Resolutions 2003

Resolution In Support of Stem Cell Research and Education

Whereas there is a grave shortage of organs available for transplantation, leading to thousands of deaths each year;

Whereas serious illnesses and conditions leading to disability and often death may be ameliorated or cured through new technologies;

Resolution on Developing New Congregational Communities

Whereas a key measure of the strength of the Conservative Movement in North America is congregational presence in Jewish communities; and

Whereas the Conservative Movement has not been devoting sufficient resources to the development of new congregations in areas of new Jewish settlement;

Therefore be it resolved that the Rabbinical Assembly:

Resolution on Compensation of Jews from Arab Lands

Whereas in 1948, there were over 850,000 Jews living in Arab countries;

Whereas in virtually all cases the Jews left their countries of origin under conditions of duress and distress, abandoning individual and communal property which was confiscated without any compensation; and

Whereas President Clinton declared that here should be a fund which compensates the Israelis who were made refugees by the war that occurred after the birth of the State of Israel.

Resolution In Support of Faith in Action Project

Background:
Faith in Action is a program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It helps fund and provides support for interfaith community groups and synagogues of various movements to train volunteers to provide health-related services to members of their community. 

Whereas Jewish tradition has long taught that g’milut hasadim, performing acts of kindness, is one of the foundations of human society and the world, as Shimon the Righteous taught (Avot 1:2), “On the things the world stands: on the Torah, on worship, and on acts of kindness;”

Resolution on Energy and Security

Whereas Jewish tradition has derived from the Torah the principles of bal tashhit, "Do not waste" (Deut. 20:19);

Whereas the situation in the Middle East continues to escalate and our own country has engaged in armed conflict with Iraq, it is critical for the United States to reduce our reliance on imported oil;

Whereas energy independence should be seen as a primary strategy of the War on Terrorism;

Resolution On Immigration to Canada

Whereas the United States and Canada have long been a haven for immigrants seeking the political, economic and religious freedoms this country offers and in particular Jews have relied and continue to rely on fair and open immigration policies; and

Whereas the Torah repeatedly emphasizes the value of kindness and respect for the stranger; and

Whereas there has been a deterioration in public policy toward the acceptance of new immigrants and treatment of non-citizens; and

Resolution On Immigration to the United States

Whereas the United States and Canada have long been a haven for immigrants seeking the political, economic and religious freedoms this country offers and in particular Jews have relied and continue to rely on fair and open immigration policies; and

Whereas the Torah repeatedly emphasizes the value of kindness and respect for the stranger; and

Whereas there has been a deterioration in public policy toward the acceptance of new immigrants and treatment of non-citizens; and

Resolution on the Environment and Human Health

Whereas in the last century, public health measures such as sanitation and vaccination helped wipe out many infectious diseases, adding 25 years to life expectancy;

Whereas despite modern advances in medicine, many chronic diseases are increasing among our citizens;

Whereas there is considerable evidence that many of these threats may be linked to factors in the environment, and therefore might be prevented;

Resolution On Assistance to Needy Families

Whereas the Torah (Deut. 15:8) enjoins us to provide for the basic needs of the poor (de mahsoro);

Whereas Jewish tradition has always valued work for bringing dignity to the worker, as the Talmud (Nedarim 49b) says, “Great is work, for it honors the workers;”

Whereas the Welfare Reform Act of 1996 profoundly changed the structures within American government and society for meeting the needs of the poor and supporting them while they find work;

Resolution In Support of Aid to States (USA)

Whereas Jewish tradition has long taught that it is the community’s responsibility to provide for its poor, as Lev. 25:35 teaches, “If your brother, being in straits, comes under your authority, you shall strengthen him;”

Whereas Jewish communities always provided for their poor, as Maimonides teaches, “We have never seen nor heard of an Israelite community that does not have a charity fund;”

Whereas the number of people receiving welfare increased in more than ¾ of the states during the last quarter of 2002;

Resolution on the AMIA in Argentina

Whereas Jews converted by the Bet Din of the Masorti Movement in Buenos Aires suffer discrimination by the authorities of the Asociacion Mutual Argentina – AMIA; and

Whereas there is no member of the Rabbinical Assembly represented in the AMIA, despite its claim to be the umbrella institution for Argentinean Jewry, and in spite of its support by Masorti synagogues.

Therefore be it resolved that the Rabbinical Assembly urge the AMIA to change its policy to reflect pluralism in accordance with the spirit of its founders - to serve the entire Jewish community; and

Resolution On Global Anti-Semitism

Whereas the members of the Rabbinical Assembly are greatly concerned by the persistence and resurgence of anti-Semitism around the world; and

Whereas in the Middle East, leaders have failed to speak out against false and incendiary allegations such as the infamous blood libel, Holocaust denial, and comparisons of Israel and Israeli leaders to Nazis; and

Resolution on Expanding Worldwide Masorti Presence

Whereas the strength of the Conservative/Masorti Movement lies in serving Jewish communities the world over;

Whereas Masorti Olami (the World Council) has embarked upon a vigorous campaign to expand Conservative Masorti communities in Europe and Australia, and to strengthen existing communities in Latin America; and

Whereas there is a need for rabbinic leadership, religious educators, and increased financing to support these efforts.

Therefore be it resolved that the Rabbinical Assembly:

Resolution in Support of Israel

Whereas the State of Israel is the spiritual homeland of the Jewish People;

Whereas the citizens of Israel find themselves under physical attack on a daily basis;

Whereas the Rabbinical Assembly stands with the State of Israel and with its people in these troubled times as always;

Resolution on Conflict with Iraq

Rabbi Yose HaGalili says, "How meritorious is peace?  Even in time of war Jewish law requires that one initiate discussions of peace." (Leviticus Rabbah, Tzav 9 ).

Whereas the United States, the United Kingdom, and other countries are currently engaged in armed conflict with Iraq;

Whereas Judaism affirms the permissibility of war as a response to life-threatening aggression, current or anticipated;

Whereas Judaism also affirms the supreme value of peace and peacemaking;

Resolution In Support of the Jewish Community in Argentina

Whereas the economic crisis in the Argentinean economy has resulted in the disappearance of almost the entire middle class, including the Jewish middle class;

Whereas 750.000 jobs were lost between October 2001 and December 2002, and 162,000 small businesses closed during 2002 with domestic investment falling by 46%;

Whereas according to the Joint Distribution Committee, 1,500 people are joining different welfare relief programs every month totalling at least 34,524 people by the end of 2002; 

Resolution on Continuing Learning

Whereas studies of the Conservative Movement have indicated an increasing interest and involvement in learning and observance on the part of those affiliated with Conservative congregations, school, camps and other institutions; and

Whereas every arm of the Conservative Movement provides significant and valuable educational opportunities which are to be applauded.

Therefore be it resolved that the Rabbinical Assembly through its Joint Committee on Adult Learning coordinate and provide:

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