URJ Responds To UUA Rejection of Divestment From Israel

Inside Leadership

URJ Responds To UUA Rejection of Divestment From Israel

President Rabbi Rick Jacobs Had Spoken to UAA Plenary Against Divestment

Contact: Lauren Theodore at 212-650-4154

New York, NY; June 26, 2016 -- Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), issued the following statement today reacting to a vote taken on June 25th at the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association defeating a resolution to support Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel:

“I am pleased that the UUA did not adopt the resolution supporting BDS. Our two communities must continue to work toward creating justice and security for both Israel and a future Palestinian state. I look forward to working with the leadership of the UUA to strengthen those who are constructively building support for a just and secure resolution to this tragic conflict."
“I was honored to participate in the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) General Assembly in Columbus, Ohio to bring greetings on behalf of the 1.5 million Reform Jews in North America and to underscore the importance of interfaith work to advance our progressive religious agenda." 
“At the opening plenary, I also shared my deep concern about a conference resolution advocating divestment from Israel. Here’s part of what I said:"
"The overwhelming majority of American Jews oppose BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) because it is an effort to delegitimize the very existence of Israel."
"Divestment will not build the two-state Israeli peace camp that we need, but rather strengthen the maximalists on both sides. ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ must include the Jewish people in addition to the Palestinian people. My faith and I believe yours demands nothing less."
"Yours is not a choice between relations with your Jewish neighbors and witness for Palestinians. I speak for the largest segment of American Jewry, and am proud to say that our Reform Movement has a long-standing policy of opposition to the Israeli settlements. Every day the occupation causes pain and hardship to too many Palestinians. Only two states for two peoples living side by side in peace will allow this tragic conflict to end."
"But, there is a different choice from divestment — your approach, your actions, your rhetoric can acknowledge the truths, the achievements and the failures on both sides and hold all to the same moral standards. Let us work together for a just solution, not march separately.”


“The UUA and URJ share so many social justice commitments – on racial justice, LGBTQ rights, reducing gun violence, xenophobia, and so many more. The holiest work is what we can do together and for years to come.”

NOTE TO EDITORS: Please refer to the full text of Rabbi Jacobs’ remarks to the UUA convention, and the video of his address.


About the Union for Reform Judaism

The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) builds community at every level—from the way we collaborate with congregations, organizations, and individuals to how we make connections across North America to advance contemporary and inclusive Jewish life. Providing vision and voice to transform the way people connect to Judaism, we help congregations stay relevant and innovative, motivate more young Jews to embrace Jewish living, agitate for a more progressive society, and foster meaningful connections to Israel.

Founded in 1873, URJ has grown into the largest and most powerful force in North American Jewish life, with nearly 900 member congregations and work that inspires, connects, and educates millions of people. Our legacy, reach, leadership, and vision mean that we can unite thousands of years of tradition with a modern, evolving Judaism to strengthen Jewish communities today and for future generations.

Visit us at www.URJ.org to learn about our social justice initiatives, camps and programs for young Jews, services for congregations and communities, and how you can work with us to create a more just, whole, and compassionate world. Enjoy related content at ReformJudaism.org and connect with URJ on Twitter and Facebook.

Published: 6/26/2016

Categories: Press Releases