Four Area Synagogues Partner w/CeaseFirePA for a Candid Discussion About Gun Violence: 7:00 p.m., Oct. 18 on Zoom

The U.S. is on pace for the worst year of gun violence in decades. Our area is not immune. Through Sept. 30, there have been 359 fatal shooting victims in Philadelphia, up more than 40% compared to 2020.

In response, Beth David, Beth Am Israel, Keneseth Israel, and Main Line Reform are partnering with CeaseFirePA to host a virtual discussion about this epidemic and what it will take to end it. The program will feature a panel with State Senator Art Haywood, MontCo District Attorney Kevin Steele, CeaseFirePA Executive Director Adam Garber, and representatives from the Office of PA Attorney General and Every Murder Is Real (EMIR). Visit http://tinyurl.com/GunViolenceAndLaw to register.


 Help Support the Reform Movement’s Efforts to Secure Just Redistricting in PA

 RAC-PA, the social justice arm of Pennsylvania’s Reform Jewish Movement, recently launched its 2021 – 2022 racial justice campaign: Just Elections – Real Change Starts Here. The genesis of this campaign was a series of listening sessions, in which over 270 Reform Jews – including over 20 from Beth David – participated, and shared what they’re passionate about when it comes to achieving racial justice in PA.

We heard about improving public education, reducing gun violence, economic empowerment, and other issues. But the one theme that emerged was that until we truly have just elections in PA, where everyone has equal and unfettered access to the ballot box, nothing will change.

The campaign’s first priority is to make sure the redrawing of the boundaries for the state’s voting districts – the once every 10 years process currently taking place – is done in a way that our election maps no longer favor one political party and incumbents, and deny People of Color fair representation. By partnering with advocacy organizations like PA Voice and Fair Districts PA, Reform Jews have a chance to help change the outcome of the redistricting process.

But to accomplish this, we need your help now. Specifically, we need your help writing letters to the editor and submitting testimony to the body responsible for redrawing the maps for the 253 voting districts for PA’s General Assembly. Public pressure will help turn the tide in this struggle.

If you have a flair for persuasive writing, RAC-PA and Fair Districts PA are holding a 1-hour training workshop this Tuesday, October 19, at 7:00 p.m. on Zoom, to explain the basics of redistricting, and writing testimony and letters to the editor. There will also be an opportunity to start drafting testimony and letters, and receive feedback from experts in attendance.

By attending this workshop you’ll feel motivated and ready to take action. So, please sign up at https://bit.ly/RACPA-Testify. If you can’t attend but want to write testimony and letters to the editor in support of just redistricting, register for the workshop and we will send you a link to the recording of the training.


Save the Date of Oct. 18 for A Candid Discussion of Gun Violence Prevention

The U.S. is on pace for the worst year of gun violence in decades. Our area is not immune; in fact, far from it. Through Sept. 30, there have been 359 fatal shooting victims in Philadelphia, up more than 40% compared to 2020.

Beth David is a proud member of CeaseFirePA’s Coalition to End Gun Violence. On the evening of October 18, we are partnering with two other members, Temple Beth Am Israel and Keneseth Israel, along with CeaseFirePA, to host a virtual discussion about this tragic problem and what it will take to rectify it. The program will feature a panel consisting of State Senator Art Haywood, a member of the Montgomery County Police Chiefs Association, a gun violence survivor, and a CeaseFirePA representative, that will discuss current gun ownership laws, community programs to address violence, and policies we need to make Pennsylvania safer for everyone. More details will be available shortly.


RAC-PA Launches 2021-2022 Racial Justice Campaign

RAC-PA held a statewide meeting on Zoom the evening of September 30 to launch the PA Reform Movement’s 2021-2022 racial justice campaign: Just Election – Real Change Starts Here. Reform congregations across PA will be working with partners such as PA Voice and Fair Districts PA to make sure the new legislative maps being drawn this year are just and racially equitable, access to the ballot box is unfettered, and voter turnout is strong as it was in 2020. More details about the campaign and how you can get involved will be provided.


The Crisis in Afghanistan

Major Jewish organizations across the country, including the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and HIAS, are calling for action by the U.S. government and the American people to address the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.  Many Afghans’ lives are in danger due to the takeover of the country by the Taliban; there are also numerous Americans trapped in the country.

HIAS has posted a detailed action alert on its website explaining steps you can take to help the most vulnerable in Afghanistan. Steps include contacting the Biden administration and your members of Congress to advocate on behalf of the Afghan people; providing temporary or permanent housing and other types of support to Afghan families in our community; and helping welcome and assist those who are arriving. Visit https://www.hias.org/crisis-afghanistan-how-you-can-help to review the action alert.


For developments concerning Beth David’s social action/social justice priorities, please visit our “Call to Action” page in the “Make A Difference” section of our website (www.bdavid.org).