There are already 875 rabbis, cantors and rabbinical students in the current Cabinet. We are working to increase that number, and to activate effective clergy structures for the Cabinet in the regions, as Rabbi Beth Janus has successfully done in the Philadelphia area.
Rabbis can play an effective role in articulating key J Street messages, recruiting new supporters and strengthening J Street’s ties with other Jewish communal organizations. As we have seen in Philadelphia, clergy also have a key role to play in lobbying and shaping policy. The Cabinet will be working to increase the effectiveness of national and regional structures, emphasizing issues that particularly speak to this moment in time both in the United States and Israel– strengthening civil rights and democracy, advocating for religious pluralism, fair treatment of refugees, a free press, and an independent judiciary–while at the same time addressing the urgency of moving toward a two-state solution and achieving a settlement freeze in the West Bank.
This is an ambitious agenda, but it is within reach of a hardworking Rabbinic Cabinet if we are successful at activating more of our members. That is an important place to start. One project that will soon appear will provide new material for the soon-coming Passover Seder.
–Rabbi David A. Teutsch, Wiener Professor Emeritus, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Wyncote, Pennsylvania