Newsletter - April 2020


Bend The Arc Jewish Action - Champaign-Urbana
Newsletter - April 2020

Bend the Arc:CU Joins National Anti-White Nationalism Initiative

Bend the Arc:CU is proud to join the new Bend the Arc initiative, We Rise As One—a national program to defeat white nationalism, elect candidates who promote racial and social justice, and fight for an economy that works for all of us. Locally, we have three initiatives to work on right now.

So, join us April 22, 7 pm, for the first of several short Zoom meetings (watch for the email invitation) to learn all about them. CU's ArcBenders are a powerful group when we work together. Why let a pandemic stop us? Help us ensure that we can live in a Democratic society where everyone can thrive, no matter our religion, sexual orientation, or skin color!

Want to learn more about We Rise as One? Watch the video!

Welcome to the first edition of our Newsletter! I am the founder of this group, which was launched on January 22, 2017, when 18 people came to my dining room to hear me talk about a Jewish organization I discovered on the internet and a guy named Max who was helping me organize. Before we disbanded, we had a name, a mission statement, and plans to help our immigrant neighbors.

I came late to politics as I came late to my religious practice. I try every day to make up for what I missed because, like you, I want with all my heart to live in a society that is multiracial, multicultural, interfaith, gender appreciated, and economically fair to everyone.

In order to do that, I fight for leaders who share my Jewish values: to protect the widow and orphan, to treat your neighbor as yourself, and to repair the world. Justice, justice you shall pursue! You don’t have to be Jewish to appreciate those directives. You just have to be aware.
Me: God, why don’t you send someone to help?
God: I did, I sent you.
May you all be the “you” in that sentiment!

L’Shalom (With Peace),

Chair, Bend the Arc:CU

We Need You to Call Davis, Durbin, Duckworth about Vote by Mail!

The coronavirus pandemic is upending American life and could jeopardize the 2020 elections—but Congress is considering legislation right now that gives us a chance to save our elections and save lives.

Here's where we all come in. Indivisible Action, in conjunction with other national groups, is urging everyone on April 17 to flood our state and federal elected officials with phone calls and emails to demand passage of mandatory Vote By Mail legislation. Can't do it on April 17? Then do now! Call even the Democrats. This can't wait—action needs to be taken now so that it will be in effect by November!

(To send an email, click on the URL, then the email option.)

Gov. JB Pritzker:

State House:
IL 101st District: Dan Caulkins ([email protected])
IL 102nd District: Brad Halbrook ([email protected])
IL 103rd District: Carol Ammons
([email protected])
IL 104th District: Michael Marron ([email protected])

State Senate:
IL 51st District: Chapin Rose (
IL 52nd District:  Scott Bennett (

US House:
13th District: Rodney Davis (
15th District: John Shimkus (

US Senate:
Tammy Duckworth (
Richard Durbin: (

CU-FAIR Creates Pandemic Relief Fund

Bend the Arc:CU's long-time partner, CU Friends & Allies of Immigrants & Refugees (CU-FAIR) has created a Pandemic Relief Fund to help CU's community of asylum-seekers and undocumented immigrants who are in desperate need of food during the pandemic. Because most work in the restaurant and other service-sector industries that are shut down, and because they are not eligible for any state or federal assistance, they have no means to buy needed food or health supplies. CU-FAIR is currently providing free groceries, hygiene and health supplies, information on COVID-19 in three languages, and emergency cash assistance to these families. Please consider donating, and tell them you're with Bend the Arc:CU!

Betsy Dirksen Londrigan Needs YOU—to Text-Bank!

Sitting home with time on your hands? Put those hands to good use by joining the Betsy Dirksen Londrigan text-banking program! It's run by an app you download to your phone. Then, all you have to do is tap the “send” button, and the app automatically sends a text to a registered Democratic voter. You can literally send 100 texts in less than a minute! Best part—the recipient never sees your phone number, so you remain anonymous. View signup information here. 

Bend the Arc:CU Supporter Provided Essential COVID-19 Info

Long-time Bend the Arc:CU supporter Nigel Goldenfeld was one of two researchers whose research convinced Gov. JB Pritzker to issue his March 20 stay-at-home order. Explaining his decision, Gov. Pritzker cited the modeling of the virus by Goldenfeld, a U of I physics professor, and UIC bioengineering professor Sergei Maslov. Their work indicated that strong mitigation efforts would be needed by April 1 to avoid overwhelming hospitals in Chicago. Read about it here.

Need a Mask?

Bend the Arc:CU's own Terry can make them for you in return for a donation of any amount ($1, $10, whatever) to CU-FAIR's Pandemic Fund. Contact her at [email protected].

"The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

- Martin Luther King, Jr., inspired by Theodore Parker

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Bend the Arc Jewish Action focuses solely on domestic issues affecting the American Jewish community, specifically by fighting white nationalism and racism in all its forms, and supporting threatened immigrant communities.

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