TORONTO, Nov. 5, 2009 Four resolutions that speak to
the Reform Judaism movement's highest priorities and interest were considered
and passed today at the Union for Reform Judaism's (URJ) General Assembly. The
General Assembly is Reform Judaism's highest decision-making body, with delegate
representatives from every member congregation invited to deliberate and vote
upon the proposed resolutions.
Resolutions adopted by the URJ
represent evolutionary changes in its positions on many political, social,
economic, and humanitarian concerns. Since its inception in 1873, the URJ has
not hesitated to speak out on issues of the widest scope and significance, and
has always sought to elucidate current problems according to its interpretation
of the voice of prophetic Judaism.
This year's resolutions were proposed,
considered and accepted by the General Assembly in a new approach implemented at
this Biennial and designed to better dedicate sufficient time and attention to
A resolution on Climate Change and Energy Policy
authorizes the Movement's advocacy branch, the Washington, D.C.-based Religious
Action Center of Reform Judaism, to become further involved in the debate
about the global responses to climate change, particularly in anticipation of
next month's meetings in Copenhagen.
A resolution on Israeli-Arabs
calls on the Reform Movement to work to create a more just society both at home
and abroad. It is inspired by a deep and uncompromising love for Israel that
informs a desire to confront matters of inequality wherever they may be found.
Noting that Israel's Declaration of Independence includes principles of
"complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants
irrespective of religion, race or sex," the resolution calls upon the Reform
Movement to offer outspoken support for Israel while working with Israelis and
North American Jews to pursue this vision of justice for all residents of
A resolution adopted this afternoon honored the 18th
anniversary of the Progressive Association for Reform Day Schools
(PARDeS), which was formed to "officially bringing day school lay leaders
and 20 professionals into a structured alliance that continues to advance high
quality Reform Jewish day 21 schools." Since its inception, PARDeS has helped to
establish 15 Reform Day Schools.
The final resolution was on "special
needs" camping, leading the way for the Reform Movement to better reach out to
members of the Jewish community who are often at a disadvantage. The resolution
calls on the Movement to develop and implement programs that target individuals
with special needs within the URJ camping system in a manner that effectively
serves the affected population of member congregations.
adopted by the Union for Reform Judaism neither bind members of individual
congregations, nor do they presume to speak for all those within the Reform