Adopted by the UAHC Board of Trustees
West Palm Beach, FL
Our sage Hall taught: Al tifrosh min hazibbur - do not separate yourself from the community.
Sadly, our every day reality mocks that teaching. For many years, but even more in the last decade, our nations have turned away from their cities with inevitable results: separation and degradation in our urban areas. Many have fled and abandoned our cities; governments have radically reduced funding for infrastructure, public education, social services, income support, health care, economic development, housing and more. Crime, violence, illicit drugs, illiteracy, family breakdown, unwanted teenage pregnancies, and unemployment have increased. A sense of individual and family responsibility for the plight of our inner cities has alarmingly decreased.
The UAHC has not ignored these issues in the past. We have addressed through resolutions and actions these critical issues: economic justice, hunger, child abuse and neglect, civil rights and racism, unemployment, discrimination in housing, crime, personal security, eradication and amelioration of poverty, health care, welfare reform and income maintenance, and substance abuse. We commit ourselves anew to act upon the challenge of these resolutions.
Yet we have witnessed the continuing decay and deterioration of our urban communities, increasing violence, and growing despair of families. Moreover, too many of our congregations who have left the cities no longer feel responsibility or connection to urban problems. Those in the cities, those who have left, and those who depend on the cities for their livelihood all share a common community with its challenges and its future.
THEREFORE , the Board of Trustees of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations pledges to give high priority to the urban crisis.
In addition, it calls upon:
- The United States administration, Congress, and the government of Canada to give the urban crisis a high priority on their national agendas;
- the Commission on Social Action to place the urban crisis high on our movement's agenda; to give special emphasis to urban issues in the advocacy work of the Religious Action Center in Washington; to participate actively in interfaith and interracial coalitions in addressing urban problems; to prepare and disseminate programmatic materials to assist our congregations and affiliates in responding to urban ills; to report on its progress in this work to the Board of Trustees of the UAHC; and,
- our congregations to join with other affected groups in the community to undertake programs that educate and involve our congregants in the rebuilding of our cities and restoring of hope and opportunity in our urban communities.