Kennedy v. Bremerton Decision is a Dangerous Blow to Religion-State Separation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

June 27, 2022

Media Contact:

Alissa Kaplan Michaels, West End Strategy Team

amichaels@westendstrategy.com

NCJW Calls Kennedy v. Bremerton Decision a Dangerous Blow 

To Religion-State Separation 

WASHINGTON – National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) criticized today’s Supreme Court decision in Kennedy v. Bremerton, a case about a public school coach who violated the religious freedom of students by pressuring them to join his prayers at the 50-yard line at football games.  National Council of Jewish Women Chief Policy Officer Jody Rabhan released the following statement:

“National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) believes that public schools should be inclusive and welcoming places for all students, regardless of their religious beliefs. No student should have to choose between their religious freedom and being part of school activities. But today’s ruling in Kennedy v. Bremerton could force children enrolled in public schools to do just that.

“As Jews in America, we know intimately that religion-state separation is essential to our ability to live and thrive. Yet this decision and two others this term — Shurtleff v. City of Boston (in which justices ruled that Boston could not exclude religious flags from its flag raising program) and Carson v. Makin (which for the first time forces states to fund religious education) — have deeply undermined constitutional law regarding church-state separation. Justice Sotomayor addresses this in her dissent by stating that with this decision, ‘the Court sets us further down a perilous path in forcing States to entangle themselves with religion, with all of our rights hanging in the balance.’ The Court is dismantling the wall between religion and state, and the impact on people — especially children, who practice a minority religion or no religion — cannot be overstated.

“NCJW vows to continue to work with a coalition of diverse religious and nonreligious advocates to fight on behalf of our democratic principles, upon which this country was founded.”

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National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of 200,000 volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. Through a program of education, community service, and advocacy, our advocates across the country create lasting social change on our key issues of the federal courts; reproductive health, rights, and justice, and voter engagement. More information on Facebook and on Twitter at @NCJW.  

 

National Council of Jewish Women Outraged Over Supreme Court Ruling Ending Right to Abortion

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

JUNE 24, 2022

Media Contact:

Alissa Kaplan Michaels, West End Strategy Team

amichaels@westendstrategy.com, 212.864.5374 

National Council of Jewish Women Outraged Over Supreme Court Ruling Ending Right to Abortion

CEO Sheila Katz: ‘NCJW To Continue To Fight’ 

WASHINGTON — With today’s decision from the U.S. Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, National Council of Jewish Women CEO Sheila Katz released the following statement: 

“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court is a moral failure. It will put lives at risk. By overturning 50 years of precedent, safe and vital abortion care is now virtually inaccessible to millions of people who need it. In the weeks and months ahead, we will see the devastating impact this ruling will have on human lives. 

“This egregious decision is a direct violation of both our American values and our Jewish tradition. Reversing the protections of Roe defies logic, morality, compassion and the fundamental right of all Americans to practice their religious beliefs without interference from the government.

“In the 13 states where abortion will become immediately illegal, millions of people will have to face the harsh truth that they no longer have control over their lives and their bodies. This decision will forever alter the lives of those who will be forced to remain pregnant, increasing the chances that they will face life-threatening medical complications, poverty and unemployment. And we know from existing data in states where abortion is already virtually inaccessible that this decision will disproportionately impact those who already face barriers to accessing health care, including women, and particularly Black, Indigenous and people of Color, LGBTQ+ individuals, those with disabilities, young people and those working to make ends meet. 

“Abortion bans place greater value on the life of the fetus than on the pregnant person, a violation of both Jewish law and tradition and of American religious liberty. Now, it seems only certain people are entitled to religious liberty, which renders the entire concept meaningless. Today’s decision betrays this most cherished American value. The rights of American Jews and other people of faith who believe in access to abortion, who are the majority of people in this country, have been sacrificed to the overwhelming zeal of one small group that has turned the shield of religious freedom into a sword.

“National Council of Jewish Women advocates will not be deterred. We will continue to fight until everyone can make their own faith-informed decision about their bodies, lives and futures, regardless of who they are or where they live. Now is the time. Forced pregnancy is an explicit violation of our rights as Jews. Abortion access is and always will be a Jewish value, and we are determined to keep fighting, from the streets to the courts, to ensure that everyone has access to the care they need and the ability to make their own decisions for themselves and their futures.”

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National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of 200,000 volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. Through a program of education, community service, and advocacy, our advocates across the country create lasting social change on our key issues of the federal courts; reproductive health, rights, and justice; and voter engagement. More information on Facebook and on Twitter at @NCJW.

National Council of Jewish Women Launches Jewish Fund for Abortion Access in Partnership with National Abortion Federation

NCJW's Jewish Fund for Abortion Access

Through its 73Forward campaign, NCJW will raise funds for NAF, which will help pay for abortion care and related expenses such as travel and lodging

WASHINGTONNational Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), the leading Jewish organization fighting for reproductive rights, health and justice for more than 125 years, today announced the creation of the Jewish Fund for Abortion Access, a partnership with National Abortion Federation (NAF) to help provide funding for people to access and receive abortion care.

The Jewish Fund for Abortion Access through NCJW will help NAF’s emergency relief efforts through:

  • Funding the largest abortion hotline in the country, which provides individuals with the information they need to access an abortion based on where they live, and connects them with a case manager who will provide ongoing support
  • Funding for travel over state lines for those who need it
  • Funding for abortion care for those who need it

“After researching and speaking to those most impacted, including the reproductive justice organizations who are leading the way in the fight to keep abortion legal and accessible, we learned the best thing we can do as an organization is provide direct funding to those who do this work best,” said NCJW CEO Sheila Katz. “That’s why we have created the Jewish Fund for Abortion Access in partnership with and to benefit the National Abortion Federation, a national organization that represents, serves, and supports abortion providers in delivering patient-centered, evidence-based care. This marks the first time in our 129 year history, NCJW will be fundraising for another domestic organization.”

Through NCJW’s 73Forward campaign, the Jewish Fund for Abortion Access will raise money for NAF among NCJW’s network of 200,000 advocates and allies within the broader Jewish community. 

Abortion is still legal in the US, but with the recent leak of a draft Supreme Court decision that would overturn Roe v. Wade and end the constitutional right to abortion, it’s clear that we are at a crisis moment for abortion access. If this decision is issued, 26 states will either ban abortion immediately, or in the near future. That means nearly half of the women of reproductive age would lose abortion access, and with it, power over their own bodies and lives.

NCJW will work with NAF to take back that power. Operating the largest abortion hotline in the country, NAF is dedicated to ensuring that individuals have the information and resources they need regardless of who they are or where they live. 

###National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of 180,000 volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. Through a program of education, community service, and advocacy, our advocates across the country create lasting social change on our key issues of the federal courts; reproductive health, rights, and justice, and voter engagement. More information on Facebook and on Twitter at @NCJW.

National Council of Jewish Women Decries Senate Vote on Women’s Health Protection Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

May 11, 2022

Media Contact:

Sarah Garfinkel; sgarfinkel@westendstrategy.com; 202-765-4290

 

WASHINGTON – With the US Senate once again failing to pass proactive legislation to enshrine the right to abortion care into law through the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), National Council of Jewish Women CEO Sheila Katz issued the following statement:

“The Senate has now failed twice to pass proactive legislation that guarantees the right to provide and receive abortion care. It is not hyperbole to say that the failure of the Senate to pass this bill means people across our country who are already marginalized now face the inhumane reality that they could be forced into pregnancy – a life changing and potentially life threatening condition. Just one forced pregnancy is one too many, and in this moment, as many as 36 million people could face this future.

“With the Supreme Court poised to reverse 50 years of precedent and protections for the fundamental right to bodily autonomy, it is shocking that our public officials have shown a blatant disregard for women and all those who can become pregnant as states ramp up their efforts to pass cruel and inhumane antiabortion policies. 

“National Council of Jewish Women advocates across the country will continue to work to ensure everyone has access to the reproductive health care they need. As Jews, our tradition not only permits, but in some cases, requires abortions when the pregnant person’s life and wellbeing is at stake. Our freedom of religion is on the line. We will not stop until we can all freely make our own moral and faith-informed decisions about our bodies, health, and future.”

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National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of 200,000 volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. Through a program of education, community service, and advocacy, our advocates across the country create lasting social change on our key issues of the federal courts; reproductive health, rights, and justice, and voter engagement. More information on Facebook and on Twitter at @NCJW.

National Council of Jewish Women Celebrates Historic Confirmation of the Next Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2022

Media Contact:
Sarah Garfinkel, West End Strategy Team; 202-765-4290

WASHINGTON – Today, as the US Senate voted to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve on the US Supreme Court, National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) CEO Sheila Katz issued the following statement:

The historic, bipartisan vote to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson as the next associate justice of the US Supreme Court marks a turning point for our country, and signals hope for the future of ensuring equal access to justice for all people.

“Throughout her career Justice Jackson has shown her commitment to protecting the rights of minority religions and the most marginalized among us. At at time when so many of our rights are in jeopardy, including abortion and voting rights, we need a justice on the Court who understands what is at stake. Justice Jackson will bring to the Court her lived experience and that of so many Americans – and with this perspective an awareness of the profound impact her decisions will have on people’s lives. She will truly be a Justice for all.

“Today is not just a celebration of Justice Jackson, but of our entire nation who will benefit from her wisdom and a Supreme Court that is one step closer to reflecting the promise of our country.”

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National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of 200,000 volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. Through a program of education, community service, and advocacy, our advocates across the country create lasting social change on our key issues of the federal courts; reproductive health, rights, and justice, and voter engagement. More information on Facebook and on Twitter at @NCJW.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson Demonstrates Poise, Expertise and Grace During Historic Hearing

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson Demonstrates Poise, Expertise and Grace During Historic Hearing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 23, 2022

Media Contact:
Sarah Garfinkel, West End Strategy Team; 202-765-4290

WASHINGTON – Today, as the Senate Judiciary Committee held day three of its hearing on the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve on the US Supreme Court, National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) CEO Sheila Katz issued the following statement:

As members of the Senate Judiciary Committee wrapped up their questioning of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, NCJW is even more steadfast in our support for this stellar nominee. In the face of some outrageous questioning, Judge Jackson’s calm explanations, detailed reasoning, and sound judgment made it clear to the American people that she has the intellect and temperament to serve as an Associate Justice on the US Supreme Court. We look forward to her swift confirmation, a step in our nation’s journey to becoming a multiracial, multi-faith democracy with a high court that represents all of us.

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National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of 200,000 volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. Through a program of education, community service, and advocacy, our advocates across the country create lasting social change on our key issues of the federal courts; reproductive health, rights, and justice, and voter engagement. More information on Facebook and on Twitter at @NCJW.