Reform Jews are committed to social justice. Even as Reform Jews embrace ritual, prayer, and ceremony more than ever, we continue to see social justice as the jewel in the Reform Jewish crown. Like the prophets, we never forget that God is concerned about the everyday and that the blights of society take precedence over the mysteries of heaven. A Reform synagogue that does not alleviate the anguish of the suffering is a contradiction in terms. -Rabbi Eric Yoffie, Past President of the URJ
The following is adapted from Rabbi Marla Feldman’s paper, “Why Advocacy is Central to Reform Judaism.” To see her full comments, go here .
“Reform Judaism stands for certain principles and those who join our congregation take pride in our long history of speaking truth to power. Just as most members know that a hallmark of Reform Judaism is an openness to the “other” – whether lesbian or gay, interfaith families or those with special needs – they should also know that there will be a strong social action component – mitzvah days, collection drives, social justice sermons and education about issues of concern. And it should be expected that we, as a Jewish congregation, will make a collective effort to bring our progressive, Reform Jewish values to bear in the community at large. We will be engaged on issues of local, national and global concern; we will participate in interfaith coalitions and activities; we will speak out on behalf of the vulnerable; and we will seek justice for all. This is who we are.”
Links to Social Action Sites
Religious Action Center www.rac.org
Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL) www.coejl.org
Reform Jewish Voice of NY State www.rjvnys.org
Israeli Religious Action Center (IRAC) www.irac.org