Commitment to Racial Justice

47th Biennial Assembly
November 1963
Chicago, Illinois

Cognizant of the failure of our nation to achieve full and equal rights for all its citizens, and recognizing the special potential of religious groups to lead in the correction of this failure, we hail the National Conference on Religion and Race, held in Chicago in January, l963. At this meeting, for the first time in our nation's history, ranking representatives of the country's major religious bodies, including the UAHC and CCAR, met to confront the issue of race and to bring to bear upon it the religious principles of their denominations.

So long as synagogue and church, and their memberships, are not completely free of the taint of racism, the voice of America's religious cannot speak truly in behalf of equality and freedom.

Acting in accordance with the mandate of this conference, we urge our member congregations to apply the commitment and the tradition of Judaism to "clean our own house". We recognize that our congregations have not dedicated themselves to the utmost of their influence, capacity and energy in order to help resolve the racial crisis.

We, therefore, recommend that each congregation formulate and implement a program of action to achieve the following goals:

  1. Racial justice in our congregation's administrative policies.
  2. Racial justice in our congregation's educational, cultural and worship programs.
  3. Racial justice in our congregation's cooperative relationships with other institutions.
  4. Racial justice in the lives of our individual congregants.