A Special Message from Rabbi Stein

We have a unique opportunity to join in a community conversation.  For the last several years, there has been a organization working in Rochester called Great Schools For All.  It began with the Rochester Urban Presbyterian Consortium and has expanded to include a number of concerned groups and individual citizens.  Great Schools defines its vision as  “Every family in our community, no matter their zip code or income, will be guaranteed access to an excellent public school.” Its mission is defined as “We are helping to build a network of socioeconomically diverse magnet schools open to students from across Monroe County. We envision existing school districts, colleges or partner organizations will operate these schools. This is the surest, shortest and least expensive remedy for high-poverty schools.”

One of Great Schools’ next steps is to organize community conversations.  Participants can live anywhere in the community and do not necessarily need to have school age children (although they’ve said it would be wonderful if they do!).   We will be hosting one of the conversations here at TBK, and I hope that you will respond to this message if you would be interested in participating.  The structured conversation is limited to a group of 10 to 15 people and will require a four hour time commitment.

Great Schools has developed a structure and process for this conversation: we are simply recruiting participants and providing space and hospitality. I recognize the many complexities involved in strengthening our public schools.  I also recognize the urgency and profound need, and I hope that the leaders of Great Schools will make a positive contribution that helps the students of our city and county all receive an outstanding education.

If you are interested in participating in this conversation, please respond to Heather, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 244-7060 ext. 227.  Let her know that you are interested in the Great Schools conversation and whether you are available on each of the following dates from noon to 4:00 PM: August 16, September 6, and September 14.  

If you want to learn more about Great Schools, visit their website at gs4a.org.

Rabbi Stein


Can You Help a Child?

Adorable tripletsDo you have what foster children need?

They need love and security. Can you offer that? Right now, Monroe County has a shortage of foster homes and is looking for more caring people. 

Learn about all life has to offer. Become a foster parent. Information sessions are being held in February, March and April. To register or for more information call 334-9096.

Change the World

- Girls in Kenya's Masai region, have a shortage of sanitary protection products. Less well-off girls miss four days of class every month because their parents cannot afford these products for their daughters. The same sad situation is as prevalent in Rwanda resulting in a 10 - 20 percent absenteeism rate from school. Girls consequently fall behind in their studies, as it is impossible for them to attend school without protection.

- Thousands of women in Africa, Asia and the Arab region suffer from obstetric fistulas -a hole in the birth canal caused by prolonged labor without prompt medical intervention. The woman is left with chronic incontinence and, in most cases, a stillborn baby. WRJ has just developed a new program for sisterhoods, Maternal Health and Fistula, as an implementing partner of the Religions for Peace inter-religious initiative to seek an end to maternal deaths and fistula. Many multi-religious women's groups are implementing the initiative.

Visit the WRJ/Sisterhood page for information on how you can participate in these projects.

Save a Life - Buy a Net

If you could save a life for $10, would you? You can - by buying a bed net to protect a family from mosquitoes transmitting malaria.

We're excited to announce the official launch of the Union for Reform Judaism's Nothing But Nets Initiative. URJ has committed to supplying 50,000 bed nets for sub-Saharan African communities to protect families from mosquitoes transmitting malaria. A $10 contribution goes directly towards the purchase, distribution, and monitoring of an insecticide-treated bed net.

One million people die each year from malaria - 90% of those are African children. We can prevent these deaths. Make a commitment to help the Union for Reform Judaism provide 50,000 nets to Nothing But Nets.

To buy a net or find more information, visit: urj.org/nets

Judicial Process Commission

JPC is looking for volunteers to help serve a very vulnerable and special group - women coming home from county jail who are pregnant or are mothers with children under the age of two.

If you are interested please contact Sue Porter at 325-7727.

Religious Action Center News

Join RAC on Your Favorite Social Network!

RAC's presence on your favorite social network site is just a click away. Become our friend, follow our tweets, or watch our video channel on YouTube! Show your support for Jewish Social Justice online!

Nothing But Nets - Help Save Lives with $10

The spread of malaria is preventable. A $10 donation goes directly towards the purchase, distribution, and education about the proper use of an insecticide-treated bed net. Join the Union for Reform Judaism in our fight against global poverty.

Looking for a Few Good Graduates

Be Social. Take Action.
Reform Jewish College Graduates can practice Social Justice and promote Jewish Values as an Eisendrath Legislative Assistant at the RAC - Applications Available Online

RACBlog - Guest Bloggers Appearing Weekly!

The RAC's weblog is featuring commentary and insight from leaders of the Reform Movement and the Staff of Religious Action Center