JSPAN Newsletter -Spring Issue
- JSPAN Establishes New Policy Center on Aging
- Age Discrimination: Do Not Close Your Eyes
- JSPAN Communicates Support to DOL for Proposed FLSA Regs for Home Health Workers
- Op-Ed: Oppose Church Divestment from Israel
- Abington Township Passes Nondiscrimination Law 10-5; Becomes 28th PA Municipality to Ban Discrimination
- Pennsylvania Redistricting Up for Comment
- Exposing Political Myths of Today
- Save the Date! The 4th Annual LimmudPhilly Learningfest: April 27-29, 2012
- An Economic Recovery That Leaves Workers Further Behind
- 'Mad Men' Recap: Toning Down Michael Ginsburg, Don's Jewish Accent
- 'Mad Men' Gets (more) Jewish, Sandler Film Sets Razzies' Mark, Rihanna Getting into Kabbalah?
|JSPAN Establishes New Policy Center on Aging|
JSPAN announces the launch of its new Policy Center on Aging. The JSPAN Policy Center on Aging reflects the organization's commitment to the advancement of public
policy that combats ageism and improves the lives of older adults by fostering their ability to live healthy, engaged lives; by protecting their civil rights; and by
maximizing the quality of their lives and ability to enjoy independence. Under the leadership of Board Member Deborah Weinstein, Esquire and JSPAN Chair Brian
Gralnick, the new Center will analyze and address legislation and government policy in six key areas relating to aging: work, retirement, health, community
development, legal issues and services.
To learn more about the Policy Center on Aging, go to the JSPAN website by clicking here.
|Age Discrimination: Do Not Close Your Eyes|
As JSPAN formally enters the policy arena related to aging, this edition of the Newsletter appropriately includes the following article exploring the Jewish
imperative to concern ourselves with ageism and public policy related to aging. - Ed.
By Rabbi Ben Greenberg, Orthodox Jewish Chaplain, Harvard University
It began as a weekend job while in college, a way to earn a few extra dollars, but became much more. Every Friday morning for three years I boarded a Metro-North train from New York and journeyed to Connecticut where I served as a weekend rabbi in a Jewish nursing home. I led Shabbat services, taught a weekly class on the Torah portion, shared meals with the residents and what was initially a part-time position transformed into a radically eye-opening experience.
The residents of that nursing home taught me to see the world in a way that I have carried with me ever since my days there. They introduced me to how society infantilizes the elderly and makes them feel useless and unwanted. The residents of that nursing home had struggled, fought and persevered through World War I, the Great Depression and World War II and yet people half their age treated them as if they had no wisdom and no life experience to offer. Furthermore, they faced significant obstacles to finding employment in a work culture that favored the young over the old. This discrimination was pervasive in every sector of the work force.
|JSPAN Communicates Support to DOL for Proposed FLSA Regs for Home Health Workers|
Richard Malkin, MD, Chair of JSPAN's Healthcare and Bioethics Policy Center, recently wrote to the U.S. Department of Labor to communicate the organization's
support for proposed amendments to the Companionship and Live-In Worker Regulations. The proposed regulations would extend protections of the Fair Labor Standards Act
to many home caregivers not currently covered by the Act. After a comprehensive review by the Healthcare and Bioethics Policy Center, the JSPAN Board voted in favor of
support for the proposed regulatory change. Dr. Malkin's letter is posted at jspan.org. - Ed.
|Op-Ed: Oppose Church Divestment from Israel|
As described in the article below, at the upcoming United Methodist Church quadrennial General Conference and the meeting of the Presbyterian Church (USA),
resolutions will be presented as to whether to divest holdings from three American companies because of their business dealings with Israel. Approximately 1200
rabbis from across American Judaism have signed on to a letter letting the delegates know of the rabbis' opposition to divestment and why it is both immoral and
counterproductive. The signatories, from 49 states, include rabbis who are leaders of synagogue movements, rabbinical bodies, and seminaries affiliated with the
Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstructionist, and Reform movements. This tremendous effort was organized by Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and Jewish Council
for Public Affairs (JCPA) with support from the Israel Action Network (IAN) under the leadership of JCPA Vice-President Ethan Felson. Thank you to JSPAN Board Member
Ted Mann for bringing this to our attention noting that "when over a thousand Rabbis sign on to such a superb letter, it's news." The letter is posted at www.letterinhope.org. - Ed.
By Noam E. Marans
NEW YORK (JTA) -- As Christians and Jews gather during their respective Easter and Passover holidays, we should recall all that Jews and liberal Protestants in America share and have accomplished together. But pride in the past should not blind us to the danger that this relationship could be derailed by pernicious responses to the Arab-Israeli conflict within certain churches.
Hard-earned goodwill between quintessentially American religious groups may be undermined in a fleeting moment when unbalanced -- and ultimately meaningless -- divestment resolutions and overtures depicting Israel as perpetrating apartheid are introduced for a vote at national meetings of church bodies. At this time American Jews should turn to their Methodist and Presbyterian neighbors and communicate how central Israel is to their Jewish identity. They should explain how hurtful it is that, yet again, some leaders in the United Methodist Church -- at their general conference in April -- and Presbyterian Church (USA) -- at their general assembly in July -- will be calling for divestment and demonizing Israel.
|Abington Township Passes Nondiscrimination Law 10-5; Becomes 28th PA Municipality to Ban Discrimination|
In the April 5, 2012 issue of the JSPAN Newsletter, we announced JSPAN's support for passage of a then-proposed ordinance establishing a human relations commission
for Abington Township and prohibiting, inter alia, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, sexual identity and sexual expression. As reported below, a
majority of Abington Township Commissioners agreed and the ordinance has been passed. - Ed.
By Mischa Arnosky
Late last night, the Abington Township Board of Commissioners passed an ordinance that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, sexual identity or sexual expression. It also establishes a human relations commission.
The ordinance passed 10-5.
Commissioners Richard Gaglianese, Dennis Zappone, John O'Connor, Carol Gillespie and Peggy Myers cast "no" votes. Many in the audience burst into applause following the vote.
Dozens of residents spoke on the matter during the public hearing, which lasted about 2-and-a half hours.
|Pennsylvania Redistricting Up for Comment|
A new set of district maps for the Pennsylvania House and Senate was proposed on April 12, 2012, by the Legislative Reapportionment Commission. In response to the
Supreme Court of Pennsylvania's ruling in February in Holt v. LRC, the Commission proposed new maps with fewer divisions of counties and municipalities. These maps
are available at http://www.redistricting.state.pa.us/Maps/ A thirty-day period is provided
for members of the public to testify at a hearing or to file written comments with respect to the proposed maps. JSPAN is a member of a coalition of non-profit
agencies and individuals studying the newly proposed districts. We invite your comments and suggestions! - Ed.
|Exposing Political Myths of Today|
By Burt Siegel, JSPAN Board Member
Myths give comfort to people, groups and entire societies. Usually they confirm pre-existing notions and prejudices. Today an all-encompassing political debate is being waged over the belief, cherished by some, that a full economic recovery is prevented by "job killing governmental interference" of the Obama Administration, including "bail outs," extension of unemployment benefits, the proposed return of higher taxes for the ultra wealthy, and even efforts to reign in some more egregious excesses of the financial sector.
Politicians like to quote eighteenth century economist Adam Smith regarding the benefit of the "invisible hand of the market place." The problem is that Smith never once said or wrote that. While he did speak of the invisible hands that impact on economies, he was not an advocate of a system in which government totally absented itself from a nation's financial health. In fact, he observed "we find the workings of the vile maxim of the masters of mankind of all for ourselves, and nothing for other people deeply troubling." "The invisible hand," he wrote, "destroys the possibility of a decent human existence, unless government takes pains to prevent this outcome, as must be assured in every improved and civilized society. It destroys community, the environment, and human values generally."
|Save the Date! The 4th Annual LimmudPhilly Learningfest: April 27-29, 2012|
The 2012 LimmudPhilly Learningfest will be held on April 27-29, 2012, at Friends Select School, 17th & Benj. Franklin Parkway, Center City Philadelphia. LimmudPhilly
2012, a volunteer created weekend of learning and community, brings teachers of Yiddish, Jewish knitting, history and talmudic study together with learners from all
backgrounds to exchange ideas in a vibrant and kinetic environment. The program changes from year to year to reflect the passions of our volunteers.
Participants have the option to attend from Saturday night to Sunday or to join in for the entire weekend - - including Shabbat. The intimate Limmud Shabbat Experience runs from Friday evening, April 27th to Havdalah on April 28th. The day revolves around community, providing a relaxed schedule that includes not only numerous Limmud learning sessions but also ample opportunity to slow down and talk to your fellow Limmudniks, including a communal Friday night dinner and Saturday lunch. Limmud is for the whole family. Sunday's program is designed for ages 3-10 --YOUNG LIMMUD! For more information about the schedule, volunteer opportunities and registration, go to http://limmudphilly.org/.
|An Economic Recovery That Leaves Workers Further Behind|
By Harold Meyerson|
The Washington Post
April 10, 2012
Why is this recovery different from all other recoveries?
Many of the reasons are widely known: Rebounding from a financial crisis takes an excruciatingly long time; the huge decline in housing values has reduced Americans' purchasing power; large corporations are making do with fewer employees - at least, in this country.
But what really sets the current recovery apart from all its predecessors is this: Almost three years after economic growth resumed, the real value of Americans' paychecks is stubbornly still shrinking. According to Friday's Bloomberg Brief, "the pace of income gains is well below that of the past two jobless recoveries and real average hourly earnings continue to decline."
The Bloomberg report cites one reason for this anomaly: Most of the jobs being created are in low-wage sectors. According to Bloomberg, fully 70 percent of all job gains in the past six months were concentrated in restaurants and hotels, health care and home health care, retail trade, and temporary employment agencies. These four sectors employ just 29 percent of the country's workforce but account for the vast majority of the jobs being created.
|'Mad Men' Recap: Toning Down Michael Ginsburg, Don's Jewish Accent|
By Ami Eden|
April 9, 2012
The two-episode season premiere of "Mad Men" brought us Michael Ginsburg, the first Jewish employee at the advertising firm formerly known as Sterling Cooper. And the reviews -- OK, at least mine -- were harsh.
I'm happy to report that things were better in Episode 3. Whether Ginsburg is feeling more comfortable at work or the show's writers have gotten some shtick out of their system, the character felt less forced this week. (OK, he staged a holier-than-thou walkout and had a talk-too-much moment that could have gotten him fired, but that just tells you how bad last week was.)
He even gave us a line worth chewing on. After Don makes a crack about Ginsburg's voice, he responds without missing a beat: "It's a regional accent -- you have one too."
|'Mad Men' Gets (more) Jewish, Sandler Film Sets Razzies' Mark, Rihanna Getting into Kabbalah?|
By JTA Staff
April 3, 2012
SIX DEGREES (NO BACON) | JEWISH CELEBRITY ROUNDUP
NEW YORK (6NoBacon) -- Sunday night's episode of "Mad Men" introduced the world to Michael Ginsburg, Sterling Cooper Draper Price's first Jewish copywriter. Played by Ben Feldman, Ginsburg fills the first-generation Brooklyn Jewish stereotype: He is a quick-talking, disrespectful, creatively gifted joker who intimidates Peggy and charms Don Draper into getting the position.
Later he returns to his tiny apartment where his father, with a comically thick Yiddish accent, says the blessing over the children usually reserved for Friday nights in a voice required only by a professional cantor.
All of this played out in the same episode in which the company hires its first African-American employee, though zero character development occurred on that front.
|Your Opinion Counts|
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providing a perspective and service that you find informative and worth reading? Do you have comments on specific articles or items? Let us know what you think!
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First Vice President
Secretary & General Counsel
Policy Centers Chair
Chair of the Board of Directors
David S. Broida
Hon. Ruth Damsker
Rabbi Elliot Holin
Rabbi Robert Layman
Richard I. Malkin
Audrey Ann Ross
J. Sanford Schwartz
Rabbi David Straus
Rabbi Joshua Waxman
Alex Urevick Ackelsberg
Jill Katz Zipin
The newsletter contains articles and links to articles that we think will be of interest to
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