Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (November 2011)|
The Religious Action Center (RAC) is the political and legislative outreach arm of Reform Judaism in the United States. The RAC is operated under the auspices of the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism, a joint body of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and the Union for Reform Judaism. It was founded in 1961.
Consistent with the political and social concerns of Reform Judaism, the RAC played a key role in important political events of the American civil rights movement, the struggles of Soviet Jewry, as well as the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Darfur. It hosted several meetings at which the groundwork for the various pieces of legislation, including the Civil Rights Acts and Voting Rights Acts, were laid. It also shielded civil rights marchers who were attacked by District of Columbia police.
Aside from its community organizing and direct advocacy work, the RAC has also been a hub of social justice programming for the Reform Jewish community. The L'Taken seminar series has given thousands of young Jews the opportunity to visit Washington, DC, and learn about public policy and Jewish values. The RAC also hosted a Passover Seder for the Dalai Lama in the late 1990s.
Its long-serving director is Rabbi David Saperstein.
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