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NCJW targets insurance, sex ed, hate crimes

The National Council of Jewish Women launched its triennial Washington Institute with a focus on sex education, children’s health and hate crimes. Some 400 delegates from around the country assembled in Washington last weekend for three days of training before their lobbying day on Tuesday, when they have scheduled more than 200 appointments on the Hill. The delegates will lobby for the extension until 2012 of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, which since 1998 has provided health coverage for 4 million children who would otherwise be uninsured; the Responsible Education About Life Act, which would expand federally funded sexual education beyond “abstinence only” programs; and legislation expanding the federal definition of hate crimes beyond crimes against members of groups committing federally protected activities, such as voting. The hate crimes legislation also would expand categories to include sexual orientation, gender and disability.