1. Universal Background Checks for all gun sales2. Ban on Assault Weapons and High Capacity Magazines3. Investments in Mental Health and Public Health Support4. Targeted investments and Approaches from Federal Government in Urban Cities most impacted by gun violence.
Jan 31, 2013
Healing the Soul of America from Gun Violence: Lifelines to Healing Clergy Statement @PICOnetwork #nowisthetime
#bendthearc: Speak Out on Gun Violence! Interfaith Call-in day is Feb 4th! @piconetwork #nowisthetime
This has been an eventful week in our campaign to prevent gun violence. Yesterday, I attend the Senate Judiciary Committee's first hearing on changes to our gun laws. The hearing was very moving and included a JCPA friend former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, her husband Captain Mark Kelly, and NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. Several bills have been introduced and we have joined a broad range of organizations in a national coalition to focus our efforts.
Yesterday we also launched the start of the JCPA's Twitter campaign urging the Senate to #VoteOnGuns. While yesterday's hearing is an encouraging sign, an actual vote on the comprehensive approach we all have called for is uncertain. If you use twitter, join us and a coalition of other national organizations to tweet at Senators Patrick Leahy (@SenatorLeahy) and Chuck Grassley (@ChuckGrassley), Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, urging them to move quickly and ensure a #VoteonGuns.
There are other ways to stay involved as well. Join Elyssa Koidin, our Deputy Policy Director, Domestic Concerns for a lobby day on the Hill to build support for two bills. Support us virtually by supporting Senator Dianne Feinstein's effort to end access to military-style assault weapons and high capacity magazines and Senator Frank Lautenberg's bill to ban high capacity ammunition magazines holding more than ten rounds. It is easy to join us, by clicking here.
Also, you can also take part in the February 4th Faiths Calling call-in day to Congress. Sponsored by the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, this project is a way of showing the faith community's unity and commitment to preventing gun violence. It is pretty easy, just call 1-888-897-0174 on Monday, February 4. More details can be found at www.faithscalling.org.
As always, I encourage you to continue to stay informed through our Facebook page and encourage others to sign the petition at www.endgunviolencenow.org
Jan 30, 2013
Please take a minute to watch Gabby Giffords' powerful speech, and then call on your members of Congress to take action to end gun violence.
Jan 29, 2013
Rabbis: Contribute a Reflection for the forthcoming new collection: "Peace in Our Cities: Rabbis Against Gun Violence"
Contributions (700-1000 words) in the form of Drashot, Essays, and personal Stories/Reflections should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by Feb 8th.
WashingtonPost "Diverse clergy group launches effort to curb urban violence" @piconetwork #nowisthetime
WashingtonPost.com: "Diverse clergy group launches effort to curb urban violence" @piconetwork #nowisthetime
Jan 28, 2013
for more Gun Violence Resources, click here.
Rabbi Eric Yoffie on #Haaretz: "Dear Prime Minister Netanyahu: U.S. Jews are fed up with not being valued"
Dear Prime Minister Netanyahu: U.S. Jews are fed up with not being valued
In your post-election Knesset speech, address directly the Reform and Conservative majority of American Jews - the heart of our Jewish family and the core of Jewish support for Israel – and who are finished being understanding and patient while Israel’s official representatives offend them and denigrate their religious practices... (read more here)
Jan 27, 2013
(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor
for more Article and Resources on Gun Violence, click here
My response to Gun Violence is not a rejection of the unfortunate need for arms as a matter of self-defense. I reject the willing embrace of violence.
As Martin Luther King Jr. put it, in the final sermon he would ever deliver, Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution:
“It is no longer a choice, my friends, between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or non-existence.”1) I reject the NRA-backed US legislation precluding a national gun-registry. (see Jon Stewart's satirical analysis here).
2) I reject the sale of semi-automatic guns provided by businesses like Walmart & Big 5 for the absurd claim that they are 'hunting' guns. As Rev. Gary Hall put it:
"I don’t want to take away someone’s hunting rifle but I can no longer justify a society that allows people other than military and police to own weapons like these,” he said, pointing to a display of weapons that would be banned under the proposed bill, “or permits the sale of high-capacity magazines designed with the purpose of simply killing as many people as possible."3) I reject the revisionist interpretation of the Second Amendment of our Nation's Constitution from its protective collective intent into radical individualism. As Rev. Wil Gafney and Jon Pahl recently put it:
"A pressing issue emerging from our contemporary interpretive context not present in the originating is the nature and kind of "arms" to which the people - again collectively, not individually - have a right. We are no longer talking about muskets. And since the general citizenry does not form the basis of a militia or army charged with the security of the nation they do not have a Constitutionally enshrined right to military-grade arsenals."These are attainable ethical guidelines, common-sense parameters. Rabbi Aaron Alexander said it well:
"As a rabbi writing for those who live their lives with the Torah as a guidepost, know that I do not advocate Jewish gun owners simply giving up their weapons. I do, however, advocate keeping them in the hands of those expertly trained to a) use them, b) store them safely and c) use them only when there is a clear and necessary purpose."I ask those ready to disagree with what I have written: please do not see the widespread and growing response to Gun Violence as "anti-gun." I opened this post with a comment with an observation about self-defense. I formed and will pursue my position because the Torah teaches that the rules that govern our lives are for the purpose of preserving life (Lev. 18:5).
I beg of you: Let us work together to protect every life.
Jan 25, 2013
Film Screening & Discussion
with Director Yoav Potash
Netivot Shalom, Berkeley
Jan 27th, 6pm screening, 7:30pm discussion
$5 requested donation
In 1983, Deborah Peagler, a woman brutally abused by her boyfriend, was sentenced to 25 years-to-life for her connection to his murder. Twenty years later, as she languished in prison, a California law allowing incarcerated domestic-violence survivors to reopen their cases was passed. Enter a pair of rookie land-use attorneys convinced that with the incontrovertible evidence that existed, they could free Deborah in a matter of months. What they didn't know was the depth of corruption and politically driven resistance they'd encounter, sending them down a nightmarish, bureaucratic rabbit hole of injustice. The outrageous twists and turns in this consummately crafted saga are enough to keep us on the edge of our seats. Meanwhile, the spirit, fortitude, and love all three characters marshal in the face of this wrenching marathon is nothing short of miraculous. We fall in love with the remarkable triumvirate as they battle a warped criminal-justice system and test whether it's beyond repair.
Jan 24, 2013
Read The Article and The Comments Here: -- http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/lapid-let-conservatives-and-reform-in-loosen-rabbinates-control/2013/01/24/
Jan 23, 2013
Forward.com: Yair Lapid, Israel's Rising Star, Is Still Great Unknown in Washington
Newcomer Lived in L.A., But Has Scant Ties to Establishment
By Nathan Guttman
Published January 23, 2013 - http://forward.com/articles/169830/yair-lapid-israels-rising-star-is-still-great-unkn/?p=all#ixzz2IqXQ07Tr
Few in America have a close acquaintance with Yair Lapid, Israel's new political kingmaker and a top contender for the post of foreign minister in a new Israeli government soon to be formed.
Lapid, who emerged as the nation's new political star, winning 19 Knesset seats in the January 22 elections, has spent time working in the United States and has taken on the issue of religious pluralism in Israel, a topic dear to many American Jewish activists. But he is still a great unknown, especially to policymakers and analysts trying to assess his views on the Middle East and the Israeli – Palestinian peace process.
Lapid is no stranger to Washington, although he had little contact on issues relating to foreign policy. He attended the 2012 policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, but spoke about his book rather than about policy. Lapid also visited Washington several times when his son spent a semester in the city.
Perhaps his most important point of contact for American politics is Mark Mellman, a top Democratic pollster and political strategist. Mellman worked on Lapid campaign in Israel and was praised in the Israeli press for his contribution to the successful campaign.
In 1997, after leaving a lucrative position as host of a popular entertainment show on Israeli TV, Lapid moved to Los Angeles, where he took on a job as head of New Regency Films' TV division. The offer was made to Lapid by Israeli-born Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan, who was a close friend of Lapid's late father, Yosef (Tommy) Lapid. Milchan had taken on the young Lapid as his protégé and Lapid later credited the time he spent with Milchan for his good English, which could now come in handy as a top Israeli cabinet member.Less than a year moving to Los Angeles, Lapid decided to return to Israel. In his book Memories After my Death, a posthumous biography of his father, he recalls making the decision after hearing of the March 1997 terror attack in a Tel Aviv cafe his father used to frequent. "I remembered this was your coffee shop," he told his father on the phone from Los Angeles. "Yes, I just left before it happened," Yosef Lapid replied. After a short pause his son announced: "I'm coming home."
In 2008, Lapid returned to Los Angeles as a keynote speaker at a star-studded event honoring Milchan. In his speech (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILBc4NTN9GE&feature=player_embedded) he thanked Milchan for "the many things we don't know" about his work for Israel, apparently hinting to the movie producer's rumored ties with Israeli intelligence services.
Yair Lapid's ties with the American Jewish community began to take shape last year, after he announced his intention to enter politics and upon publicly taking on the issue of religious pluralism in Israel. "We saw him as someone who has this issue on his radar and wanted to build a relationship with him early in the game," said Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Assembly. The group invited Lapid to speak at their conference last May, and Lapid, though already in full campaign mode, agreed to make a 24 hour visit and attend the Rabbinical Assembly conference in Atlanta. By the time he landed in the U.S., Lapid had learned that Prime Minister Netanyahu, in a last-minute political maneuver, called off the early elections.
In his speech (http://www.rabbinicalassembly.org/story/yair-lapid-rabbinical-assembly-convention) Lapid touched on all the right chords. He told the crowd of Conservative rabbis they are "the last line of defense that believes that Judaism shouldn't be the jailhouse of ideas, but the liberator of ideas," and promised to do all in his power "to make it feasible to women, Conservative or Reform, to pray at the wailing wall, wearing their prayer shawls." Lapid also argued that "the majority of Israelis are actually Conservative, they just don't know it." "We look forward to working with him on these issues," said Rabbi Schonfeld, who described the leader of Yesh Atid party as "a very bright, possibly brilliant charismatic individual."
Ties Lapid forged with members of the American Jewish community throughout the years proved helpful when he embarked on his political career. In just one month in 2012, Lapid raised nearly $30,000 from American Jewish supporters and Israeli expatriates living in the United States. One of the notable donors is leading Jewish philanthropist Michael Steinhardt.
Jan 22, 2013
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