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Health Care For All

Our mission

To provide a Jewish voice for congregational and community education and advocacy. To promote universal access to quality health care, equitably and without discrimination.

What we believe

Jewish values teach us that taking care of the community is important. In keeping with the Jewish values of tikkun olam (repairing the world) and tzedek (justice) - because one’s health has a significant impact on quality of life - we believe that everyone should have access to affordable, quality health care. Our view of health is holistic, comprising mental, physical, and dental health.

As a member of the Reform Jewish Movement, Temple Beth Am is strongly guided by the principles and policies of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ). With regard to health care in particular, Temple Beth Am is guided by the 1993 URJ Resolution on Reform of the Health Care System and the commitment of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC) to actions in support of this policy. For information, see the RAC Urgency of Now Resource Center.

In March 2015, the Temple Beth Am Board of Directors approved a Resolution for Equality in Health Care for all Residents of Washington State, which also guides our work.

What we do

  • Conduct outreach, engage, and educate our community and ourselves through presenting meaningful forums; staying informed about health care issues and advocacy efforts; and alerting our community to opportunities for advocacy
  • Advocate through participation in local and statewide health care working groups and interfaith advocacy efforts as well as communication with legislators primarily at the local and state level
  • Connect with members and friends of Temple Beth Am; fellow groups and leaders in our local Jewish community, other faith communities, and lay communities; and health care professionals, legislators, and advocates
  • Uplift through living our Jewish values, guided by the principles of tikkun olam and tzedek

Who we are

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We are members of the Temple Beth Am community who come from a variety of backgrounds, including health care, communications, and education. What do we have in common? We all care deeply about universal access to quality health care.

Organizations we engage with

Committee members are actively involved with organizations that further our mission. Locally, we participate in the Health Care Is a Human Right Washington campaign, the Healthy Washington Coalition and the Faith Action Network's Network of Advocating Faith Communities(NAFC), which comprises more than 100 communities across Washington. We coordinate closely with Northwest Health Law Advocates, a non-profit organization that promotes health care access in Washington.

How you can get involved

  • Join our committee. We meet once a month at Temple Beth Am and engage in a variety of outreach and advocacy efforts. You do not need to have a background in health care or advocacy to join the committee. Everyone is welcome to participate as their interests and schedules allow. 
  • Sign up to receive our emails. Periodically, we send emails alerting members and friends of the committee to events of interest that are hosted by the committee and organizations we engage with. To be added to our email list, contact Louisa Rose, the HCFA committee communications coordinator.
  • Picture1Attend one of our events (and invite others). We host educational forums, movie screenings, house parties, and other events to promote awareness of health care equity-related issues and opportunities for advocacy. If you haven’t signed up for our emails, we also share information about upcoming events via the Temple Beth Am Bulletin and calendar and on this web page. If you know of friends, family, and colleagues who would be interested in our events, please invite them. We welcome all who are interested in health care justice.
  • Throughout the year, we share Action Updates that list dates and locations along with other information about upcoming local and state advocacy activities. Activities that you can participate in include meetings with legislators and other advocacy groups; interfaith advocacy days and summits as well as conference calls; and calling and writing our state and national representatives to advocate for health care issues.

Upcoming Events: 

Tzedek Shabbaton
Saturday, February 9, 9:15 AM - 4:00 PM
Temple Beth Am  

To re-envision the social justice work of our congregation, we will devote an entire day – a Shabbaton – to the theme of Tzedek, tzedek, tirdof: “Justice, justice, you will pursue” (Deuteronomy 16:20).  Starting with Torah study and a Shabbat service in the morning and ending with Havdallah late in the day, the afternoon will be devoted to coming together to learn about and provide feedback for a proposed vision for social justice work at Temple Beth Am.

Building on and supporting the successful work that’s already being done in so many different areas, the goal is to create a congregation-driven social justice structure that will cultivate inclusive, bold, and unprecedented action, and engage more of our congregants in social actions that are an essential part of Reform Judaism.

There is no charge to attend the Shabbaton, but lunch will be served and you do need to sign up for lunch, so we can be sure to order enough food.  Please come, and help garner the collective power of the congregation to make meaningful change in the world.

See the homepage for our complete Shabbaton schedule.

 

Disparities in Mental Health Care
Saturday, February 16, 1:00 – 2:00 PM
Beth Am Social Hall

Lauren Simonds from the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) and Janet Varon from Northwest Health Law Advocates will review current policy issues on mental health services and how we can get involved in deciding these policies. Please join Temple Beth Am's Health Care for All committee to discover your role to help our state continue to move forward. 

How to contact us

To learn more about the committee and get involved, contact Committee Chair Leah Vetter.

Wed, January 23 2019 17 Sh'vat 5779