Tikkun Olam at Temple Beth Am

Connecting our congregation to social action opportunities


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Oppose Washington State Senate Bill 5905

Many TBA members work for the state of Washington. Many MORE TBA members depend on the work done by Washington state employees like teachers and nurses. Please read this information and make a phone call or email on behalf of our friends who work part time for the state.

Please call your State Senator to oppose Washington State Senate Bill 5905.

Provisions of SB 5095:
1) State employees’ health insurance coverage would be cut by eliminating coverage for state employees who work fewer than 30 hours per week. These employees would then need to purchase insurance on the state health care exchange.

2) State workers who must purchase on the exchange would see:

  • monthly premium cost as much as TRIPLE
  • elimination of dental and vision benefit
  • more out of pocket expenses for deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance

The Senate passed this bill on the outrageous assumption that it would save $90 million by eliminating state health coverage for part time state employees. These savings would come directly out of the pockets of state employees.

Please contact your legislators and tell them that SB 5905 is unfair and immoral. Call your Senator or Representative at (800) 562 6000 or email to first name.last name@leg.wa.gov

Thank you from the TBA Health Care For All Committee!


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Caring Across Generations Lobby Day March 28 in Olympia

Members of Temple Beth Am will join with others in Olympia on March 28 for Caring Across Generations Lobby Day, 10-3:30 in the Columbia Room in the Capital Building.

Caring Across Generations is a national movement to respond to the growing need for quality home care for aging baby boomers as well as increasing numbers of disabled persons opting to live at home.  It supports programs and policies to better meet the financial needs of seniors and others through a long-term care benefit and other strategies and promotes quality home care through career training, immigration reform and fair pay and health benefits for home care workers.

Contact Tom Buchanan clrtom@earthlink.net or Dina Burstein dinaburstein@gmail.com for more information about registering for CAG Lobby Day.


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Members of FAN Speak Out at 2013 IFAD

IFAD1Over 400 people from 43 of Washington state’s 49 Legislative Districts, from diverse faith traditions, came together in Olympia on February 20 to speak out with one voice for more just, compassionate state policies and laws.

Rabbi Jonathan and members of TBA at FAN’s 2013 Interfaith Advocacy Day February 20 in Olympia.

IFAD2
Attending From left to right Rabbi Jonathan Singer, Linda Harris, Ronnie Shur, Dina Burstein, Diane Baer, Margo MacVicar-Whelan, Jo Merrick, Tom Buchanan, Fred Diamondstone, Gail Nicholson, Jonis Davis; front row: Jacqueline Sorgen

Legislative briefings, workshops and district caucuses were held in the morning at the Church followed by meetings with district legislators in the afternoon at the Capital Building.

IFAD3
43rd Legislative District meetings Dina Burstein and Fred Diamondstone, together with upwards of 30 43rd Legislative District members met with State Senator Ed Murray as well as Representative Jamie Pedersen and House Speaker Frank Chopp. The message they carried focused on support for legislation to end Gun Violence, to support Budget and Revenue policies to protect social and health programs in the state, to support Medicaid expansion in implementation of the Affordable Care Act and to support $175 million for the Housing Trust Fund in the 2013-2015 biennium to help meet Affordable Housing needs of our state residents.

On February 20 we joined together with 400 members of diverse faith communities in support of legislation and policies to address gun violence, economic justice for struggling families and wage earners, implementation of the Affordable Care Act to ensure affordable health care for all, immigration reform to provide opportunity for undocumented young people to access university education.

Many of the bills that were discussed are still viable and it’s important to contact our legislators now either thru email (find contact information at leg.wa.gov) or by leaving a message at 1-800-562-6000.

Fiscal Bills – these need to be passed out of committee by Friday, March 1:

  • HB 1338 – early review and second chance for juveniles sentenced to life without parole
  • HB 1440 – wage theft prevention
  • HB 1651 – second chance for juveniles via prohibiting the dissemination of their court records

Following four policy bills are in the House rules committee and need to be voted on by the House by March 13:

  • HB 1413 – voting rights act
  • HB 1429 – allows state funding for higher education programming in prisons (a second chance act)
  • HB 1588 – establishes universal background checks for all firearm sales in our state
  • HB 1817 – Washington state DREAM act, allowing all college-bound students in our state to be eligible for state financial aid

Call 1-800-562-6000 or email your legislators.  Updated status on these priorities is reported regularly by FAN

 Contact Diane Baer for information about Faith Action Network legislative agenda.

 


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2013 Interfaith Advocacy Day

  • Wednesday, February 20th
  • Sponsored by Faith Action Network(FAN)
  • Do No Harm: Invest in People

Temple Beth Am members will join advocates from faith communities across the state in Olympia at FAN’s 2013 Interfaith Advocacy Day (IFAD).  Temple Beth Am is one of the ‘advocating congregation’ members of the FAN network.

Starting in Olympia at 9AM, registration from 8-9, participants convene at United Churches of Olympia, 110 11th SE.  Teachings from diverse faith traditions will be followed by a legislative update by FAN Co-Director Paul Benz.  Workshops will focus on Budget and Revenue, Environment, Housing and Homelessness, Gun Violence Prevention, and Wage Theft.

At 10 AM Governor Inslee will speak to the group.

Legislative district caucuses  will convene to discuss issues and develop an advocacy plan for speaking to their legislators at the scheduled meetings arranged by FAN.

The day will end at 3PM on the Capital Campus with briefings beginning at 1:15pm by key officials including TBA member Rep. Reuven Carlyle,LD36 who will speak about budget and revenue and Liz Smith from Labor and Industries who will address the issue of ‘Wage Theft’, a priority of FAN.

Interfaith Advocacy Day is an opportunity for diverse faith groups to come together and speak to legislators with one voice about issues of common concern.  It is also an opportunity for people of faith to meet one another and connect with possibilities for future work together beyond Feb. 20.

To sign up go to fanwa.org and follow the menu to register.

Contact for Temple Beth Am contingent and carpool information are Dina Burstein, dinaburstein@gmail.com or Tom Buchanan, clrtom@earthlink.net


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Gun Violence Prevention

People of Faith Coming Together to Make a Difference
February 4, National Faith Call-In Day

In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ‘The time is always right to do what is right’.     Now is the right time to speak out for gun violence prevention.

The Washington DC based Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. The RAC is the lead organizer for a  national interfaith coalition committed to combatting gun violence.   They are asking all committed individuals to participate in a national  Call-In Day, February 4.  Participate and pass the word to others to ensure that the voice of faithful Americans rings throughout the halls of Congress. On February 4th, call your US Senators and Representative and insist that they act to prevent gun violence. Tell them that it’s time to turn our shared grief into collective action.

The legislative issues that are being promoted are –Require universal background checks for all gun purchases –Ban semi-automatic assault weapons and high-capacity magazines –Make gun trafficking a federal crime –Improve access to mental health services

To get updated information visit Faiths Calling. Mark your calendar and participate in the Feb 4 Call-In. To make a difference our members in the US Congress need to hear from us all.

Gun Control will be a topic of discussion at FAN’s Interfaith Advocacy Day in Olympia on Wednesday February 20.  To sign up go to fanwa.org.  Contact Diane Baer for more information.


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Interfaith leaders release statement deploring “Gun Appreciation” event

Hundreds of faith leaders from Washington State have signed a statement deploring the ‘Gun Appreciation Event’ scheduled in Olympia on MLK holiday weekend, January 19.  Rabbis Beth and Jonathan Singer together with hundreds of other faith leaders have signed the letter which can be accessed at http://fanwa.org/interfaith-leaders-deplore-gun-appreciation-day/.


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Talking Jewishly about Marriage Equality

In November, citizens of Washington state will vote on whether to approve Referendum 74 and thereby uphold the law enabling gay and lesbian couples to marry. This is a complex issue, and winning over undecided voters will require meaningful conversations on many levels – including faith-based values. TBA is hosting a training session to help you have those conversations in a Jewish context. Please join us.

Learn How to Have a Jewish Conversation
About Marriage Equality and Referendum 74

  July 24, 6:30-9:00PM
  Temple Beth Am K’hilah Center
  2632 NE 80th St.
  Seattle, WA 98115

When David Boies and Ted Olson received the esteemed URJ Eisendrath Bearer of Light Award at the URJ Biennial in 2011, they encouraged the thousands in attendance to go out and have conversations with neighbors, friends, colleagues, and family members to persuade them that marriage equality is consistent with American values, with family values, with strong community and with human rights. Boies and Olson, who were on opposite sides of Bush v. Gore before the Supreme Court in 2000, have since joined forces in the effort to end what they refer to as the last vestige of blatant government sponsored discrimination in our country: denial of the basic right to marry for our gay and lesbian fellow citizens at the federal level and in most states.

Temple Beth Am and the Jewish Coalition for Marriage Equality are hosting an informal event with Boies and Olson’s advice in mind. Come learn what Judaism says about marriage equality and get some pointers about how to have a Jewish conversation on the issue. Adding the Jewish perspective to the faith based conversation that is filling the air is important, and each of us can contribute to the understanding that marriage equality is also consistent with Jewish values. Each supporter persuading even one undecided voter to support marriage equality with an “Approve Referendum 74” vote in November can make an important difference in the lives of Washingtonians.

For more information and to RSVP, click here.