Tikkun Olam at Temple Beth Am

Connecting our congregation to social action opportunities


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Health Care for All – L’dor v’dor

Temple Beth Am’s Health Care for All Committee will continue to advocate for health care in the important, upcoming 2013 Washington Legislative session.  The Supreme Court’s 2012 decision upholding the Affordable Care Act – and recent election results – assure that major health care changes are coming.  This makes 2013 an historic opportunity to shape implementation of the health insurance exchange, Medicaid expansion, and Basic Health Option.

The TBA Health Care for All Committee will participate with other organizations in the Healthy Washington Coalition on important efforts to make health care more widely available to families and individuals in Washington.

  • Take advantage of federal funding to expand Medicaid to cover individuals and families earning up to 138% of the federal poverty level.  This will be funded 100% by the federal government in 2014-2016, then 95% in 2017 and 90% in 2020.
  •  Spread the cost of implementing the Insurance Exchange among all health insurers in the state to provide more stable and predictable funding.
  •  Create a program to help low wage workers and families not eligible for Medicaid and who cannot otherwise afford insurance,
  • Support new revenue to help fund vital safety net programs. Throughout the recession, health care and safety net programs have been cut.  There is no more room for additional cuts. Health care programs must be protected and preserved by raising revenue.

On February 20, we will join with Faith Action Network’s 2013 Interfaith Advocacy Day in Olympia.  We will focus on implementing health care reform.

We will provide more information about pending health care legislation at a Sunday Morning Forum on Sunday March 3, 2013 at 10 am at Beth Am.  Theresa Mosqueda,  currently the chair of  the Healthy Washington Coalition and a member of the Board of the Washington Health Benefits Exchange, will talk about the latest news from Olympia.

The March 3rd forum will also share information about a national campaign called Caring Across Generations. This coalition effort to develop and implement policies addresses the increasing demand for home health and other home based services. As the boomer generation retires and as more people of all ages with disabilities live in the community, all generations face new needs and demands on how we care for one another.  Robby Stern, a Beth Am member, President of Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action – and a member of the steering committee of the Washington Caring Across Generations Campaign – will talk about this national effort.

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The Ripple Effect – Little Projects with Big Results

On October 17, the Sunday Forum presented opportunities for Beth Am members to give a hand up, not a mere hand out, to undeveloped communities throughout the Third World. Speakers from the local chapter of Engineers Without Borders , Water 1st, and Pangea shared common visions with Beth Am members.

Poverty, disease, and child mortality are preventible when development efforts, beginning with basics, are rooted in the needs of the impoverished communities, as identified by those communities. When members of those communities are involved in identifying and building infrastructure, the infrastructure and projects can be sustainable. To best accomplish local development, Water 1st, Engineers Without Borders and Pangea all find that the active involvement and empowerment of women as community leaders is essential to successful and sustainable projects. Continue reading