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JCPA, Reform join poverty letter

Two major Jewish groups signed a letter urging the U.S. presidential candidates to make a speech on poverty.

“Our common faith teachings present a vision of shared responsibility that commands that we leave the corners of our field for the poor and the stranger, and mandates, ‘There shall be no needy among you’ (Deuteronomy 15:4),” said the letter sent Tuesday to Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), the presumptive Democratic nominee, and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), his Republican counterpart.

Rabbi Steve Gutow, the director of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, and Rabbi David Saperstein, the director of the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center, were among nine signatories, which included Christian and Muslim leaders.

“We are therefore asking each of our national political parties to present a primetime speech at its 2008 convention that is solely dedicated to proposing a comprehensive plan to address poverty and opportunity in America over the next decade,” the letter said.

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