October 2015


JSPAN Newsletter - October 2015

Jewish Social Policy Action Network
In this Issue:
Newsletter: October 2015
American Democracy Challenged: Political Gridlock and What We Can Do About It


The sudden resignation of John Boehner as Speaker of the House is but the latest example of how Congress is increasingly in the thrall of a loud minority and bedeviled by knee-jerk resistance to compromise. This November JSPAN is providing opportunities to learn how this has come about—and what we can do about it. On Sunday afternoon, Nov. 8, former Congressmen Tom Davis (R, Virginia) and Martin Frost (D, Texas) will come to Philadelphia to share historical insights and suggestions for corrective action, based upon their many years in leadership positions and now compiled into a book, The Partisan Divide: Congress in Crisis, with a preface by David Eisenhower who will introduce the speakers. Join us again on Nov. 22 for follow-up workshops on redistricting and gerrymandering.


[read more] [Register here]


Board Meeting: Meet Seth Goren
By Edward Hoffman

For this month's installment of his column, "Board Meeting," JSPAN Board member Ed Hoffman introduces you to fellow Board member Rabbi Seth Goren, Director, Repair the World: Philadelphia. Repair the World, whose CEO is David Eisner, is a national organization dedicated to making service and volunteering an integral part of Jewish life. Having grown up in Erdenheim, and been a happy camper at Camp Ramah, Seth is now a father himself of a ("great") four-year old daughter.


[read more]


Don't Miss: Jewish Labor Committee's "Fighting for A Living Wage in Pennsylvania" with Sen. Daylin Leach
living_wage_flyer 2


JSPANers Refine Community Organizing Skills With "Don't Kvetch, Organize!" Course Sponsored by JOIN
"Don't Kvetch, Organize!" is a new, innovative online and in-person course in community organizing with a Jewish bent. Sponsored by JOIN for Justice (Jewish Organizing Institute and Network), this intensive course, informed by Jewish tradition and history, focuses on using community organizing to build a more just world. Board members Marc Stier and Rabbi Seth Goren and Executive Director Rabbi George Stern are enrolled in the course and will work with other Philadelphia participants on an organizing project to be determined. JSPAN's participation is made possible through its affiliation with Bend the Arc.

Learn more about the course at http://www.joinforjustice.org/programs-projects/online-organizing-course/dont-kvetch-organize-a-master-class/


Pope Francis Makes Surprise Stop to Bless Sculpture of Catholic/Jewish Unity
The Forward
By Dotty Brown
September 28, 2015

Nearly 50 years after the Vatican officially proclaimed Jews free of guilt in the killing of Jesus, Pope Francis made a surprise change to his schedule on the final day of his U.S. tour to convey his own message of respect for the Jewish people. In an unannounced event, the pontiff stopped Sunday to bless a sculpture commissioned by the Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia that repudiates a centuries-old anti-Semitic image. At his side, was Rabbi Abraham Skorka, his good friend and literary collaborator, who had flown in from Buenos Aires, to be the keynote speaker at the dedication of the work . . . .

[read more]


Philadelphia Reads Honors Its E.D., JSPAN Board Member Adrienne Jacoby
Dr. Adrienne Jacoby, a member of JSPAN's Board of Directors and chair of our Education Policy Center, just retired as Executive Director of Philadelphia Reads, a non-profit organization formed by Mayor Rendell after the President's Summit for America's Future (Philadelphia, 1997). Philadelphia Reads' goal is to help ensure that all children read well and independently by the end of 3rd grade. With a small staff and many volunteers, Philadelphia Reads has reached thousands of children through its Reading Olympics, a summer reading program, a huge Book Bank that lends books to teachers, and Reading is Love, which allows busy parents to read to their children "on the go." In her biography on the JSPAN website, Adrienne shared her belief that "literacy is in fact our first freedom, for it allows an individual access to world and learning about and understanding our constitution and the concepts of democracy."


[read more]


Your Opinion Counts

The editors of the JSPAN newsletter welcome reader's comments regarding the content and format of the newsletter. We want to know what you like and dislike. Are we 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! Send all comments to jspan@jspan.org




Support JSPAN

Remember that JSPAN welcomes your donations to help us continue our important and effective work in Tikkun Olam. You may send gifts and donate using this direct line on www.jspan.org. or to JSPAN, 1735 Market Street, Suite #A417, Philadelphia, PA 19103




Want to Join?
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Make all checks payable to:
1735 Market Street, Suite #A417
Philadelphia, PA 19103


JSPAN Officers
Rabbi Seymour Rosenbloom

Richard Malkin
First Vice President

Burt Siegel
Vice President

Marc Stier
Vice President

Jill Katz Zipin
Vice President

Joanna Klein

George Pomerantz

Stewart Weintraub
General Counsel

Rabbi George Stern
Executive Director

Irwin Aronson
Katie Beran
Susan Bolno
Adam Bonin
Ruth Damsker
William Epstein
Rabbi Seth Goren
Brian Gralnick
Edward Hoffman
Margot Horwitz
Adrienne Jacoby
Babette Josephs
Nathan Kleinman
Marlena Kleit
Judah Labovitz
Ruth Laibson
Jonathan Lipson
Theodore Mann
Jeffrey Pasek
Audrey Ann Ross
J. Sanford Schwartz
Bryan Schwartzman
Daniel Segal
Dan Siegel
Rabbi David Straus
Ilene Wasserman
Deborah Weinstein
Lynn Zeitlin z"l


Ira Goldberg




The newsletter contains articles and links to articles that we think will be of interest to JSPAN members. They are included for informational purposes, but unless otherwise stated, they do not necessarily reflect official JSPAN policy.

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