Yesterday Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) today introduced a House resolution recognizing the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism (RAC).
“The Center’s important work on behalf of so many communities – African-American, Jewish, South African, Tibetan, and Russian, among many others – has been a critical component of the civil rights and pro-democracy movements of the past five decades,” Nadler said in a statement.
What he didn’t say: while the RAC is active on a wide range of issues in Washington, with a focus on social justice concerns, it’s real impact may lie in its role as a huge incubator of progressive, Jewishly focused activists.
Much of the work at the RAC is done by students participating in its legislative assistants program who go on to become activists in a wide range of situations. The list of alumni includes top congressional staffers, deputy secretaries of state, White House officials, the president of Brandeis University and dozens of rabbis.
Talk about multiplying your influence.
So, as Rep. Nadler said in more formal language, mazel tov to the RAC.
Speaking of which: the group’s annual Consultation on Conscience event, headlined by former Vice President Al Gore, is coming up on May 1 in Washington. Glenn Beck and other conservative commentators may use “social justice” as a derogatory term, but the RAC wears it proudly, touting the Consultation as “the most exciting Jewish social justice event in Washington.”