Current Events

Reform Movement Condemns Today's Terrorist Attack in Paris

January 7, 2015
The World Union for Progressive Judaism issued the following statement today in response to news of a terrorist attack at the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris that killed 12:
The World Union for Progressive Judaism expresses our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the victims murdered on Wednesday January 7, when hooded gunmen stormed the Paris offices of a weekly satirical magazine, killing at least 12 people, including two police officers, in the worst terrorist attack on French soil in decades. The WUPJ condemns this act of exceptional barbarism. Rabbi Daniel H. Freelander, President of WUPJ states: "We join our French congregations in expressing our horror at the targeted killings in Paris Wednesday morning.  This abhorrent act raises the concern of all who value free speech and religious diversity. Our future ultimately depends on the determination of governments to defend and protect pluralism, and show no tolerance for the descent into this kind of violence." As an organization founded on and guided by a fervent belief in cultural pluralism and political liberalism, we consider any attack on any symbol of free expression anywhere to be an assault on the pillars of Progressive Judaism: justice and equality, democracy and peace, personal fulfillment and collective obligations. Our European Union for Progressive Judaism leaders, Leslie Bergman (President) and Miriam Kramer (Chairman), add: "The leadership of the EUPJ deplores the atrocity which took place earlier today in Paris. Free speech is a cornerstone value of our faith and together with the citizens of France we mourn the brutal deaths of those who were assassinated." As Paris mourns and the world consoles, we continue to hope that the souls of all humankind will one day be stirred by the heartfelt prayers and commitment to "Choose life, so that you and future generations may live." (Deuteronomy 30:19) Rabbi Daniel H. Freelander, President WUPJ Michael Grabiner, Chairman WUPJ Dr. Philip Bliss, WUPJ Advocacy Committee Chair

Reform Leaders Commend President Obama's Commitment to Stopping the Spread of ISIS

September 12, 2014
In response to President Obama's announcement of an expanded military effort against ISIS, Reform Movement leaders issued the following statement:
We commend President Obama's commitment to stopping the spread of ISIS, which has imposed terror in the Middle East and beyond and whose actions are appalling and offensive to all who value freedom. Already, the Administration has rightly taken action to protect beleaguered religious and ethnic communities suffering under ISIS's domination. Recognizing that the threat from ISIS is not limited to the region it currently occupies, we applaud President Obama's leadership in recruiting a global coalition to, in his own words, "degrade and destroy" ISIS. The spread of extremism anywhere is a threat to human rights everywhere, and we pray for all of the victims and their families who have been affected by the ISIS regime. We pray too for the safety of American and coalition troops on the front lines of this effort.  As the U.S. continues to lead the international community in addressing the threat from ISIS, we encourage the President and Congress to work closely together to ensure a united front in this vital effort.