WRJ's Blog

This week’s Voices is written by Deena Gottlieb who is a 2nd year rabbinical student at HUC-JIR in NY. Deena is one of 6 students who are receiving YES Fund scholarships this year from WRJ.

This week’s Torah portion, Parashat Bo, continues the narrative of the ten plagues. As the parashah opens, God tells Moses to plead with Pharaoh on behalf of the Israelites. However, in the same verse, we also learn that Moses’ efforts will be futile; Pharaoh will not relent because God has hardened Pharaoh’s heart against any sort of persuasion. This seems rather cruel of God. In essence, God...

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On January 23, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order reinstating the global gag rule, formally known as the Mexico City Policy. This policy was established by the Reagan Administration in 1984 and blocks all U.S. foreign aid to international family planning agencies that provide abortions or even mention abortion as an option for clients seeking health care.

As presidents have taken office, the global gag rule...

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Dear Senators and Representatives,

I’m sure that you are aware that the recent Women’s March, held around the world, was among the largest unified gatherings in human history. Sadly, it is unlikely the Administration was paying attention – our new president seemed much more focused on measuring the size of his crowd than noticing the millions of women and their supporters speaking out for their rights and their values.

So now I turn to you – our elected representatives, to let you know that I am holding you accountable. Whether or not I vote for you, or actively seek your...

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Reading through this week’s Torah portion, Va-eira, brought back memories of growing up in Apartheid South Africa, where ‘Non-Whites’ had to carry ‘passes’, were banned from attending movies and theatre, eating in restaurants, had their own buses and special “Non-Whites Only” benches, toilets and beaches.

Thankfully that all changed in 1994 when Nelson Mandela came into power.

Sisterhoods throughout South Africa, starting in the Apartheid years and continuing their good work today, do outreach work in the impoverished areas. Some examples are the M.C. Weiler School in...

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The potential rollback of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) will be a primary focus with the new presidential administration now in place. On Friday, President Trump signed an executive order that gave federal agencies the ability and directive to  stop enforcing the law, thereby rolling back many of its key provisions. The scope and power of the...

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