Resolutions 2002

Resolution on Helping the Poor in a Recessionary Economy

WHEREAS Jewish tradition teaches “Open your hand [to the poor person] and provide sufficient for the need” (Deut. 15:8), and “Just as God clothed the naked…so too you must supply clothes for the naked [poor]” (Talmud B. Sotah 14a);” and

WHEREAS the burden of the current recession and the aftermath of Sept. 11 falls disproportionately on low income families; and

Resolution on Israel

WHEREAS the State of Israel is the spiritual homeland of the Jewish People and an object of ultimate concern for Jews, creating an unbreakable bond between Israel and Jews all over the world; and

WHEREAS the hope of the Oslo peace accords was that the question of the legitimacy of the State of Israel in the minds of the Arab states in general, and the Palestinian nation in particular, had been favorably resolved, and it is now clear that such resolution is being challenged; and

Resolution on Terrorism

WHEREAS Jewish tradition has its paramount principle the sanctity and pursuit of life as exemplified in the Torah with the words, “You shall keep My Laws and rules, by the pursuit of which one shall live” (Lev. 18:5) and Jewish tradition teaches that deliberate indiscriminate killing is murder, and;

WHEREAS Jewish tradition supports the establishment of a basic normative order and governance that ensures peace and security for the citizens of all lands as exemplified by the instructions of Moses to Jethro in Exodus 18, and;

Resolution on Interreligious Dialogue

WHEREAS the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 illustrated the very worst of human nature, in the suffering and destruction that is caused by hatred of a people, a nation or a group; and

WHEREAS the firemen, police, rescue workers, and countless other ordinary people who were willing to sacrifice their lives to save others demonstrated the very best in human nature; and

Resolution on Media Bias Against Israel

WHEREAS the conflict in the Middle East between Israel and her Arab neighbors has occupied much of the attention of American journalism, in all of its forms, since the founding of the modern State of Israel in 1948, making Israel a daily staple of print, audio and video news outlets; and

WHEREAS news reporting is a subjective art, where facts, events, visual images and opinions are selected by the reporter in order to construct a narrative of a news story that is of interest, and that the personal bias of the reporter always governs the subjective process of selection; and

Resolution on Civil Liberties

WHEREAS the heinous attacks of September 11, 2001 were explicitly against America and American values; and

WHEREAS one of the touchstones of American life is our regard for the civil rights and civil liberties protected by our laws and constitution; and

WHEREAS there is an urgent need for law enforcement officials to have the necessary tools and support to conduct the difficult task of bringing to justice terrorist organizations that operate by stealth and secrecy; and

Resolution on Ethiopian Jewry

WHEREAS a healthy Diaspora is a critical component of modern Jewish life, and all Jews in the Diaspora are precious and worthy of our support, and the institution of the synagogue is central to the Diaspora for organization, vigor, education, and communication; and

WHEREAS those Jews living in Ethiopia believe that the political climate in Ethiopia is such that it is now possible to create a public, institutional, indigenous presence, and that such a presence would help protect the Jewish heritage of Ethiopia.

Resolution Supporting President George W. Bush Following the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001

WHEREAS the President of the United States, George W. Bush, all those serving in our Armed Forces, and all firefighters, law enforcement officers and emergency/rescue personnel, deserve the dedicated, wholehearted support and sincere gratitude of all American s as they respond to the treacherous terrorist acts carried out on American soil on September 11, 2001; and

WHEREAS by their decisive and unselfish examples of leadership and courage under fire, President Bush, government officials, and military, law enforcement and rescue personnel are inspiring and encouraging our fellow citizens to rally to our country’s support during this time of national tragedy; and

WHEREAS President Bush and his administration have unequivocally and courageously waged a war against terrorism in the hopes of creating a safer world for all its inhabitants; and

WHEREAS President Bush has shown unwavering support for the State of Israel, a nation that has been victimized by wanton acts of terrorism since its inception; and

WHEREAS President Bush has wisely refused to negotiate with terrorists; and

WHEREAS President Bush has rightfully labeled groups such as Hizbollah and Hamas as terrorist groups who pose a threat to all peace loving people; and

WHEREAS President Bush declared at a joint session of Congress on September 20, 2001, that “Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make.  Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime; and

WHEREAS President Bush declared on December 2, 2001, that “Chairman Arafat must do everything in his power to find those who murdered innocent Israelis and bring them to justice”; and

WHEREAS President Bush has succeeded in forming a non-partisan coalition of all American who cherish freedom and eschew terrorism while, at the same time, fully respecting diversity---political, ethnic and religious’

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Rabbinical Assembly, in appreciation of America’s unparalleled heritage of freedom, democracy and opportunity, extends its support and sincere appreciation to President George W. Bush and all those who are bravely and selflessly upholding the ideals and institutions of our great nation at this time of grave need; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Rabbinical Assembly encourage the members of our movement, both lay and professional, to express their gratitude on a personal basis through concerted letter writing and e-mail campaigns in our congregations, schools, camps, and youth activities to President Bush, expressing our gratitude to President Bush for his courageous acts in the face of evil men and women who strive to undermine the values of freedom and liberty which we hold dear.

Passed by Rabbinical Assembly Plenum, February, 2002

Resolution on the Masorti Movement in Israel

WHEREAS the Masorti Movement, writ large, includes more than 50 kehilot, many formal and informal educational programs, Machon Schechter and the efforts of the USCJ; and

WHEREAS Masorti continues to work to secure Israeli’s spiritual future; and

WHEREAS we recognize with gratitude and admiration our brothers and sisters in the Masorti movement are an integral part of the historic success of the Jewish people building its own society and nation; that they and their children help defend our land and state; and