The work of RJV is directed by a Steering Committee of committed volunteers from across our state. We are currently seeking nominations for new Steering Committee members. Please nominate yourself or another individual with a passion for social justice work who can help RJV grow as an effective voice for Reform Judaism and advocate for social justice. If you wish to nominate another person for the Steering Committee, please discuss this with your nominee and assess her or his willingness to serve before submitting her or his nomination.
In addition to the federal elections happening this November, the Governor, Lt. Governor, State Comptroller, Attorney General and state legislators in New York State are also up for reelection. Further, New Yorkers will also be asked to consider three ballot measures:
- Creating an independent panel to redraw state legislative district lines every ten years
- Permitting electronic copies of bills instead of requiring paper versions for the legislature
- Authorizing a two billion dollar Bond Act to support technology updates in schools
The 2014 legislative session ended this summer with little action on some of RJV’s priorities. At our Advocacy Day in May, we focused on the ten-pronged Women’s Equality Act, campaign finance reform, and an education tax credit for private and sectarian schools. (more…)
Register for Advocacy Day (Monday, May 5, 2014)
This year, we will be speaking with legislators about the Women’s Equality Act and expressing our disappointment over the failure of the NY DREAM Act and meaningful campaign finance reform. To be prepared on Advocacy Day, read up on the issues here:
Tuesday is National Equal Pay Day–the day in 2014 when women’s salaries catch up to men’s earnings from 2013. That’s right–over fifteen months of work for one year’s pay! Women head more than 1,000,000 households in New York State, and more than 63% of working mothers are primary breadwinners or co-breadwinners.
The Women’s Equality Act (A.8070) would close loopholes in our state’s equal pay laws which allow employers to still pay women less than their male colleagues.
Reform Jewish Voice of New York State invites you to join us on Monday, May 5th in Albany for our annual Advocacy Day!
You will have the opportunity to hear from legislative leaders, become a policy expert, delve into the Jewish values driving our social justice work, meet other New Yorkers passionate about tikkun olam and spend time talking with legislators about RJV’s policy priorities. Be sure to check out our wrap-up of Advocacy Day 2013!
“We understand that hunger is a huge issue that cannot be fixed easily. It is a multi-faceted problem and millions of Americans across the country struggle with every day. That is why we want to start small, and advocate for immediate change in New York.”—A NFTY-NAR teen advocating for anti-hunger programs.
Not enough people take the time to engage in the political process—but on Tuesday, the halls of the Legislative Office Building in Albany were teeming with students, parents, union members, lobbyists and over 40 teens from NFTY-NAR. (more…)
In 2010, nearly 2.8 million New Yorkers lived in poverty—14% of all New Yorkers—and 12.4% of residents struggled with food insecurity. In Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester and Albany, poverty rates are above 25% and over 2.3 million residents statewide rely on emergency food assistance annually. In response to the incredible and immediate need for food assistance in New York, RJV has identified protecting anti-hunger programs as one of our policy priorities this budget season. (more…)
Originally posted on January 29, 2014 on the Times Union by Rabbi Matt Cutler of Congregation Gates of Heaven in Schenectady. Rabbi Cutler is a member of the RJV Steering Committee. Click here for more on women’s equality.
It was a roller-coaster couple of days for women’s rights.
First, let’s applaud the New York State Assembly for passing the women’s equality agenda again. It might seem like old news – they did this a few months ago. But it didn’t become law—the 10-pt plan did not pass the Senate and I am skeptical it will pass this time around. Back in December, the senate broke down the plan into 10 different pieces of legislation; the one ensuring reproductive rights did not pass. As a result, this 10-point plan, which is an important piece of legislation, failed to come into being. Why not accept 9 out 10 points? Forgive me if this comes across as crass or sexist, but– a woman is not a sum of her parts, she is the total package!
It amazes me that in this day and age, we are still debating about women’s equality in our society. Isn’t it rather pathetic that we can’t pass this legislation in our own state, while many of us chastise foreign governments for not guaranteeing similar protections to women in their country? How can we not have these laws on our books? (more…)
Albany, N.Y., January 9, 2014: In response to Governor Cuomo’s State of the State address on January 8, 2014, RJV Co-Chairs Barbara Zaron and Jennifer Jaech issued the following statement:
Reform Jewish Voice of New York State (RJV), the Reform Movement’s social justice advocate in New York, sees the Governor’s State of the State message as a mixed bag.
On the positive side, we enthusiastically supported enactment of marriage equality and the minimum wage measures that the Governor spearheaded. We lauded the Governor’s continued commitment to the entire 10 point Women’s Equality Agenda and to Campaign Finance and Ethics Reform, two priority issues on our advocacy agenda going forward. We are members of the Women’s Equality and the Fair Elections coalitions to advocate for such legislation. (more…)