We know better now

A collection of lit candles

In Jewish tradition, we remember the yortseit, the anniversary of the death of loved ones. We remember what we loved and valued about them, and we think of how to continue those qualities in our own lives.

June 24 is the yortseit of Roe v Wade, the right of bodily autonomy and the right of doctors to do their jobs. We never thought this day could come, but it did, and it presaged even more attacks on bodily autonomy as evidenced in anti-gay and anti-trans laws in many states.

We were complacent – but we know better now. If you are looking for a way to help, please consider donating the National Council of Jewish Women’s Jewish Fund for Abortion Access at https://www.ncjw.org/act/action/donate-to-abortion-access/

California Mass Shootings:
Acting Together to End Gun Violence

Over the past 72 hours, gun violence ripped through our communities in Monterey Park as the Asian American Pacific Islander community gathered to celebrate the Lunar New Year, in Half Moon Bay as people worked to provide for their families, and in Oakland as young people gathered. 

We grieve for the lives lost and shattered. We stand with the families who lost loved ones and those facing the painful recovery ahead.  

The gun violence epidemic continues to devastate our communities. We all celebrate together, work together, and gather in our neighborhoods together. “We cannot treat gun violence like it is somebody else’s issue,” says SFF CEO Fred Blackwell.

Unless we act together, the gun violence epidemic will continue to rob our communities of the sense of safety that we need to thrive. And we know that we must change the systems and laws that make mass shootings like these not only possible, but far too common. Without transformative change, there will always be another tragedy coming. 

How to help: 
To help those affected by the mass shooting in Half Moon Bay, we have made a contribution to Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s Emergency and Disaster Relief Fund. This fund is working with local organizations in Half Moon Bay to provide support to those impacted and their communities.  

SFF grantee Puente de la Costa Sur is organizing support for the families affected in Half Moon Bay. As a community resource center for the South Coast, Puente is working with local partners that are providing direct assistance. 

In addition, SFF’s philanthropic advisors curated this give guide of local and national organizations imagining and building safer communities. 
SFF donor advised fund holders can recommend a grant on Donor Center with the following information: 
Grantee Name: Silicon Valley Community Foundation 
Short Purpose: to support the Emergency and Disaster Relief Fund  

Grantee Name: Puente de la Costa Sur 
Short Purpose: to support direct relief for families impacted by the Jan. 23 shooting in Half Moon Bay 

Today We Make Herstory

The Senate Judiciary Committee begins its consideration of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman nominated to the US Supreme Court. Judge Jackson is highly qualified, having served on the US Sentencing Commission, the US District Court for the District of Columbia, and the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Her record demonstrates that she is fair, independent, and qualified. NCJW believes in a federal judiciary that is of and for the people. We hold a vision of a Supreme Court that dismantles legacies of white supremacy by being composed of justices who represent the diversity of America and are committed to equal justice for all. As people of faith, we have a moral obligation to ensure Justices on our highest court are committed to equality under the law. Judge Jackson is that Justice. Let’s help get her confirmed! Contact your senators today to urge their support for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.
The Issue: The US Supreme Court is the highest court, serving as the last word on our rights. With Justice Breyer’s retirement announcement, President Biden has the opportunity to nominate a justice who is not only fair, independent, and qualified, but who would bring much needed diversity to the Court.  

The Good News: President Biden nominated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. If confirmed, Judge Jackson would be the first Black woman in history to sit on the Court.   

Our Task: Urge your senators to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the United States Supreme Court.   


Coming of Age – Detroit Labor Pains

This week marks the 48th anniversary of the founding convention for the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW), formed to help women become union leaders and give their issues greater weight during contract talks.

The presiding officer at the event, which attracted more than 3,000 women from 82 unions, was Myra Komoroff Wolfgang (May 1914 – April 1976), one of the nation’s first women union organizers and the subject of this week’s episode of Coming of Age: Detroit, the award winning digital series from Silver Screen Studios and Reboot.

A labor leader and women’s rights activist in Detroit from the 1930s through the 1970s, Wolfgang advocated for the working poor and for women in the workforce.

Watch here

Support refugees and asylum seekers from Ukraine through HIAS.

HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) is closely monitoring the situation in Ukraine and neighboring countries and is responding with emergency humanitarian assistance to those who are displaced.

A HIAS response team was in Poland and is now in Ukraine assessing ways it can assist Ukrainians — both Jews and others — as they cross into Poland and other neighboring countries. 

HIAS Ukraine Crisis Answers to Frequently Asked Questions – March 16

There is much concern for the safety of the 162 staff of HIAS’ long-time partner on the ground in Ukraine, Right to Protection (R2P), who have aided refugees and displaced persons since 2013. HIAS has rushed emergency funding to R2P to assist their response. R2P is an independent NGO based in Kyiv with offices across Ukraine, including in government-controlled areas of Donbas, East Ukraine. R2P specialists work in 10 cities providing legal assistance, monitoring and advocating for internally displaced people (IDPs); refugees; asylum seekers; and stateless persons. 

The UN Refugee Agency reports that more than 3 million refugees have fled Ukraine since the war began. UNHCR estimates that in Ukraine there were already at least 1.6 million conflict-affected persons, including 734,000 internally displaced people; nearly 36,000 stateless persons; and nearly 5,000 refugees and asylum seekers.

Learn more here

TVCJ Rabbi Judith Seid Signed the Rabbis for Repro Pledge

We’re proud that the Secular Humanistic movement has always supported the right to bodily autonomy and that our rabbi has signed on to this effort.

We must not remain idle while barriers to health care place any individual’s health, well-being, autonomy, or economic security at risk. And rabbis can help lead the fight for reproductive health, rights, and justice by educating their communities.

Will you join us and take the pledge to speak about reproductive rights in your rabbinic capacity this year?
The pledge can be found here.