Sunday, October 21, 2012

DEBATE TONIGHT: John Delaney vs Roscoe Bartlett at Rockville Synagogue // PLUS: Jews for Justice Advance Questions 4 & 6

UPDATE: Today, Capital News Service has coverage of the latest Bartlett-Delaney debate. See a brief excerpt below:
CNS: Bartlett stood by the more than 30 votes he cast to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care reform law, but acknowledged that Republicans “do not have a well-developed alternative.” He defended his membership in the House Tea Party Caucus as “supporting a dialogue on the importance of the Constitution,” but added that he reaches across the aisle “more than probably any other Republican....”

CD6 CANDIDATES DEBATE: Throughout Maryland, much attention has been paid to what conservative and evangelical branches of Christianity have been doing with respect to Maryland politics. But today, we have two tidbits from the Jewish community in Montgomery County. The Jewish Community Relations Council invited Democrat John Delaney and GOP Rep. Roscoe Bartlett to a candidates debate tonight. The event begins at 6:30 pm tonight in Rockville, MD:
Temple Beth Ami
14330 Travilah Road
Rockville, MD 20850
This could be one of the more interesting debates in the 6th Congressional District race. First, Bartlett will have to face Delaney among a crowd of Montgomery County voters. But more importantly, it seems hard to imagine that Bartlett's recent Holocaust gaffes won't be discussed. You may recall that Bartlett recently compared federal student loans to the Holocaust.

JEWS FOR JUSTICE GEAR UP TO SUPPORT QUESTIONS 4 & 6: Meanwhile, elsewhere in Montgomery County, Jews for Justice is gearing up to help defend the Dream Act and marriage equality. See the press statement below:

Jewish Community in Montgomery County Mobilizes to 
Support Civil Marriage Equality and DREAM Act in Maryland

Jews United for Justice Organizes Montgomery County Jews in Support of Two Vital Maryland Ballot Issues; Momentum Builds as Area Congregations Plan Events to Educate Voters

Several area rabbis spoke to their congregations from the pulpit during the Jewish high holidays to remind congregants that Judaism requires equality under civil law for all people. Over 20 area Jewish congregations and youth and college groups are holding educational events, house meetings, canvasses, and phone banks to educate members and get out the vote in November. Jews United for Justice (JUFJ) is organizing synagogues and Jewish communities across Montgomery County to educate and mobilize voters on two critical social justice issues which will be put to a statewide vote in November: the Maryland DREAM Act and the Civil Marriage Protection Act.

Rabbi Michael Feshbach of Temple Shalom delivered the following message to his congregation in his Kol Nidre speech on the eve of Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year:

“This fall we face two opportunities to step up, and stand out, to pray with our hands… to act, and by so doing, to make this world more whole.  The initiatives I refer to will appear as Questions Four and Six on the Maryland ballot.  They are the Maryland version of the Dream Act, and the issue of Marriage Equality for Same-Sex couples.  In my view, and, indeed, in the view of our Reform movement, these are measures which call for our involvement, and support….We can… remember that the work we do to better the world is something we do… as Jews, as a congregation, as a Jewish community, as an expression of our Jewish values… as well as flowing from our sense of general human decency.  We can step forward, with head and heart and hand… With education, passion, and advocacy.”

Maryland citizens will be able to vote on November 6th in support of these civil rights issues listed as Questions 4 and 6 on the ballot.  The Jewish community in Montgomery County is organizing and educating potential voters to vote based on the shared Jewish values of social justice and equality, themes common to both of these important issues.

Jewish Americans overwhelming support both issues. Chosen for What? Jewish Values in 2012, a new study completed by the Public Religion Research Institute, finds that 70% of American Jews support the federal DREAM Act.  And more than 8-in-10 (81%) American Jews support allowing same-sex couples to marry legally.

JUFJ is a non-profit organization whose mission is to lead Washington-area Jews to act on our shared Jewish values by pursuing justice and equality in our local community.  We fervently support these two important measures and know that an overwhelming majority of area Jews do so as well.


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