Cincinnati students seize social justice opportunity

Claire Lefton

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Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

The group from Isaac M. Wise Temple in front of the Capitol building. Participants toured D.C. landmarks as well as attending the conference. From left to right: Rabbi Rachel Maimin, junior Claire Lefton, Seven Hills junior Zoe Zelkind, junior Jordan Baker, Seven Hills junior Michael Heldman, Mason junior Lauren Kohn, junior Rebecca Kuhr, and Walnut Hills junior Adina Ballaban.

“Make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in,” Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said in 1959.

Seven juniors from Isaac M. Wise temple journeyed to Washington D.C. the weekend of Feb 28 to represent Ohio at the Religious Action Center’s L’Taken Social Justice Seminar.

“Driven by the commandment to pursue justice, we are given the opportunity to learn about the role of advocacy in making our world a better place,” Rabbi Rachel Maimin, the group’s chaperone, said.

Students were immersed into a four day conference learning about both important issues in American society and the inner workings of American legislature run by the Religious Action Center, the hub of Jewish social justice for over 50 years.

“I learned a lot about the social issues that are affecting our country and it was really interesting to hear the reform movement’s view on them,” junior Rebecca Kuhr said.

The weekend finished off with the team’s lobby at the offices of Senator Sherrod Brown, Senator Rob Portman, and Representative Brad Wenstrup about their chosen topics, embryonic stem-cell research and comprehensive sexuality education.

Washington D.C. served not only as a place for students to tour, but a place where they could make a difference.