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During Summer Recess 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 652, the "Mezuzah Bill" into law. The bill ensures that landlords and HOAs can no longer prohibit families from putting religious items on their doors. On Monday, August 12, 2019, the legislature's first day back in session, members of the Jewish Caucus hung a mezuzah on their office doors in the State Capitol to celebrate and honor the bill's passage.

On Friday, August 9, 2019, 11 Legislators from the California Legislative Jewish Caucus and the California Latino Legislative Caucus visited the Otay Mesa Detention Center and a Migrant Family Shelter operated by Jewish Family Services (JFS).  The delegation toured both facilities, conducted interviews with detainees at Otay Mesa, and met with migrant families at the JFS facility.  The trip was organized by the Jewish Caucus, which has grown increasingly concerned with federal immigration policy and widespread reports of abuse and mistreatment of asylum-seekers at the southern border.

On Monday, April 29, 2019, the Jewish Caucus hosted the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony in the Capitol. A resolution commemorating the day was adopted by the Senate, accompanied by beautiful speeches from the leaders of the Black, Latino, Asian Pacific Islander, LGBT, and Women's Caucues. The USC Shoah Foundation exhibited Dimensions in Testimony, new technology where one can interact with a virtual Holocaust survivors. And, for the main event, a ceremony was held on the Assembly Floor.

What a delight to spend this morning with Governor Newsom and share our caucus’s goals for the year. We’re grateful for his hospitality at the Governor’s Mansion, and look forward to working together.

DID YOU KNOW Governor Newsom attended Jewish summer camp as a kid?

The work done in this building is predominantly values-driven. A beautiful mezuzah now hangs on Assemblymember Marc Levine’s office doorpost as a reminder of some of the values our community holds dear.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹקינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשַׁנוּ בְּמִצְו‌ֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לִקְבּוֹעַ מְזוּזָה

Blessed are You, who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to affix a Mezuzah.

 

“Using parental love as a weapon of terror was the clear intent of this hateful policy,” said Assemblymember Marc Levine, (D-Marin County), Chair of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus. “It had nothing to do with the administration of justice, it had nothing to do with the rule of law.  It was a threat. A brutal threat against the primary unit of all civilization – the family.”

“As chair of the Legislative Jewish Caucus,  as a father, and as a son, it resonates something dreadful to me – the thought of a policy so perverse that it literally uses parental love as a weapon of fear,” said Assemblymember Marc Levine, (D-Marin County). “Turning away refugees, locking our doors, and closing our hearts to people fleeing violence and death is short-sighted and cruel, and we cannot be silent about it.”

Every year, the California State Assembly honors survivors of the Holocaust during California Holocaust Remembrance Week.  This year, The United States Holocaust Memorial Council designated Monday, April 11, 2018 as Yom HaShoah, the International Day of Remembrance. As time passes and fewer witnesses remain, we must honor survivors, families of survivors, and those who perished during the Holocaust.