By Jane Ramsey, Executive Director, JCUA
And Irene Lehrer Sandalow, Director of Strategy and Jewish Affairs, JCUA
Ten JCUA leaders traveled to Washington, D.C. on July 28 to meet with congressional leaders and members of the White House administration as part of a two-day trip organized by the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable, a group of 21 nonprofit organizations promoting economic and social justice as a core tenet of Jewish life.
Included in the JCUA delegation were: Rabbi Bruce Elder, Steve and Gerry Keen, Nikki Stein, Ira Azulay, Rabbi Joshua Salter, Leah Shefsky, Rabbi Michael Siegel, Irene Lehrer Sandalow and Jane Ramsey.
That Thursday JCUA, the National Council of Jewish Women, and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism coordinated meetings with congressional leaders and 40 Roundtable members. The meetings began with Reva Price, advisor to Rep. Nancy Pelosi. Price has a long history working in the Jewish community and provided us with an insider’s perspective on how to advance social justice issues on our agenda.
She shared the importance of the faith community in influencing the immigration debate, overcoming people’s fear of the “stranger,” and combating xenophobia. To win on immigration, Price encouraged us to create alliances with conservatives and the business community. She also explained that traditional advocacy tactics work and that calling and meeting with our congressional leaders makes a difference. “Take it to the public!” said Price, quoting Lincoln.