Fasting for a Moral Budget in Pennsylvania

JOIN’s Rabbinic Fellowship launched in April and we’ve had a powerful first few months. 43 rabbis representing 75,000 congregants in Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia have joined the Clergy Fellowship and begun engaging deeply in community organizing, and starting the process of activating their congregations for justice work.

Our Rabbinic Fellows are already getting to work. In Philadelphia, members of the fellowship joined the broad-based interfaith organizing organization POWER for an escalating series of actions putting pressure on the Pennsylvania legislature to approve a full and fair funding formula for public education in Pennsylvania.

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From the Faith in PA coalition website:

“PA has the most unequally funded public schools in the United States, including a racial bias towards districts with more white students.  Across the state, in rural, suburban, urban, black, brown and white communities alike, our school districts have been underfunded for decades and our kids can’t wait any longer for a 21st century education. 

Governor Wolf has proposed an increase to public education funding that is still a fraction – 15% – of what would fully fund schools. The House of Representatives has proposed a budget with no new money for schools at all. Meanwhile, both want cuts in taxes for corporations. Clearly, we don’t have a financial crisis in Pennsylvania – we have a moral one. 

If our lawmakers won’t do the right thing and listen to Pennsylvanians’ real pain and experiences, we have no other choice but to go right to their doorstep and bring our values to them.”

As part of an escalating series of actions, religious leaders and their congregants from many faiths gathered at the State House in Harrisburg, PA to show that Pennsylvania has a moral problem, not a budget problem.  In the pictures below, Rabbi Annie Lewis joins her congregants and leaders from other faiths in this day of action.

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