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October 4, 2015 | 21st Tishrei 5776

At Biennial Convention, Reform Movement Adopts Four New Resolutions

Today's new resolutions address climate change, Israeli-Arabs, special needs camping, and the Progressive Association for Reform Day Schools

Contact: Toni Kamins | 212.650.4000

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 each matter.

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 Israel. 

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.

Resolutions 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 Movement.

All resolutions will be available online at


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