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Nathan Bennett

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Budget

Over the past few weeks, the weekly parsha, Torah portion, has covered the building of the mishkan, the tabernacle. Parashat T’rumah begins this series of parshiot and details God’s instructions for how the Israelites are to build the sanctuary so that God “may dwell among them.” One of the primary goals of the construction is for the Israelites to connect to God through communal building of holy space.

Debates over the federal government’s budget are in full swing, with President Trump’s proposal released last Thursday. The budget serves in many ways as a covenant between the...

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Handwritten sign reading DISABILITY RIGHTS ARE CIVIL RIGHTS

Discussions about health care are consuming Washington, D.C. as lawmakers have introduced major legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act and implement a new proposal, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which would make drastic changes to health care coverage. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, 14 million more people would be ininsured by 2018 if the AHCA replaced the ACA, a number that would increase to 24 million by 2026. The AHCA would fundamentally restructure Medicaid, transforming it from an open-ended entitlement program to a per-capita cap system....

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Disability Rights are Civil Rights

Discussions about health care are consuming Washington, D.C. as lawmakers have introduced major legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act and implement a new proposal, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), that would make drastic changes to health care coverage. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, 14 million more people would be ininsured by 2018 if the AHCA replaced the ACA, a number that would increase to 24 million by 2026. The AHCA would fundamentally restructure Medicaid, transforming it from an open-ended entitlement program to a per-capita cap system....

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Rabbi Jonah Pesner at JDAD

Last week’s Jewish Disability Advocacy Day helped kick off Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month (JDAIM). JDAD was an exciting opportunity to learn and advocate, and helped set the advocacy agenda for disability rights in the 115th Congress. JDAD provided the opportunity to hear from experts about some of the most issues that Congress will address in the next two years

A troubling, but important, piece of legislation regarding disability rights in the 115th Congress is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Education and Reform Act. The bill, which was first introduced...

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Person with disabilities sign

“You shall not insult the deaf, or put a stumbling block before the blind. You shall fear your God: I am the Eternal.” Leviticus 19:14

As the legislative assistant who manages the disability rights portfolio for the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC), I see and hear this quote often. It is a powerful reminder of the biblical enjoinment to treat people with disabilities justly, and to work for policies that ensure their rights.

Interestingly, this commandment is not a reminder to treat all people equally. In fact, it singles out behavior that is unacceptable...

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