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Social justice is at the core of our Reform Jewish values - and though the work of tikkun olam can be difficult and the wins may seem few, it's important that we celebrate little victories along the way. As we're taught in Pirke Avot 2:21, "It is not incumbent upon you to complete the work, but neither are you free to desist from it.”
In that spirit, here are three recent social justice successes we're celebrating - and howeform Jews across the United States contributed to them.
Big news from Washington, D.C.! The first week in JUne, the House of Representatives passed the Dream and Promise Act (H.R.6). The only thing louder than the applause of members of Congress when the House passed the bill were cheers of DREAMers and holders of temporary protected status who looked on from the Capitol balcony.
After years of hard work, led by these immigrant communities, we are one step closer to a more just immigration system - and your advocacy played a critical role getting us to this point.
Since 2017, more than 100 congregations held Dream Act Shabbats to educate your communities, hundreds of you emailed your members of Congress this past month alone, and nearly 700 of you lobbied your Representative in Washington just weeks ago as part of the Consultation on Conscience.
The Dream and Promise Act, which passed with bipartisan support, would provide DREAMers — undocumented immigrant youth — as well as TPS and DED holders (two humanitarian forms of immigration assistance) protection from deportation and a pathway to citizenship. If this bill passes the Senate and is signed into law, it could help over two million people who call America home and are a vital part of our society.
Even as we celebrate, we know our work is not yet finished. Thank your Representative if they voted for the bill and urge your Senators to support DREAMers and TPS holders.
The Reform Jewish Movement has a long history of advocating for strong public schools. This helps make the passage of Texas House Bill 3, which provides more funding for our schools, such an exciting victory for the Texas Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC-TX).
It was a grueling five-month legislative session in Austin, but we know the passage of this comprehensive school finance reform bill will bring better quality and more equal education to all 5.4 million public school students in Texas. The measure’s passage also marks a clear victory for RAC-TX on our first area of focus.
Read more about this bill. It would not have been possible without our coalition partners, our leaders, and our supporters.
The Keep Illinois Families Together Act passed through both state chambers and is now on its way to the Governor's desk. H.B.1637 will prevent law enforcement from becoming deputized as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, and will literally "Keep Illinois Families Together!"
Yasher koach to RAC-IL, our supporters, and our partners at the Campaign for a Welcoming Illinois on working together toward this important piece of legislation.
Thank you for your commitment to social justice. Together, we are working to create a world of wholeness, justice and compassion.