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JCRC Sets Rally to Combat Gun Violence

January 17, 2013 By:
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Rabbi David Straus (center), of Main Line Reform Temple, addressed a crowd on the issue of gun violence and the need for stricter laws.

The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Philadelphia is helping to organize a Jan. 23 rally in Harrisburg to urge measures to combat the nationwide problem of gun violence.

The rally and news conference will take place at noon on the first day the Pennsylvania General Assembly will be in full session since last month’s mass shooting in Newtown, Conn. The demonstration is being cosponsored by CeaseFirePA, a group that backs gun control measures, and Heeding God’s Call, an interfaith organization dedicated to gun control.
The rally is set to take place a week after President Barack Obama introduced a sweeping set of gun control measures that are expected to lead to a fierce debate in Congress. 
In a widely distrubuted email, Adam Kessler, JCRC’s executive director, and Rabbi David Straus, the group’s president, wrote, “Our outrage has stirred us from our complacency and we will not wait for the next atrocity to finally act. As the nation mourns, we must also look forward and dedicate ourselves to preventing a future massacre.”
“If the Civil Rights movement was the moral issue of the ’60s for our community,” Kessler and Straus continued, “eradication of gun violence in our society ought to be the moral issue of our time.”
In a letter to members of Germantown Jewish Centre urging people to attend, Rabbi Adam Zeff wrote, “The Torah teaches us that we must not stand idly by while the blood of our neighbors is being spilled. It is time to demand action from our elected officials to stem the tide of gun violence.”

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