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Published on October 13, 2014, by in RJV.

voting booth; American flagsWith the General Election soon arriving on November 4, it is important that we learn about candidates and the issues that matter most to us to be the most informed voters we can be. As Jews and American citizens we have an obligation to participate in the elections to ensure that our country’s policies at the local, state and national levels reflect our
commitment to social justice. Every vote counts and plays a defining role in setting policy agendas. Rabbi Yitzhak taught, “A ruler is not to be appointed unless the community is first consulted” (Talmud, B’rachot 55a). These elections are a critical opportunity for our communities to be consulted.

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Published on October 1, 2014, by in RJV.
In response to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s executive order expanding the living wage law across the five boroughs, Reform Jewish Voice of New York State Co-Chairs Rabbi Jennifer Jaech and Barbara Zaron released the following statement:

We commend Mayor de Blasio for helping raise the living wage for many more New York City workers. Not only does the Mayor’s executive order signify an important step towards a living wage for all employees in the five boroughs, it also closes important loopholes in existing laws that had excluded some workers from wage increases.  We hope that Mayor de Blasio’s actions inspire other leaders in New York and across the country to take similar, much needed action to raise the minimum wage to a living wage. New York’s actions should also serve as an important example to members of Congress who have been unwilling to advance legislation to raise the national minimum wage.

In Deuteronomy 24:14-15, we are taught “You shall not abuse a needy and destitute laborer… but you must pay him his wages on the same day, for he is needy and urgently depends on it.” The Talmud goes even further, stating, “One who withholds an employee’s wages is as though he has deprived him of his life” (Baba Metzia 112a). These values of fair wages and economic justice are reflected in Mayor de Blasio’s executive order – ensuring that hardworking residents of New York City may provide for their needs and those of their families.Raising the minimum wage to a living wage strengthens not just the workers who depend on it, but also their families and communities.

 

 
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Published on September 15, 2014, by in RJV, URJ.

People's Climate March on September 21 Statue of LibertyThe Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis have joined as partner organizations supporting the People’s Climate March in New York City on Sunday, September 21. Representing our Movement in New York State, we are hoping for a large turnout of Jewish social justice advocates to speak out on the importance of immediate action on climate change.

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Published on September 4, 2014, by in RJV.

On Tuesday, September 9 is Primary Day in New York State. No matter for whom you vote, it is critical to make your voice heard! Learn more about key issues in New York this election season from RJV.

The New York State Board of Elections has key information on voting and who is on the ballot on Tuesday. You can also double check the location of your poll site!

Also, remember that New York State requires voters to be registered at least 25 days prior to an election—there is no same-day voter registration. (more…)

 
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Published on August 20, 2014, by in RJV.

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.

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Published on August 20, 2014, by in RJV.

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:

  1. Creating an independent panel to redraw state legislative district lines every ten years
  2. Permitting electronic copies of bills instead of requiring paper versions for the legislature
  3. Authorizing a two billion dollar Bond Act to support technology updates in schools

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equalpaydayTuesday 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.

We need your help to send a loud, clear message: New Yorkers should not have to wait another year for stronger equal pay protection! (more…)

 
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RJVNY-advocacy-day-banner

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!

Register now!