The Jewish Reconstructionist Federation extends condolences to the victims of Saturday’s shooting in Tucson, Arizona, and their families. Our entire community is deeply saddened by the events that took place, and we wish a full recovery to all the victims who are still in the hospital, including Representative Gabrielle Giffords.
“Representative Giffords is a good friend to the Jewish community, and we applaud all her good work,” said Robert A. Barkin, EVP of JRF. “This tragedy has affected many lives, and we encourage everyone to keep the victims and their families in their thoughts and prayers.”
Christina Taylor Green, 9; Dorothy Morris, 76; Arizona Federal District Judge John Roll, 63; Phyllis Schneck, 79; Dorwin Stoddard, 76; and Gabe Zimmerman, 30 were all killed in the shooting.
Our own tradition reminds us: "In the event of suffering, we fall silent and pray for mercy." - Bavli Berakhot 62a. We pray for Congresswoman Giffords' complete healing and the families of the injured and bereaved.
Click here to send condolences to the families of the shooting victims.
Click here to send “Get well” wishes to Representative Giffords.
Special Alert: Worst Fire in Israel’s History
One of the worst fires in the history of Israel has now been extinguished. Forty-two people died. The Carmel Hospital was evacuated. Families had to flee their homes. Foresters and IDF soldiers fought the blaze side by side with the Israel Firefighters, every one of whom was mobilized to combat the blaze.
“This disaster represents a fire of unprecedented proportions for the people of Israel and presents an enormous challenge for Israel’s Fire and Rescue Services,” said Shimon Romach, Israel’s Fire Commissioner. “While we are strongly committed to confronting this with all our country’s available resources, the scope of this incident means our rescue services are in need of support from the international community at this time.”
12/22/2010 11:00:00 AM
Let there be power
Adat Shalom first local shul to get solar panels
Staff Writer, The Washington Jewish Week
Who needs Pepco when the sun's powerful solar rays beam down gratis on Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation? read more »
President Barack Obama signed a landmark law Wednesday, Dec, 22, 2010, repealing the ban on gay men and women serving openly in the military, fulfilling one of his major campaign pledges and casting the issue as a matter of civil rights long denied. The new law ends the 17-year-old policy that forced gay, bi-sexual and lesbian persons to hide their sexual orientation or face dismissal.
The Jewish Reconstructionist Federation has been on record in support of full equality of rights and opportunities for gay men and lesbians since 1984, when our partner seminary, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, began admitting openly gay and lesbian applicants. The Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association passed a resolution supporting GLBT rights in 1990 and civil marriage equality in 2004, and the RRA rabbis manual includes same sex wedding ceremony templates. For resources on GLBT inclusion see http://jrf.org/GLBT-Inclusion. read more »
The Jewish Reconstructionist Federation is once again enthusiastically joining Jewish communities, organizations and individuals from around the world in celebrating a month of social action and Jewish unity. The Hebrew month of Heshvan – which generally falls in October through November– has been again declared Jewish Social Action Month (JSAM). read more »
A CALL TO OBSERVE SHABBAT NOACH, OCTOBER 9-10,2010, AS THE SECOND ANNUAL "GLOBAL CLIMATE HEALING SHABBAT"
The Jewish Reconstructionist Federation, as well as leaders and organizations of many other streams of Jewish life, have endorsed a call to focus Shabbat Noach on October 9-10, 2010 as Climate Healing Shabbat. The Torah passage for that Shabbat lends itself to focusing on the danger of destruction of life on our planet, and also on the actions we need to take to prevent destruction and preserve the web of life in which the human race has emerged and created civilization.
We urge congregations to bring sermons, prayer, song, poetry, midrash, resolutions, invitations to public officials, etc., to focus on this issue.
The international observance of "Global Climate Healing Shabbat Noach" is a prelude to the crucial United Nations conference on the climate crisis scheduled for December, 2010.
Click here for JRF resources as part of COEJL's Guide (http://www.coejl.org/shabbat_noach.php) to materials from the North American Jewish Green Chevre network of organizations for Shabbat Noach 5771read more »
We at JRF stand in support and solidarity with our Muslim Sisters and Brothers during this 2010 celebration of the Holy Month of Ramadan and including the celebration of Eid al-Fitr, the festival at the end of Ramadan, which this year coincides with the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania, as well as the start of the Jewish High Holy Days and Rosh HaShanah. This coincidence of events, particularly the proximity of Eid al-Fitr and the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks presents very specific challenges. read more »
Pakistan has been affected by the worst floods in living memory. 13.8 million people have been displaced by the floods in Pakistan and 6 million of these require immediate help according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The floods have severely affected all of the provinces of the country and the magnitude of the devastation dwarfs other recent natural disasters. The millions who have been displaced were living at or below the poverty line and whatever little possessions and assets they had have been washed away, and their crops destroyed by the flood. The public infrastructure in the region - including access roads and bridges - have been badly damaged or have collapsed. There is a desperate need for temporary shelter, clean drinking water and toilets to avert a public health catastrophe. People also need basic goods and essential medical care. read more »
The annual Fighting Poverty with Faith mobilization focuses on addressing root causes of poverty and ensuring that all who live in the United States have access to opportunities to prosper. We as reconstructionist Jews join the moral authority and organizing power of the faith community to make it a national priority to meet the needs of those living in poverty. This mobilization utilizes the strength of the coordinated faith community to move individuals and communities to action and advocate for clear, immediate policy solutions to address the causes and consequences of poverty.
For millions of Americans, safe and decent housing is unaffordable and unavailable. The faith community cannot stand idly by as too many of our neighbors are forced to make impossible choices among necessities such as food, rent, and medicine. We recognize the importance of decent shelter as a core necessity to overcoming poverty and will educate our communities about this issue and work to increase the supply of and expand access to housing for low income families and individuals. The Fighting Poverty with Faith 2012 mobilization, “Building Opportunity through Affordable Housing for all,” will focus on protecting and strengthening access to safe, decent, and affordable housing during the week of action from November 8 – 18, 2012.
Please use this website to learn about the mobilization and find programming and advocacy resources for your community. We hope you will join us in our fight against poverty. Please see the 2012 letter attached below on this page and consider signing it and participating. (see http://fightingpovertywithfaith.com/). read more »