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The Jewish Center for Justice is a distinguished social justice, education, and leadership development platform that meets each individual where they are in their journey to inspire change.

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Justice resources for your Passover Seder

Justice resources for your Passover Seder

Each year, we gather around the Seder table to regale friends and family with the story of our ancestors escaping bondage in Egypt. We share stories of Moses’ growth from a boy who doesn’t know his true identity to a leader whom the Israelite people can turn to. 

We honor Aaron’s righteousness as he aids his brother in the holy endeavor of convincing Pharaoh to free the Israelites. And we pay tribute to Miriam, our prophetess who helps the Israelite community find hope and joy in the face of an uncertain future. 

This year, as we make our way around the Seder plate, we strive to see our ancestors’ suffering as a call to pursue justice for all people suffering from oppression and bondage. Here, we pair each item on the Seder plate with a piece of legislation that, if passed, would create a more free and just world. 

Charoset – This mixture of apples, nuts, spices, and wine reminds us of the mortar our ancestors used to build Egyptian structures. Our Israelite ancestors were forced to build structures for Egyptian taskmasters without rights or workplace protections. In current times, we lack a safety net for our California’s farm workers. Senate Bill 227 would create an Excluded Workers Program to pay undocumented workers $300 per week for each week of unemployment, up to 20 weeks.

Maror – The bitter herbs, usually horseradish, represent the bitter yoke of slavery the Israelites experienced while enslaved in Pharaoh’s Egypt. And few things are more bitter or brutal in our world than solitary confinement. California Assembly Bill 280 would prohibit state detention facilities from holding an incarcerated person in segregated confinement for more than 15 consecutive days and no more than 45 days in a 180-day period. 

Bietzah – The roasted egg is representative of the ancient festival sacrifice and the spring season during which we celebrate Passover. The egg on our Seder plate also reminds us of life and renewal. Since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, numerous states have enacted anti-abortion legislation that put mothers’ lives at risk. S. 701, or the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2023, would restore the right to comprehensive reproductive health for millions of Americans.  

Zeroa – The shank bone represents the paschal lamb which was sacrificed as the Passover offering. Our Passover story shares that the blood from this lamb was put over Israelite doors prior to the final plague, which brought the death of Egyptian firstborn children. Here, God acted as the Israelites’ caregiver, ensuring their families were protected. Today, too many people who serve as caregivers are discriminated against by employers. California Assembly Bill 524 provides additional legal protections against discrimination for family caregivers. 

Karpas – Parsley, which is dipped into salt water, reminds us of the tears shed by our ancestors during their enslavement. Still today, too many working people cannot adequately provide for their family. Unfortunately, many of these individuals end up unhoused and living on the streets. AB 920 would expand the list of protected categories in California’s anti-discrimination law to include housing status. This would protect unhoused people from being targeted or denied access to programs and benefits by the state or state-funded agencies simply because of their housing status. 

Orange – A modern addition to our Seder plates, the orange represents the members of the LGBTQ+ community who have been marginalized in our communities. If passed, SB 407 would ensure that California’s LGBTQ+ youth in foster care are placed in homes that are accepting of LGBTQ+ identities.

JCJ Updates: What is happening in Israel?

When Israel faces external threats, we often see it as our mission to educate the JCJ community, our partners, and the public at-large about what’s happening. This is typically an incredible responsibility as the nuance of each situation is usually missing from...

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Three Actions You Can Take to Honor Women’s History Month

Women’s History Month is the annual celebration of the contributions and achievements of women in United States history. While so much has been accomplished in the fight for equal rights, we also know that the path toward true justice is long. Our Jewish tradition...

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As summer approaches and we start to plan family vacations and fun activities, make sure to take note of the recent travel advisory to Florida issued this weekend by the @naacp. The organization issued this formal advisory on Saturday in response to the ““aggressive attempts to erase Black history and to restrict diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in Florida schools.” And this is not the first group to issue this warning! Last month, @equalityfl issued a similar advisory, and just last week, @lulac, the largest Hispanic and Latin-American organization in the U.S. offered an advisory for immigrants traveling to Florida. So, where are you headed this summer? #traveladvisory ...

A year ago today, a draft of Justice Alito’s decision on Dobbs v. Jackson leaked from the Supreme Court. The eventual decision made on June 24, 2022, would effectively overturn Roe v. Wade and turn the decision of abortions back to states. Although these abortion restrictions have negatively impacted the health and wellbeing of all pregnant people, it has had the most impact on low-income women and members of marginalized racial and ethnic groups. It will continue to exacerbate health inequality in this country. And no one should be denied access to health care — period. We must continue to fight for justice, fight for what is fair, and fight for what we believe to be the rights of everyone, regardless of what state they live in, what religion they are, or how much money they make. If you would to learn more about what you can do, head to our link in bio now! #dobbsvjackson ...

Just 1 month until the JCJ Summer Soirée, an unforgettable night at one of LA’s most talked about venues, @surrules! Enjoy global cuisine, craft cocktails, music, and an amazing silent auction while celebrating with elected officials, advocates, allies, and more. Head up to our link in bio or stories to get your tickets now! 🎟️ #JCJsummersoiree ...

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