Topics of International Concern

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Crisis in Darfur


2007 – Letter to Comptroller DiNapoli on divestment from Sudan to stop atrocities in Darfur. Read our letter here.


Jewish Values and Darfur
We are taught in Leviticus that “You shall not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor.” (Leviticus 19:16). Yet blood continues to be shed on Sudanese soil. Our tradition teaches us that human life is sacred because all of humanity is b’tselem elohim, created in the image of God (Genisis 1:26), and the Torah makes clear that we have an obligation to preserve the sanctity of life by speaking out in response to oppression and brutality in our world. As a people intimately acquainted with the horrors of genocide, we are obligated to speak out and take action when other peoples are similarly threatened with annihilation.

Position of the Reform Jewish Movement
The Reform Jewish Movement has been a leader focusing attention on the ongoing genocidal activity in Darfur. In 1979, the Union for Reform Judaism passed a resolution entitled “Genocide” which called for the United States to approve and for the President to ratify the International Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. In December 1999 the Union passed a resolution entitled “Commitment to Africa” which calls for the Secretary General of the United Nations and the President of the United States to condemn acts of violence against innocent populations, and reaffirms our commitment to basic international human rights. In 2004, the Union passed the “Resolution on the Need for Action in Sudan,” followed by 2007’s “Resolution on Divestment from Sudan,” in which the URJ resolved to “divest, to the extent feasible, investment funds from businesses currently supporting the Sudanese government.”

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