not. I don't know how not to. I am called to love you, and my heart knows it has found its home in our community.

May we only grow in health and peace together, proud to together be a holy community known to the world as Congregation Netivot Shalom.

May the things we do as a shul add holiness and peace to the world.

May we never stop dreaming and doing everything necessary to propel that dream with passion and strength.

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha'Olam, Shehechiyanu veKiyemanu veHigiyanu laZman haZeh.

My friends, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Apr 24, 2012

Tomorrow (Wed., Apr 25): "Ma Nishma Israel?!" Free Playback Theater performance @6pm @Netivot Shalom!

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Ma Nishma Israel?!
JCP's Playback theater performance

Join us tomorrow for a Free Playback Theater performance in honor of Israel independence day.
Cosponsored by Congregations Netivot Shalom, Beth Israel, & Beth El  
at Netivot Shalom (1316 University Ave, Berkeley)
with support from the CNS VeZot Yisrael Committee!
Wednesday, April 25th
 
6:00-7:15pm: Jewish Circle Playback Theater Presents: "Ma Nishma Israel?"
Ma Nishma Israel is a Playback theatre performance dedicated to conversation about the state of Israel. Audience members are invited to share personal stories and associations are related to their connection to Israel. Personal stories about: conflicted emotions, longing, connection, inspiration, disappointment, Jewish identity, values, community, peace, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, hope, freedom of speech, home and family. 
What is Playback Theater? Playback Theatre is an improvisational theatre based on audience members' stories. The actors and musician will transform these stories into theatrical scenes using movement, ritual, music, and spoken improvisation. The audience tells, the actors perform!


One People, Many Voices! Kol Truah in Concert at Congregation Netivot Shalom! May 6th, 3:00 pm


One People, Many Voices
Kol Truah in Concert 

at Congregation
Netivot Shalom!
May 6th, 3:00 pm 
OneVoice

KOL TRUAH

Jewish Choir of the East Bay

 PRESENTS

One People, Many Voices

A celebration of Jewish Diversity and Unity

 

   Featuring the music in Ladino,Yiddish, Hebrew, and English. This program celebrates the diversity and unity of our people, through music and poetry   

 

CONDUCTED BY

April Shayna McNeely

 ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Cantor Pamela Sawyer

 So come and join us!

  May 6 at 3:00 PM.

Congregation Netivot Shalom

1316 University Ave., Berkeley

 

Tickets available at the door

$10 general, $5 seniors, children free

 


Apr 22, 2012

letter to J Weekly in response to "Peter Beinart waves the Zionist flag in JCCSF talk" (April 20)

Thank you to J Weekly editor Sue Fishkoff for a textured description of Peter Beinart's Zionism ("Peter Beinart waves the Zionist flag in JCCSF talk", April 20). There is more than one way to love Israel, and Beinart has staked an important distinction between his liberal Zionism and the anti-Israel efforts we all-too-often confront in the Bay Area. Thanks to his precision and passion, and thanks to high-quality reporting from Fishkoff, our conversation has grown in richness, and we have gained an important model for what just might be the most important conversation happening today for the sake of the Jewish People.

Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Congregation Netivot Shalom
Berkeley, CA

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Rabbi Menachem Creditor

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Apr 20, 2012

Berkeley Community-Wide Yom haZikaron and Yom Ha'atzam'ut 5772

Berkeley Community-Wide Yom haZikaron and Yom Ha'atzam'ut 5772

 

Cosponsored by Congregations Netivot Shalom, Beth Israel, & Beth El

At Netivot Shalom (1316 University Ave, Berkeley)

Click here for the flyer - http://tiny.cc/yomhaatzmaut5772

 


7:15-8:00: Commnal Ceremony Marking Yom haZikaron

 

8:00-8:45: Celebratory Ma'ariv(s) for Yom haAtzmaut!

1.       According to the Custom of Beth Israel: Social Hall (1st floor)

2.      According to the Custom of Netivot Shalom: Sanctuary (1st floor)

 

8:45-9:30:

-       How Well Do YOU Know Israel? Israel Trivia

Trivia with Lenny Kristal (Sanctuary – 1st floor)

 

-       Becoming Necessary: The Potential Gifts of the Diaspora to Israel

A conversation facilitated by Rabbi Avi Novis-Deutsch (Classroom – 2nd Floor)

 

-       Some of My Favorite Israeli Songs!

A sing-along with Claire Sherman (Library – 2nd Floor)

 

Coming Early?

6:00-7:15: Playback Theater Presents: "Ma Nishma Israel?"

Ma Nishma Israel is a Playback theatre performance dedicated to conversation about the state of Israel. Audience members are invited to share personal stories and associations are related to their connection to Israel. Personal stories about: conflicted emotions, longing, connection, inspiration, disappointment, Jewish identity, values, community, peace, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, hope, freedom of speech, home and family.

 

What is Playback Theater? Playback Theatre is an improvisational theatre based on audience members' stories. The actors and musician will transform these stories into theatrical scenes using movement, ritual, music, and spoken improvisation. The audience tells, the actors perform!

 

 


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Rabbi Menachem Creditor
To join Rabbi Creditor's email list, send a blank email to thetisch-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.
Check out my new album"Within" on itunes!

Apr 19, 2012

Yom HaShoah veHagevurah 5772: "Stop. Then Go."


Stop. Then Go.
(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Yom HaShoah veHagevurah
27 Nissan, 5772 // April 19, 2012

 

yom hashoa

I found it hard to breathe during last night's communal commemoration of Yom HaShoah veHagevurah.  And when I woke this morning, it wasn't any easier.  I tried to conduct the business of starting my day, but couldn't pull away from my computer,where image after image held my soul fast, pulling me deeper and deeper into the experience of holocaust and of heroism. Two images were most intense. One was generated by Yad Vashem in Israel, with an older man standing alone while his shadow reflects the boy he once was and the family he lost. I have no words and can barely type as I feel myself in that shadow somehow.

 

 The second image was not simpler, but it both took my breath away and then forced me to breathe once again. In Israel, every year, Yom Hashoa is punctuated nationwide by a two minute siren. It doesn't matter where you are, who you are, or what you believe. People in email labs stop typing and rise, people shopping stand still - even traffic on the highway stops and people exit their cars when they hear the wail of the siren. The country stands still. Someone posted the video online today (click the picture below).

Holocaust Remembrance Day Siren
Holocaust Remembrance Day Siren

 

I suddenly realized I hadn't been breathing. 

 

Watching my family get back into their cars on an Israeli highway pushed me out of my silence and back into life. It occurred to me that the Torah of the State of Israel in this moment was that there is no such thing as mundane. Everything can be holy. Time and place can be set aside, because even an Israeli highway can be a portal to time and memory, a shadow of where we've been and what we've endured.  


I pray our family remain safe, everywhere around the world. May we engage in the work we are called to do, not missing the moments that demand of us that we stop and pay attention. Sometimes we should stop. But then we are called to go.

 

As we say to each other before embarking on a journey, may we come in peace, and go in peace. May every Jewish journey, touched by the shadows of our past, also be filled with enormous life and light. 




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Rabbi Menachem Creditor
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Check out my new album"Within" on itunes!


JTA: "Israel’s Masorti movement to ordain gays and lesbians as rabbis "

JTA: "Israel's Masorti movement to ordain gays and lesbians as rabbis"

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Gay and lesbian students will be ordained as Conservative rabbis in Israel.

The Board of Trustees of the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary voted Thursday night to accept gay and lesbian students for ordination beginning with the 2012-13 academic year. The Conservative movement in Israel is known as Masorti.  

A seminary statement said the decision comes following a "long process."

"The Schechter Rabbinical Seminary views the serious process leading to this decision as an example of confronting social dilemmas within the framework of tradition and halachah," or Jewish law, Hanan Alexander, chair of the seminary's Board of Trustees, said in the statement. "This decision highlights the institution's commitment to uphold halachah in a pluralist and changing world."

Students are ordained by a beit din, or rabbinical court, made up of three members of the Rabbinic Advisory Committee of the seminary, all of whom are members of the Rabbinical Assembly of the Masorti/Conservative movement. The beit din members are chosen by the candidate and subject to the approval of the seminary's dean. They have different opinions regarding the ordination of gay and lesbian students, according to the seminary. 

"This unique mechanism is an expression of halachic pluralism, one of the founding principles of SRS," the seminary said in its statement. "The Seminary is a religious institution of the Masorti/Conservative Movement, bound by Halacha, whose inclusive approach allows for a variety of Halachic opinions."


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Rabbi Menachem Creditor
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Do You Have an incoming Eighth Grader Looking for a Truly Remarkable Summer Experience with other Jewish Teens from Across the Country?

Do You Have an incoming Eighth Grader Looking for a 
Truly Remarkable Summer Experience 
with other Jewish Teens from Across the Country?

USY is able to provide a $500 scholarship for USY on Wheels East! See below for more information and call David Kaplan, Regional Director for USY for more information at (408) 892-2732!

USY on Wheels East

A Summertime Adventure for 8th Graders

USY on Wheels, East will cover the East coast of the United States and Canada on an incredible four-week adventure in Summer 2012.

Open to current 8th graders, highlights of the program include*:

Toronto ☺ New England ☺ Cape Cod ☺ Disney World ☺ Washington, D.C. ☺ Savannah, GA ☺Philadelphia ☺ Kennedy Space Center ☺ Touro Synagogue ☺ Hockey Hall of Fame ☺ Quincy Market ☺ Howe Caverns ☺ Virginia Beach ☺ Norfolk Naval Base ☺ Nashville Zoo ☺ Great Lakes Science Center ☺ and more!

  • Click here to read more about the day-to-day activities for this group during the Summer of 2011.
  • Click here to download a sample itinerary for USY on Wheels, East.
  • Click here to read Frequently Asked Questions about USY Summer Programs.

-- 
David Kaplan
Director of Youth Activities, New Frontier USY & Kadima
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
1316 University Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94702
Mobile: (408) 892-2732
E-mail: DKaplan@uscj.org
Facebook: NewFrontier USY
Twitter: newfrontierusy

CALENDAR OF EVENTS 2011-2012
April 29: Spring Kadima Day- Yom Great America! - Click here to REGISTER NOW!!
May 17-20: USY May Convention - Redwood City, CA Click here to REGISTER NOW!! 

62nd USY International Convention
Boston--December 23-27, 2012


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Rabbi Menachem Creditor
To join Rabbi Creditor's email list, send a blank email to thetisch-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.
Check out my new album"Within" on itunes!


Apr 17, 2012

American Rabbis to Methodist Church: Don't Divest!

 Register for Plenum

Methodist Church Farm Bill
Have you Registered for Plenum?
Join the JCPA and experts like Israel Ambassador Michael Oren in Detroit this May
Have you registered for the JCPA Plenum? When you do, you will be joining experts such as Ambassador Michael Oren – the first Israeli Ambassador to the United States to visit the Motor City in decades.  Amb. Oren will offer his insights about Israel's challenges, the U.S-Israel relationship and community based Israel advocacy.

Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, will speak about what is on the Congressional docket including the upcoming reauthorization of the Farm Bill.  This large piece of legislation governs important programs like SNAP (formerly food stamps).

Together with accomplished Jewish communal professionals like Ruth Messinger, president of American Jewish World Service, John Ruskay, CEO of the UJA-NY Federation, and young and innovative Jewish activists from Detroit, we will discuss inspiring the next generation of Jewish youth to become tomorrow's leaders.

We will explore the Jewish stake in private and public education, balancing community building with our concern for the separation of church and state, with experts Dr. Jonathan Sarna, Professor at Brandeis, Marian Stoltz-Loike, Dean of Lander College for Women/The Anna Ruth and Mark Hasten School, Touro, and Ted Kirsch, President of the American Federation of Teachers Pennsylvania.

And with the 2012 elections on upon us, Ron Kampeas, JTA Washington Bureau Chief, William Daroff, Vice President for Public Policy and Director of the Washington Office of JFNA, Richard Foltin, Director National Legislative Affairs at the American Jewish Committee, and Rabbi Amy Eilberg, Chair of the JCPA's Civility Committee, will discuss Judaism's approach to civility and its role in this year's campaign.

These are just a few of the exciting sessions we have planned, including others on preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons, stopping mass atrocities around the world and the social equality debates in Israel.

American Rabbis to Methodist Church: Don't Divest
Rabbi Steve Gutow, President of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, joined more than 1,200 American rabbis in signing a letter that is being sent to United Methodist Church delegates. The letter opposes an anti-Israel divestment resolution being considered at the Methodist Church's quadrennial General Conference which opens next week in Tampa, Florida.

Delegates at the Conference are expected to debate a resolution calling for divestment from three companies for their sales to Israel. Additional proposals of concern under consideration are support for an embargo of goods made in settlements and an endorsement of the controversial Kairos Palestine document. The Presbyterian Church (USA) will vote on similar divestment resolutions when it meets two months later.  The PCUSA will also consider a resolution labeling Israel as an apartheid state.

"A letter signed by so many Rabbis demonstrates the breadth and depth of the American Rabbinate's commitment to the finding a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; something which cannot be achieved through divestment," said Gutow. "I am privileged to join my colleagues from all fifty states, leaders from the Conservative, Reconstructionist, Reform, and Orthodox movements, rabbinic groups and seminaries, and some of the most influential Jewish thinkers and theologians of our time.  There is a clear rabbinic consensus - divestment efforts will tear the fabric of our interfaith relationships and undermine ongoing efforts for efforts."

The Rabbinic letter spells out the profound concern of the signatories about the one-sided nature of the divestment proposals, which "shamefully" paint Israel as a pariah nation. "For Jews, the use of economic leverages against the Jewish state is fraught with inescapable associations," the letter states. "They resonate in the Jewish consciousness with historic boycotts against Jewish companies and the State of Israel…policies that knowingly tap into the deepest fears and pain of another is, in our tradition, a serious failure of relationship."

It also spells out a commitment to a negotiated two-state solution, which includes Palestinian state building and economic development, programs of reconciliation, understanding of multiple narratives, humanitarian aid and other areas where collective action is needed to help foster peace. Divestment, the note explains, runs in opposition to these goals and "is more likely to encourage those with extreme aims" - and is so contentious that it "drowns out the real conversation about how to end the conflict."

"At a time when politics in general have become so divisive, here and abroad, our efforts should be aimed toward reconciliation," the letter continues. "Together and independently, Christians, Jews, and Muslims must give the parties to the conflict the confidence they need to move toward peace."
SNAP and the Farm Bill
Debbie Stabenow, Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee will talk about the Farm Bill at the JCPA Plenum in May
Both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees are poised to take up the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) legislation in the coming weeks. Next week the Senate is expected to unveil language for the Farm Bill reauthorization, including language on the funding of SNAP. It is rumored that a potential $4 billion cut to SNAP could be included in the Agriculture Committee's proposed language. The House of Representative's Agriculture Committee is expected to consider budget legislation that could make a $33.2 billion cut to SNAP over ten years.

The JCPA is following both of these pieces of legislation closely and working hard to advocate on behalf of hungry families and protect SNAP.

April 17, 2012
in the news
Making Words Real About Hunger: John Ruskay, executive vice president and CEO of UJA-Federation of NY looks at Rabbi Gutow's Food Stamp Challenge in his call for each of us to better understand hunger. 
Earth Day Heralds New Environmental Network: COEJL is excited to announce that the Nathan Cummings Foundation and the Morngingstar Foundation have awarded $65,000 to start a collaborative Jewish environmental movement. 
Decrying Food Stamp Cuts: Faith in Public Life highlights the op-ed by JCPA's Rabbi Steve Gutow and MAZON's Abby Liebman in their roundup of responses by clergy and lawmakers to plans to cut SNAP. 
happening now
Virtual Vigil for Equal Treatment and Opportunity: Next week, the Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments on Arizona's controversial anti-immigration law. Join people around the country for solidarity events. 
House Proposes Food Stamp Cuts: This week, the House of Representatives rolled out budget cuts that would reduce SNAP (food stamps) by $33.2 billion over 10 years. 
Hunger Hits Home: The Food Network is airing a first-of-its-kind documentary on childhood hunger presented in partnership with Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign. As we advocate for SNAP, learn more about who's helped. 

Take Action to Protect Women: Call on Seantors Reid and McConell to schedule a vote on the bipartisan Violence Against Women Act Rauthorization


Mother's Day Flower Project: When you buy a card for your Mom from JWI, you will also be helping their work for the 45,000 women and children spending Mother's Day in a battered women's shelter this year. 

about us

The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) is the united voice of the organized Jewish community.

For more than sixty years, the JCPA has identified issues, formulated policy, developed strategies and programs, and given expression to a strongly united Jewish communal voice. JCPA's has an unparalleled capacity to mobilize grassroots activism, through our network of 14 national and 125 local member agencies. The JCPA serves as a catalyst that heightens community awareness, encourages civic and social involvement, and deliberates key issues of importance to the Jewish community.
  


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