Rabbi Susan Talve is the founding rabbi of Central Reform Congregation (CRC), the only Jewish congregation in the City of St. Louis. She and her congregation have been some of the most outspoken religious advocates for universal health care in Missouri. She is among the founders and now serves as the Board President of Missouri Health Care for All, a statewide, nonpartisan, faith- and community-led grassroots movement for quality, affordable health care for all Missourians.
Since being founded at CRC in 2007, Missouri Health Care for All (MHCFA) has grown to include 131 member organizations and nearly 8,000 member individuals. Both organizations and individuals sign on by endorsing a shared set of principles adopted early on by the organization. Rabbi Talve’s vision and leadership have helped the group reach and engage dozens of organizations that would not otherwise be engaged in the movement for health reform, including other faith congregations, faith leaders, and community groups. The organization has mobilized the grassroots and community and faith leaders in dozens of actions and activities, ranging from educational forums about the Affordable Care Act to a “Rally for a Compassionate Budget” to protest proposed cuts to mental health and social services. The rally attracted more than 500 individuals and 50 faith leaders in April 2009. This past Sunday, CRC and MHCFA partnered with 14 other organizations to hold a public meeting with legislators to discuss the Affordable Care Act; nine state legislators and nearly 200 Missourians attended.
In addition to her work with MHCFA, Rabbi Talve is the Vice President of the Board of Dollar-Help, Inc., and is also on the Board of CHIPS, Community-Health-In-Partnership, a free health clinic for the uninsured. She has fostered relationships with African-American and Muslim congregations, and has been active in protecting civil liberties for the LGBT community. Rabbi Talve served as the Vice Chair of Missourians for Freedom and Justice, an organization that supported the LGBT community. She is active in a number of local organizations, including Faith Aloud (formerly the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice) and the St. Louis Interfaith Dialogue Group.
Kol hakavod to Rabbi Talve for her leadership in Missouri and beyond.