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September 17, 2014 | 22nd Elul 5774
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Union Calls for Divestment from Sudan

Contact: Donald Cohen-Cutler
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Union for Reform Judaism Calls for Divestment from Sudan
Genocide Calls for More Action and Continued Advocacy


NEW YORK – The Union for Reform Judaism’s Executive Committee this week adopted a resolution calling for targeted divestment from companies that do business in or with the government of Sudan. The Union is now calling on its congregations and their members to work toward targeted divestment by states, municipalities and universities.

The Union has been working to stop the genocide in Darfur since 2003, when it adopted a resolution calling on the United States and Canadian governments and the United Nations to use diplomatic and political means to stop the genocide.

“In Jewish tradition, the sanctity of life is at the very foundation of our beliefs. Leviticus demands that we do ‘not stand idly by the blood of our neighbor’ (19:16),” reads the resolution. “[Today]…this obligation extends to both our literal neighbors and those across the oceans. If we have a chance to prevent the loss of innocent lives and stop the genocide in Darfur, we must employ any practical means available to us.”

After years of pressure on the government of Sudan from the international community, the attacks on Darfurian civilians continue. The crisis in Darfur marks the first time since the creation of the world that violence has been labeled as genocide while it is still occurring thus necessitating drastic and immediate action. With this in mind the Executive Committee passed a resolution calling for the Union for Reform Judaism to divest all funds from companies doing business with Sudan.

“The situation in Darfur continues to deteriorate and international pressure is not having the impact we all hoped,” said Rabbi Marla Feldman, director of the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism and board member of the Save Darfur Coalition. “Divestment is the correct strategic and ethical step at this juncture.”

This resolution is the most recent aspect of the Reform Movement’s long commitment to bring an end to the genocide in Darfur. For more information on the Union’s positions on Darfur please visit www.rac.org/darfur. For the full text of the resolution please visit www.urj.org/docs/reso/. Additional information on the targeted divestment from Sudan can be found at www.sudandivestment.org/home.asp.


The Union for Reform Judaism (formerly the Union of American Hebrew Congregations) is the central body of Reform Judaism in North America, uniting 1.5 million Reform Jews in more than 900 synagogues. Union services include camps, music and book publishing, outreach to unaffiliated and intermarried Jews, educational programs, and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington, D.C.

 
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