Reform Judaism is the largest denomination of the Jewish religion in the United States. Carrying forward the Jewish tradition of Tikkun Olam, helping to heal or repair the world, the Religious Action Center of the Reform Movement organizes and supports a wide range of social-justice programs, including The Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus Initiative for Immigrant and Refugee Justice.
The initiative focuses on five main goals:
- Organize Union for Reform Judaism congregations and youth programs to help them provide assistance for young immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, and their families.
- Activate and train Reform Jews to impact public policy on the federal, state, provincial, and local levels via a coordinated network.
- Educate the public and communicate about current issues related to immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.
- Provide micro grants to congregations and youth programs to act and advocate for young immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, and their families.
- Further expand the work of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (the RAC), which has long led the Movement’s immigrant and refugee justice efforts.
This initiative works with the RAC’s Legislative Action Center which posts and emails timely action opportunities (https://cqrcengage.com/reformjudaism/app/write-a-letter?0&engagementId=501485) (with geo-targeted digital forms) to help people quickly send their concerns or gratitude to their elected officials.
Volunteer Policies and Training: RAC volunteers are clergy, lay leaders of Reform Jewish congregations and individuals who have decided to make immigration justice one of their congregational or personal social justice action items.
The RAC’s website is set up so that any individual, Jewish or not, can find resources, sign up for email blasts, and follow their Legislative Action Center’s updates. In addition, once a year, the RAC holds a conference called the “Consultation on Conscience” which brings together Jewish congregational and communal leaders to build meaningful connections, learn and expand the skills needed for social change, and deepen their knowledge of critical issues facing their communities.
- Congregations can apply for the Gilbert & Eleanor Kraus Initiative’s Immigration Justice Mini-Grants. (https://rac.org/immigration-justice-mini-grants)
- Congregations who have signed on to the Brit Olam (A non-partisan covenant to create a world in which all people experience wholeness, justice, and compassion) continue their cohort calls for action on immigration justice.
- People are urged to send a message to Congress to cut funding for ICE and CBP. (https://cqrcengage.com/reformjudaism/app/write-a-letter?0&engagementId=501485)