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We Urge Susan Collins to Support the Equality Act

By unanimous vote of the Board of Directors, Congregation Beth Israel urges Senator Susan Collins to provide her support for the current Equality Act.  We ask her to set aside unnecessary concerns over transgender sports participation and “religious liberty.” As a religious institution, we see no real threat to religious liberty by affording federal workplace […]

Support for LD 187 – An Act to Require Education about African-American History and the History of Genocide

The Board of Directors of Congregation Beth Israel voted unanimously to send a letter to the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs in support of this legislation.  Our community encourages the state of Maine to make both African-American History and the History of Genocide a mandatory component of public school curriculum. Letter (PDF)

LD 55 An Act To Protect Minority Religious Groups by Eliminating the Prior Approval Requirement

Our President submitted the following testimony for LD 55: As President of Congregation Beth Israel in Bangor, Maine’s oldest extant Jewish house of worship, and as a parent of school-aged children, I am voicing my strong support for LD 55, “An Act to Protect Minority Religious Groups by Eliminating the Prior Approval Requirement for a […]

Justice Melville Fuller Statue

Most know that Plessy v. Ferguson upheld the constitutionality of racial segregation under the auspices of “separate but equal.”  This of course promulgated Jim Crow legislation throughout the South. Chief Justice Melville Fuller, a native of Maine, presided over Plessy v. Ferguson, voting with the majority.  Justice Fuller’s complicated judicial tenure also included Lochner v. New York, in which […]

“Racism is my high school experience.”

These were the shocking words of Kosi Ifeji, a student in Bangor schools. Members of Congregation Beth Israel are no strangers to the sting of discrimination. From our earliest presence in the Bangor area through to today, we’ve felt the same sting of racism. Our Social Action Committee lead the charge in a local effort […]