February 2021 Temple Beth-El Food Drive
Thank you for the generous donations. Our Temple community raised $1955 that included a $500 match from the Hannah and Herbert Saal Fund. This donation will help the Rock River Pantry Food Bank provide food to those who are in need.
2021 March 1-13th Blood Drive
Thank you for those who were able to donate blood to the Rock River Valley Blood Center.
RAC-IL Campaign Kickoff
Faye is leading our SAC in participation with the RAC-IL with a focus on immigrant and racial justice. A campaign kickoff event was held virtually on March 11th. You can access the recording on the URJ Tent in the RAC-IL Tent Group.
To register to keep informed and join in the efforts a registration form can be accessed here.
Please read the following for the latest updates on the RAC-IL’s campaigns:
Thank you to the more than 250 clergy and lay leaders from nearly 25 congregations who came together Thursday night for RAC-IL’s 2021 Campaign Kickoff! If you weren’t able to participate, you can watch the recording in our RAC-IL Tent Group*. Below is a summary of our campaign and links to all the opportunities (so far) to make a real impact on increasing the State of Justice in IL in the next few months.
We’re excited to build on the momentum from last year’s groundbreaking victory as part of the Illinois Network for Pretrial Justice to become the first state in the nation to completely abolish cash bail. Thank you Senator Robert Peters and representatives from both of our coalitions who joined the Kickoff to help educate and launch us into action on the following compelling legislative campaigns in in RAC-IL’s priority areas of immigrant and racial justice:
- The Illinois Way Forward Act (SB 667) sponsored by Speaker Welch and Senator Aquino, will limit state and local law enforcement’s collaboration with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), as intended, and ensure everyone in Illinois can access law enforcement when needed, regardless of their background. Our partner for this campaign is the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR).
- The Mind Strong/Strengthening Mental Health & Substance Use Crisis Services Act (HB 2944/SB347) with Senator Robert Peters and Representative Barbara Hernandez as lead sponsors, will raise awareness and expand access to Adult Mobile Crisis Response services for adults who need support for mental health or substance use conditions before they become emergencies. The bill also calls for allowing universal access to these services so anyone can benefit from them, regardless of insurance status. RAC-IL is part of the Healthy Minds Healthy Lives Coalition, leading this work.
We need EVERYONE’s voice to bring our greatest power to this sacred work of addressing the root causes of injustice. Here areaction steps you can take to make an impact on RAC-IL’s 2021 Campaign (all action steps can also be found atwww.rac.org/ILCallToAction ):
- Our top priority is Legislative Visits to elected officials in every legislative district covered by RAC-IL congregations and their members. No previous experience is needed and everyone is welcome and encourage to participate! Training, resources and support will be provided for all roles in this effort—we just need you to sign up to indicate your interests, and share this link to invite your fellow congregants to join you! This form make take a few minutes to complete—if you’re interested and have any difficulty with the form, please contact your Congregational Team Leaders or Julie Webb firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Join us for our upcoming Town Hall on Mental Health and Substance Use Crisis Response Services led by our Healthy Minds and Healthy Lives Coalition partners. We’ll let you know as soon as it is schedule so you can register and invite others who may be interested.
- Participate in the third annual Jewish Action Days for Immigrant Justice. Plans are already underway for this education-into-action opportunity co-sponsored by RAC-IL, HIAS Immigration & Citizenship, JCUA and T’ruah to send a message to our legislators that the combined Jewish community is committed to making Illinois a Welcoming State for ALL, regardless of where we came from or our immigration status.
- Finally, our partners at the Illinois Network for Pretrial Justice need us to help defend the extraordinary victory we just helped win making Illinois the first state in the nation to completely abolish cash bail. This historic law is already under attack to chip away at its effectiveness. Join us to help defend the Pretrial Fairness Act , and we’ll keep you in the loop for key moments and actions you can take to protect the law to End Money Bond!
RAC-IL’s 2021 Campaign is one pillar in the larger Reform movement’s National Racial Justice Campaign.
- The second pillar is working together as a movement on a Federal Racial Justice Legislative Issue. You are invited to participate in one of two identical upcoming Racial Justice Campaign Selection Town Halls to learn about possible issues and share your input on choosing a Federal campaign:
Following the Campaign Selection Town Halls, Register for the National Racial Justice Campaign Launch happening on Wednesday, April 28 at 7pm CDT.
- The final campaign pillar is Racial Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (REDI). The following offerings scheduled in the next month are centered on creating spaces of education and belonging:
- Audacious Hospitality 101: Beyond Welcoming: Addressing Racism, Homophobia, Ableism, and More in our Communities
Register for this training happening on Tuesday, March 16 from 7-8:30 pm CDT. This session will provide core REDI tools and help you begin thinking about how to incorporate this work into your daily life, your community, and beyond.
- Jews of Color & People of Color in the Reform Movement Affinity Space Gathering
Register for this affinity gathering happening on Thursday, March 18 at 6 pm CDT. This session will provide a space for Jews of Color and Jewish Adjacent People of Color to have open conversations and to connect around their lived experiences. Our hosts for the calls are Yolanda Savage-Narva (She/Her), the URJ’s Director for Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, and Deitra Reiser (She/Her), Owner of Transform for Equity. For those interested in learning more about race-based affinity spaces, click herePlease note these gatherings are led by and are for Jews of Color & People of Color who are Jewish Adjacent (those of us who are People of Color & do not identify as Jewish, and may be partnered with a Jewish person or part of a Jewish family). This meeting is specifically only for People of Color, 18 years & older.
Thank you again for showing up for justice through your Jewish values, and as part of RAC-IL—the organized Reform Jewish community in our state. With your continued passion and commitment, we will build a more just and compassionate Land of Lincoln for ALL! L’Shalom, Julie
*The Tent is the Union for Reform Judaism’s online communications platform. If you’re already on the Tent, just request permission to join the RAC-IL group to stay updated on our work! If you’re not yet on the Tent and would like to be, please let me know and I’ll be happy to bring you onboard.