Reparations to American Citizens of Japanese Descent

WHEREAS the Jewish tradition is characterized by its sensitive concern for rectifying injustice in whatever form or guise it may be found and Jews have a special historic empathy with the plight of people who are deprived of their constitutional rights, who had to leave their homes and relocate in camps isolated from the rest of the community; and

WHEREAS the January 1942 Order of Relocation, which removed American citizens of Japanese heritage from their homes, businesses, employment, churches and temples, and communities to which they had become attached, was later determined to have been an unnecessary security precaution that was not imposed upon American citizens of German descent nor American citizens of Italian descent, but was imposed upon a group who later proved their loyalty to this nation in both the European and Pacific theaters of war; and

WHEREAS these relocated American citizens of Japanese descent suffered psychological damage and property losses for which Congress is presently considering legislation of reparation and redress-a concept familiar to our coreligionists, as an aftermath of the Holocaust,


We call upon the Congress of the United States to assert its moral and constitutional responsibilities to legislate reasonable reparations for the Japanese-Americans who were relocated from the West Coast pursuant to the Relocation Order of January, 1942.

We call upon our constituencies and religious and lay leadership throughout the nation to speak to the conscience of America so that almost forty years of silent injustice can be rectified.