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♪ good morning and welcome to "mosiac." i am honored to be your host this morning. i am rabbi eric weiss. thing that's happening around the world. we would like to welcome you to our conversation with two wonderful people how the community is responding to the way the world is going on today. we would like to introduce you to rabbi julie sax, an organizer of center of reform duty.
welcome. >> thank you so much. >> and kellen stellar. wel welcome. >> thank you. >> why don't we jump into what your organization do and we can funnel in and response of events that's happening around the world. >> well, the religious action center is the social jus justice -- you can say department and manifestation and that's a national organization, religious center, has been around for a long time and people are familiar with it and hopefully are. in 2012, rabbis and leaders in california decided that we need to organize in california specifically to try to impact
statewide policy. and so california is under the umbrella of the rack and integrated into the national organization but we are a statewide network of reform congregations, putting together the justice work of each c congr congregation. >> we should say also the reform movement in american jewish life is apart of that theological left branch of jewish life in the united states. >> karen. >> we represent jewish in the area over variety of issues. we build consensus on those issues and we mobilize it into the community and turn it into
action. we are one of -- i think there are about 100 that we are formed of the wake of the holocaust when the community got together and realized that we need to be effective and advocating for issues that impact our community. >> we came together to bring the community together, to increase that effectiveness. >> is it fair to let folks know that jewish relation counsel is a community base that's not attached to other branch of judaism? >> that's correct. we represent across the different streams of judaism. i guess from your perspective, can you talk about how you even understand what jewish respond to an event in general? is that a fairway to ask you to focus on how we understand these events? how do each of your organizations think of jewish response to what happened in the
world around us. >> well, so you are referring to a number of events that happened recently or so my question, it depens on what we think of a jewish event or when there is a synagogue shooting, it is public but also internal. when there is a shooting in a mosque or natural disaster, there are other kinds of responses and a lot of overlap because we care about human beings. there is a kind of response that happens when people feel like we are personally under attack where we have to do both thinking on a policy level and thinking how we care for our communities. >> interesting, yes. >> karen, from your perspective? >> i think we are amplifying the needs of the community and the voice of our community and responding to these city
challenges. when something happens, i think it is not just to our community. it is to many other communities. our community wants to do something. our jewish tells us we have an imperative. we see everybody in god's image. so when a tragedy happens, when an issue happens, we look and say okay, what can our community uniquely provide in this situation to help out. >> interesting, believe it or not. we'll take a quick break and come back to continue this conversation in just a moment here on ""mosaic."
good morning and welcome back to "mosiac," i am rabbi eric eric weiss. we are back in a wonderful conversation. welcome back, we were talking a little bit about how organization of you respond in general in events and talk about current events that's happening in the world of late. i was thinking as we were ending that segment na both of your organizations consistently respond to world around us all the time, it is just that
sometimes in the media we see a particular community responding to a particular event and we don't realize all the work they do otherwise. i am wondering if you can talk a little bit about the nature of your on-going response to the world anyway in an ongoing way. >> yes, i really appreciate that question. as it happened just now in the past several weeks of this season. rack california which is the network of reformed congregation in california chosen our top priority campaign a gun violence prevention campaign. it is for something called cal vip. drastically reducing violence by 40%. so we are looking for full funding for those all over the
state because of how effective they are. this is a campaign we are in the midst of. we are in the aminmidst of when sh shooting happens. in that moment, we were able to do what we would most want to do which is wanted to mourn that attack and have something for people to do right here and now about gun violence. >> what is vip? >> it stands for violence in intervention programs. there are local programs operating in individual cities. >> they're a state and county program? >> we are looking to statewide funding to bring it to cities that don't have it yet.
they are not the same, these programs are operating in the communities where gun justine s violence is part of everyday life. that's where these programs are most needed and effective. >> and karen, from the jcrc's perspective? >> so let me step back a little. the way we approach these issues, we try to be proactive as possible. so when we look at many challenges or challenges towards democracy or gun violence, whether it is poverty or any host of challenges, we take what we call a community relations approach, we build relationships, we start proactively by building those relationships and working with those communities which we think is critical to us to advance any
issues or concerns that we have. it is important to build a coalition with other organizations and other faith organizations and other organizations of interests that working on the same issues that we do. we build these relationships year in and day out. when something like this happens, not only do we have somebody to call, we have somebody that we have been working along advocating towards these ads and we are able to be much more effective whether it is getting legislation passed or just bringing the community together to address the needs of the particular community and response to an event. >> when working with synagogues for as long as we have known, synagogues have kmcommunities a often those communities organize things that a congregation can do. you can do endless clothes drive
and food drive and at a certain point you need in addition to help people with the emergency needs people have. you need to look upstream and say why are people hungry, or why are we have shootings everyday lives of people. we are looking at how we can affect policies. >> that's a lovely point, we'll take a quick break and maybe when we come back, we can talk about what's sustain response and how do you sustain something? we'll be right back here on "mo "mosiac."
issue at work and rabbi, you were bringing up issues of the under lying of current something, for example, poverty or is there an educational issues or efficacy issues. i wonder if you can broaden the conversation to talk with you about how you understand what those elements are in terms of sustaining response and maintaining response and building towards response that may be part of the larger picture than an event in a moment. >> well, rack california has at this point six issues that we work on. they all work towards our mission which is to stand with vulnerable communities and build the state of california that we want to live in. we ask ourselves that question, what's the california of our dreams and what's the next step we need to take to get there. in terms ofo tha question ande o
back to the that weuilt w on. a each of six issues.usg, climate immigrant rights, gun violence prevention. each of our teams is looking at the campaigns that we can potentially work with our partners on in a given season. we are doing that research and building those relationships so when one campaign ends, we look at what's going to rise at the top of our priority. we are already building our relationships and thinking about that. >> how does that function? >> we have core issues that we have to work on. when things come up in the community is kind of like all
hands on deck and drop everything respond. over the last couple years, we have taken issues around immigration and racial justice and this year we are looking at democracy. we feel many of these core issues come from our democracy under threat. we study the issue and we take a year and we bring together our committee and study the issues and bring in the experts, host town hall so we have the chance to hear from experts and give their feedback and we craft our position and statements and come up with a list of action items that we'll do to follow up on those particular issues that we have taken a consensus on. >> i am curious to know each of your perspectives, when groups come together, just a group coming together in of itself is an accomplishment and then paying attention to what each
individual saying in a group and how that process then yields something of a consensus, i am curious to know how do we even decide oh, it is immigration or oh it is educational or democracy - whatever it is, how ou co those et wt's g c and where we are pufires. we step back and say okay, what are the core issues? that's where we came around economic, racial justice, it is not just an issue looking at incarceration rate? same thing with democracy and so we bring our committee, our structure together, they come up with a consensus to look at this particular issue and it is a whole process of building consensus around that and consensus around really very detailed policy statements but lay out positions and then put
together an action plan for mobilization around these issues. >> similarly, we work with each congregation, so while we are building a statewide network on the one hand, i have the opportunity to work with each team of each congregation and for them to think about what we care about and what's happening and where is your congregation on different issues and where can you work as a congregation that won't divide people. something that happens on something local. always coming back to like you said root causes because in addition to the direct service work that congregation do. we want to help our congregation to address root causes through policies and advocating. >> interesting, we need to take another quick break, both of you
aspect of the work in general. >> sure, i think a lot of people really relate to the aspect of social actions, social justice. that for them is their expression of judaism. we have so many different and unique organizations and so many niches that people can go into and express their jewishness and the way they come out at. these kinds of work mobilizing the community and working on issues that you care about deeply, it is something that'll bring people in. they can find a home there. >> and would you say that's true from the jewish community counter perspective whether you are a jew of color or a jew by choice of any age or ability, is that across the board from your
perspective? >> for sure. other research shows that people are most proud of commitment of justice of jews. when we get the opportunity to act for justice as jews and not just as individuals but with our congregations or organizations, there is a coming together of who we want to be. we sometimes say that our lobby day which is coming up on august 20th, people can connect with their synagogues and come to lobby with us on august 20th in sacramento. we call it our high holy day. it is a way to express what it means to be jewish by acting around the world. >> two biblical stories where we are creating uniquely in god's image which means it is not just
me, it is you, too. >> every person. >> and as well as we are freed from slavery. we come out of a place of oppression and move into a place of premium. those two core biblical stories that is yield these values that i emulate us to do good in the world and justice in the world. i am wondering then how those notions define even the term justice, what justice actually is because the word justice and other realms take on different meanings but for us is a particular way of seeing that term. can you talk a little bit about how that animates us on how we do on gun control and poverty? >> certainly on immigration, similarly on other issues. we look to our history and the way justice is framed as something that we are connected to in part because of our own
history, right? that's the history, that's the biblical history and our history actually more recent and knowing what it is like to be persecuted and knowing what it is like to be on the outside and vulnerable and not to have the protection of law. all of those things we can feel it in our bones and we organize based on our history and knowing what's right. >> absolutely. on the issue of immigration, so many people we have done a lot of work on immigration, so many people came to this work because of their own personal family story. whether they are refugees or grandparents are survivor of the holocaust, it really infuse them with the need to do that. the need to have a different way of looking at people that come into this country, you know, the popular discourse right nu left together. we kind of circle in how do we respond to the world
events of natural disaster or a violent incident at a shooting in a synagogue or a mosque, not to put you in a spot in a big way, can you make a comment about what's hope out there for how our response have an impact in a sentence or two? >> i will try a sentence. when we respond to scary event, we need to come together so we find comfort in each other and listen to each other and hear how we are doing. we need to get together what are we going to do so we don't act from fear. >> thank you so much, karen. >> i would say something similar. in these times of increasing partisanship and instability, we need to stand together, we have a choice to make, and we can respond together or respond separately. >> thank you so much for joining us here on "mosiac," we encourage you to continue this
live from the bay area, this is the kpix news. close call as a brushfire triggered a four-alarm response. kids under age 5 could start getting their covid vaccination as early as next week. juneteenth celebrations are live across the bay area and we will take you live in san francisco. good morning, it is sunday june 19th, i'm kenny choi in for devin fehely. we will have a weather forecast with darren peck. >> yes, it isoi