Folks from the JUFJ community are planning to meet up at Saturday's Housing for All Rally, 12-2 at Martin Luther King Library, 901 G St NW:
"At the Housing For All Campaign we believe that DC can be a place where all residents live in housing in good condition that they can afford. As the District completes it’s comprehensive housing strategy, we call on District leaders to adopt a strategy that brings us closer to that vision."
Mayor Gray and several councilmembers will be there. If this event is consistent with your Shabbat practice, and you'd like to meet up with JUFJers there, email Dena Greenblum at firstname.lastname@example.org. More on the rally here.
Interesting discussions! Camaraderie! Food.
We have some really interesting things to talk about, and we want you to be involved. At our February 6th community meeting we'll be talking about big campaigns and big decisions in JUFJ's future. We're only as effective as our volunteers, and we want to make decisions together with you.
So save the date for Wednesday, February 6th at the Human Rights Campaign Equality Center at 1640 Rhode Island Ave NW. Check out the Facebook page and RSVP here so we can get enough food! Email Sarah Brammer-Shlay at email@example.com if you want to help out.
In medicine? Jewish doctors for Paid Sick Days!
Paid sick leave for restaurant workers is not only an ethical issue and a workers' issue, but a public health issue - so we're reaching out to public health professionals and practitioners for help.
If you work in medicine, we want you to sign onto our letter of support saying that paid sick days policies are important because they benefit the public and limit the spread of disease, prevent workplace injuries, and promote access to health care for all D.C residents.
If you or anyone you know in the public health field could sign onto our letter, or connect organizer Monica Kamen (firstname.lastname@example.org) to organizations or individuals who could be of help, it would be greatly appreciated.
The big moment for Walmart in DC?
After years of DC activist resistance to Walmart, eleven of thirteen DC Council Members have co-sponsored a Phil Mendelson bill to require big box stores - which would include Walmart - to pay a living wage.
It's a great start, but the legislation is far from guaranteed - without pressure and support from constituents, it could go the way of previous big box bills, and not even get a hearing. It also needs an amendment to update the living wage to the current rate of $12.50/hr. Please contact your Council Members and tell them you support a strong living wage bill for big box stores in DC!
An uplifting MLK Shabbat Service
Last Friday, Jeremiah Fellow Lauren Marx attended her first MLK Shabbat at Sixth and I. She was blown away. In her own words:
This past Shabbat, I attended one of the most uplifting, passionate, and fun, yes, fun Friday night services. As a relative newcomer to DC, I had yet to experience the annual MLK Shabbat at Sixth & I. For those who are unfamiliar with the event, Sixth & I collaborates with Turner Memorial African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church to deliver a Friday night service. Interestingly, Turner was based at the synagogue for 52 years before it was sold in 2003.
Maybe it was seeing a synagogue filled with people of different races, religions, sexual orientations, genders being welcomed as one. Maybe it was the incorporation of a band on the bima and a gospel choir leading us in song, but this service seemed purely focused on the betterment of our world through connecting to a greater good. I walked through the synagogue doors with few expectations and left filled with possibilities.
Your weekly news nibbles
- What would happen if the government charged Rabbi Hillel with multiple felony counts and threatened him with $50 million in fines? The story of Aaron Swartz isn't so far off from that. To help make the best of the situation, Swartz's group Demand Progress and many of his friends are campaigning for Aaron's Law. See their petition here.
- Fair warning: We will say the word "zoning" - keep your eyes open! The DC Zoning Code hasn't been updated since before The Beatles were a thing - 1958 to be exact. There have been community meetings and now a petition to move the process forward and towards more more walkability and affordable housing. Check it out and sign here!