The Social Justice Vision at Stephen S. Wise Temple

Our congregation will see Social Justice as a calling that derives from our sense of God and the imperative of Jewish Tradition. The Stephen S. Wise Temple community will use our influence, power and compassion to be a force for positive, meaningful and effective change in the quality of life on behalf of all the citizens of Los Angeles and the world.


Friday, May 13, 2011


Dear Advocate for CA Educational Reform:
We’re sending you this email because you’ve expressed interest in advocating for meaningful change in our local public school system or been a part of our Social Justice work. As you’ve read in some of our previous correspondences, our core committee continues to research the vital issues affecting education reform. Our challenge, and this should come as no surprise given the difficulty of this problem, is that the sands are constantly shifting. Whether it’s a change in LAUSD leadership or the budget crisis facing the state no sooner do we move forward on an issue when circumstances change and the parameters shift. This doesn’t mean that nothing can be done and when an opportunity arises our overall commitment to advocacy on behalf of our kids remains firm. That is the purpose of this email: an opportunity for action!
First the background: Governor Brown has proposed extending the current state tax revenue levels beyond July 2011's expiration date. This would allow the state budget to maintain current amounts of funding for public education as well as other services. If those levels are not maintained, major cuts in education are guaranteed. This will most likely be devastating to school districts throughout the state not to mention our colleges and universities.
Two partner organizations have reached out to us and have requested our support to help them as they fight to keep state revenues for education at existing levels:
FIRST:  The teachers of Lanai Elementary are participating in an UTLA sponsored demonstration on May 13th. Click here. While we are not advocating for or against support of UTLA, many of us are parents of children who have benefited from the dedication of teachers at Lanai, 35% of whom have received notices that they will be laid off next year. This is an opportunity to support teachers and raise our voices for adequate school funding.  Continuing the state revenue levels would avoid many if not all of these layoffs.  The Lanai flyer is attached to this mailing it includes all the details.
SECOND:  Educate our State will be holding a rally at Milikan (not Milken!) Middle School on May 24th as part of their state-wide day of action. Click here for more information. We’ve met with the local leadership of Educate our State and believe that they are an important non-partisan advocacy group for education reform. Details about this rally continue to develop, you can see the latest information on the Educate our State website. 
This is a chance for action and an opportunity to speak out to the press and our legislators about our passion to provide for the education of our children. We’d like to bring a contingent from our congregation group to both of the rallies.
Sorry if you’ve received duplicates of this email, we’ve cast a wide net to call attention to this important issue.
Thanks for taking the time to give this your consideration! We’ll see you there!
Rabbi Ron Stern, Sharon Almany, Laurie Bahar and the Education Advocacy Group of Stephen S. Wise Temple

No comments:

Post a Comment