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A nun, a rabbi and an imam walk into Congress. It may sound like the beginning of a convoluted joke but that's exactly what happened last Thursday when an interfaith team of clergy leaders came together to lobby Congress for a fiscal solution that protects government programs for the needy while ending tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.
There will be plenty of action in Washington that the Jewish community will be watching closely over 2013. Jewish groups will work to prevent cuts that would unduly harm vulnerable populations, and Bend the Arc is fighting against renewing tax cuts for incomes above $250,000 to finance important programs like food stamps, Social Security, and Medicare.
Last week, Jews across the globe read in the Torah how Joseph ascended spectacularly to become second in command of an enormous nation. He was praised as someone who possessed great business acumen and, ultimately, was able to avert a major economic disaster. To put it another way, Joseph managed to stop the impending “fiscal cliff” of his time.
Jewish clergy, including Bend the Arc Rabbi-in-Residence Jason Kimelman-Block, joined an interfaith group of Jewish, Muslim and Christian leaders that lobbied Congress to protect low-income Americans in “fiscal cliff” negotiations.
By passing Prop. 30, the sales and income tax increase initiative, we averted new and devastating budget cuts that would have caused immediate suffering and increased inequality for years to come. The untold story is that Proposition 30’s margin of victory was delivered by Reclaim California’s Future, a coalition of grassroots, interfaith and labor organizations.