International Religious Freedom

Reform Rabbis in Israel Receive State Salaries for First Time

January 3, 2014
In response to the Israeli government's fulfillment of its court-ordered obligation to pay the salaries of four non-Orthodox communal rabbis, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement: 
Tuesday's announcement that four non-Orthodox communal rabbis have received state-paid salaries represents a major step forward for religious pluralism in Israel.  Although we continue to believe that the goal of full and equal recognition of non-Orthodox Jewry and their rabbis must be fulfilled as soon as possible, we welcome the long-overdue state compensation for Rabbis Miri Gold of the Gezer Regional Council, Stacey Blank of the Mateh Yehuda Regional Council, Gadi Raviv of the Misgav Regional Council, and Benji Gruber of Hevel Eliot Regional Council.  While the state continues to fund religious services, including rabbis' salaries, this funding must be provided on an equal basis for all denominations.

Waiver of Jackson-Vanik

Year Adopted:
60th General Assembly November 1989 New Orleans, Louisiana Background In 1974, Representative Charles Vanik and Senator Henry Jackson attached an amendment (known as the Jackson-Vanik amendment) to the Trade Act of that year.

Religious Persecution in China

Year Adopted:
BACKGROUND Shaped by our history as victims of oppression, we strive always to remember that we are commanded to "love the stranger as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt" (Leviticus 19:34).

Operation Renew

Year Adopted:
Background The former Soviet Union is the home of millions of Jews, only a small number of whom are involved in any form of Jewish religious or communal life. For the time being, it appears that the vast majority of them will remain in the former Soviet Union.