Resolutions 2006

Resolution Commending Rabbi Ismar Schorsch on His Leadership as Chancellor of The Jewish Theological Seminary

Whereas Rabbi Ismar Schorsch has served The Jewish Theological Seminary as Chancellor for the past twenty years with distinction;

Whereas Rabbi Schorsch articulated his vision to the community with the publication of Sacred Cluster: The Core Values of Conservative Judaism;

Whereas Rabbi Schorsch implemented that vision by committing JTS to train the next generation of Jewish educators by establishing the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education;

Resolution on Civil Liberties in the United States

Whereas the most treasured values of Americans as enshrined in the laws and Constitution of the United States are under attack;

Whereas among the most revered of these is America’s regard for civil rights and civil liberties;

Whereas Jewish tradition teaches of one’s obligation to defend oneself against those who have and/or will attack;

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;

Resolution on Responding to the Ongoing War in 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 remain engaged in armed conflict in Iraq;

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

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

Resolution on Intelligent Design and the Freedom of Scientific Inquiry

Whereas the Rabbinical Assembly, an association of religious leaders with deep faith,  believing in the truth of our Torah and the teachings of traditional rabbinic Judaism,  also believes that a literal reading of Genesis otherwise known as Creationism is not a dogma of Judaism;

Whereas it is a Jewish religious obligation to study and understand God’s creation through intellectual inquiry and scientific research and whereas such study is one of the foundations of piety (Mishneh Torah Yesodei Ha-Torah 2:1);

Resolution on Global Poverty

Whereas the Rabbinical Assembly is comprised of colleagues who care deeply about the state of the world, tikkun olam and mishpetei tzedek, the laws of justice and righteousness as prescribed by the Torah and Prophets of Israel;

Whereas members of the Rabbinical Assembly have the potential for enormous influence throughout the world by standing up for moral principles, as both Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and Rabbi Marshall T. Meyer exemplified in their time and place in history;

Resolution on Poverty in the United States

Whereas Jewish tradition commands us to “open your hand [to the poor person] and provide sufficient for the need” (Deut. 15:8), and reminds us that “just as God clothed the naked- so too must  you supply clothes for the naked [poor]” (Talmud B. Sotah 14a);

Whereas the Jewish community has long demonstrated a commitment to economic and social justice in the United States as exemplified by the involvement of hundreds of Conservative synagogues, schools and camps in social justice programs such as food banks, homeless shelters, home rebuilding projects and medical clinics;

Resolution on Jewish Education

Whereas the Torah teaches us, “ve-shinantam l'vanekha – and you shall teach your children” (Deuteronomy 6:7) and this call to literacy has been a hallmark of Jewish civilization for over 3,000 years and has ensured Jewish survival;

Whereas the National Jewish Population Study (NJPS) of 2001 revealed that identification with Judaism, observance, the Jewish people, and the State of Israel is highest among those with the greatest level of Jewish education;

Resolution on Religious Freedom in Israel

The Knesset’s Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee under the chairmanship of MK Michael Eitan, has worked for many months to produce a draft constitution for the State of Israel, which is to be reported out of committee in March 2006. Parallel to those efforts, more than one Israeli “think tank” has also issued its own draft proposal. All of these proposals need to tackle the issues of religion and state, which are among the key disagreements that have blocked the adoption of a constitution ever since 1948.

Resolution on Global Anti-Semitism

Whereas the Rabbinical Assembly is greatly concerned by the resurgence of anti-Semitism around the globe;

Whereas the President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad publicly and unabashedly proclaimed his goals of "wiping Israel off the map" and creating a world "without the United States and Zionism," funds terrorist activities in Israel, spearheads his country's development of nuclear weapons and is seeking to deny that the Holocaust ever happened;

Resolution in Support of the Conservative/Masorti Movement in Latin America

Whereas the Rabbinical Assembly is holding its first international convention in Latin America and it is an historic occasion;

Whereas the Conservative/Masorti Rabbis in Latin America often work under difficult conditions in order to spread the words of Torah, and Judaism;

Whereas the Seminario Rabinico Latinoamericano is the only Conservative/Masorti institution in Latin America training educators and rabbis who are equipped to confront this shifting world and its challenges; and

Resolution in Solidarity with the New Orleans Jewish Community Following Hurricane Katrina

Whereas the destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina and the ensuing flood that breached the floodwalls and the levee system of New Orleans has become one of the United States’ worst disasters ever;

Whereas Jews have lived in and participated in the life of the greater New Orleans area for generations, building up a visible civic presence, the loss of which would have repercussions not only in New Orleans and Louisiana but nationally;

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