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News/Policy | Jewish Social Policy Action Network


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Speaking Sense to Power

JSPAN has a new energy policy and action program.

Five core principles guide JSPAN's new energy policy:

  • We encourage everyone to be gentler inhabitants of the planet.

  • We strongly advocate energy conservation programs, including mandated standards and technologies.

  • We seek global stability and strive to reduce our reliance on foreign fuels, especially from unstable areas of the world.

“At the heart of the Jewish narrative is the belief that we were put on this earth to make a difference.”

Lawrence Rubin talks to JSPAN membersDr. Lawrence Rubin, Senior Scholar, National Center for Jewish Policy Studies, addressed JSPAN at its September 21st meeting honoring Burt Siegel. His talk focused on the deepest rooted theme in the narrative of the Jewish experience in America - the tension between the desire to seize the opportunity provided by America and the commitment to preserve our cultural and religious distinctiveness forms.

Burt Siegel Receives First JSPAN Social Justice Award

Burt Receives AwardOn Wednesday September 21, 2005, JSPAN presented longtime community activist Burt Siegel with its Social Justice Award. Burt, Director of Community Relations for the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, is a nationally recognized community relations and public policy expert. The award honors Burt for 35 years of dedicated service to the Jewish community and the community at large where he has worked tirelessly to bridge differences among diverse ethnic and religious groups.

Tributes honoring Burt poured in from Senator Arlen Spector, Governor Ed Rendell, Senator Vincent Fumo on behalf of the Pennsylvania Senate, Representative Daylin Leach on behalf of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, U.S. Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, Philadelphia Mayor John Street, and the Montgomery County Commissioners.

'Minimum Wage Hike Needed Now' JSPAN Tells PA Senate Panel

Rabbi Holzman and Jeffrey Pasek before the CommitteeOn Tuesday, Sept. 6, Rabbi Michael Holzman and JSPAN President Jeffrey Pasek appeared at hearings before the Senate Labor and Industry Committee on a proposal to raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage. As the only organization from the Jewish community to testify, JSPAN urged the Senate panel to boost the minimum wage on both economic grounds and out of a sense of moral urgency.

Katrina Relief

By now you have probably made at least one donation to the Hurricane Katrina relief effort, but as news of the devastation of Hurricane Katrina continues to unfold, JSPAN urges you to consider making a second contribution. Of course, if you haven’t yet contributed, there is no better time to do so than now. We are pleased to share with you links to relief efforts organized by various Jewish groups and by the American Red Cross.

The Children of Darfur Surviving Genocide

The African American Museum in Philadelphia together with The Darfur Alert Coalition The Western Sudanese Association The Genocide Intervention Fund and The Sudan National Rally Present
An Exhibit of drawings done by the youngest survivors depicting what they experienced in Darfur

JSPAN's position on the hearings for Judge John G. Roberts

On more than one occasion, as members of a minority community, Jews in America have come to depend upon the Supreme Court of the United States to preserve, protect, and defend our Constitutional rights. We are, therefore, especially concerned with the appointment of the next Justice to the highest court in our land. As Americans, we expect and deserve the appointment of a Justice who will work tirelessly, fairly, and impartially to assure that the rights established in the Constitution and more than two centuries of judicial precedent are preserved, protected, and defended in the years ahead.

JSPAN’s Energy Committee invites comment...

Energy Committee members and our panel of experts are conferring on an energy policy and action program for JSPAN. Our volunteer experts include David Barasch, Esq., ex-Consumer Advocate of Pennsylvania, Dr. Denny Ellerman, senior lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Prof. Martin Zimmerman of the University of Michigan Ross School (examine the curriculum vitae of our outstanding energy experts at www.mwn.com/attorneys/baraschd.html; http://www.sloancf.mit.edu/vpf/popup-if.cfm?in_spseqno=30&co_list=F; and www.energycommission.org/commissioners/commissioner7.cfm.) The need to discuss and advance energy policy is not changed a lot by the President’s success at getting an energy bill through the Congress. Our experts advise that the new Energy Bill is better than no bill – but not by much. So we have several fresh policies and initiatives under consideration for JSPAN.

Open letter to Members of the Pennsylvania Legislature about the Death Penalty

Below is an open letter from JSPAN to the State Senate and House of Representatives of Pennsylvania along with a copy of a speech by New York Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol, a former prosecutor and the chair of the New York State Assembly Committee on codes, about why he changed his position from that of a long-time supporter to an opponent of the death penalty.

Ask Congress to Protect Food Stamps

JSPAN has joined several local and national groups in signing on to this JCPA letter to Congress, encouraging them to protect the Food Stamp Program against budget cuts and damaging structural changes. Please feel free to print out a copy of this letter for your personal use. For a printable view, please click here.
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