Reform Movement Adopts Three New Resolutions

Inside Leadership

Reform Movement Adopts Three New Resolutions

Before undertaking the study of Torah, we recite this blessing:

Baruch atah Baruch atah, Adonai, Eloheinu, melech haolam, asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav, v'tzivanu la’sok b’divrei Torah.

One translation says: "Blessed are you, Adonai our God, Sovereign of the universe, who hallows us with mitzvot, commanding us to make Torah our business."

As Torah is the business of the Jewish people, so is it the business of the Union for Reform Judaism to support policies and practices in keeping with our Jewish values.

At the URJ Biennial in November, the General Assembly - the largest decision-making body of the URJ - approved a resolution on the rights of transgender and gender non-conforming people. This week, the URJ's North American Board overwhelmingly adopted three new resolutions, concluding the consultative and inclusive process that began before the Biennial. These resolutions add to the canon of hundreds of URJ resolutions adopted over more than a century and which outline the URJ’s values and priorities.

  • The Resolution on Paid Family Leave is rooted in the URJ’s longtime prioritization of employees’ well-being, as well as its support for the1993 Family and Medical Leave Act that provided 12 weeks unpaid leave. The resolution states that dividuals should be able to care for their own health, the health of a child, parent, spouse or domestic partner, or the birth or adoption of a child without worrying about financial ruin because of lost wages.
  • The Resolution on Mandatory Immunizations reiterates the longstanding policy of required immunization for all individuals attending URJ camps and Israel programs, including children, staff, faculty and their families. This resolution encourages all Reform congregations and institutions to adopt and implement similar policies for the health of community members and the population as a whole.
  • The Resolution on Predatory Lending recognizes that too many borrowers fall victim to predatory loans and that such deceptive loaning practices prey on already vulnerable communities. The resolution formalizes the URJ's support for stronger protections from predatory lenders and expanded access to fair and ethical banking services, with particular attention to the needs of low-income and other vulnerable populations.

In passing these resolutions, the Reform Movement has demonstrated once again that, in our tradition, ethical, religious, and political matters are integrally related and, as the prophets taught us and as the Torah makes plain again and again, we must apply the ethical insights of our tradition to the real problems of our society.

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Jane E. Herman , a.k.a. JanetheWriter, is the senior writer and editor at the Union for Reform Judaism. A graduate of Lafayette College in Easton, PA, she holds a master's degree in public administration from the School of Public Affairs at Baruch College, part of the City University of New York (CUNY) system. She grew up at Temple Emanu-El in Edison, NJ, and now belongs to Temple Shaaray Tefila in New York City. A proud New Yorker, she loves books, fountain pens, social media, Words with Friends, mah jongg, and all things Jewish. She blogs at JanetheWriter Writes.

Jane E. Herman

Published: 1/07/2016

Categories: Conferences & Events

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