39 Faith Based Groups Urge Action to Address Public Health Emergency

The Honorable Joseph R. Biden
President of the United States

The Honorable Xavier Becerra
Secretary, United States Department of Health & Human Services

August 9, 2022

Dear Mr. President and Mr. Secretary:

The undersigned 39 faith-based organizations represent a broad range of religious traditions and faiths. We join concerned lawmakers and citizens urging you to take immediate action to protect bodily autonomy and access to reproductive health care in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (hereafter, “Dobbs”). Dobbs eliminated not only the constitutional right to abortion, but with it, the ability of millions of people to exercise their moral prerogatives about whether, in accordance with their faiths and beliefs, to terminate a pregnancy. This result is antithetical to the concept of religious freedom and an urgent, grave danger to public health nationwide, especially in states that already have banned or severely restricted abortion access. The organizations listed below therefore implore you to exercise your respective authorities to declare a public health emergency pursuant to the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (“PREP”) Act in order to protect access to medication abortion for women residing in those states. 

Numerous religions teach that it is a woman’s moral prerogative to determine whether and under what circumstances to terminate a pregnancy. For example, various Protestant denominations affirm that a woman’s choice to have an abortion is hers to make as a moral agent with the capacity for self-determination. The Presbyterian Church teaches that “[h]umans are empowered by the spirit prayerfully to make significant moral choices, including the choice to continue or end a pregnancy.” The United Church of Christ also takes the view that “[e]very woman must have the freedom of choice to follow her personal religious and moral convictions concerning the completion or termination of her pregnancy.” The Episcopal Church of America, the Unitarian Universalist Association, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, among other Protestant traditions, all teach that terminating a pregnancy is a deeply personal, individual, and moral choice. Still other Christian faiths, including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, defer to women’s moral prerogatives in deciding to terminate a pregnancy. And while the Catholic Church takes the official stance that abortion is impermissible, a majority of Catholics in America believe that abortion can be a morally acceptable choice, and should remain legal.

Jewish law views abortion as not only permissible, but required when necessary, at any stage of pregnancy, to safeguard the wellbeing of a pregnant woman. Reform, Reconstructionist, and Conservative denominations of Judaism agree that “women are capable of making moral decisions, often in consultation with their clergy, families and physicians, on whether or not to have an abortion.” Hundreds of Jewish leaders have affirmed that ensuring women’s access to reproductive healthcare—including abortion—is essential to the exercise of religious freedom.

Other religious traditions similarly adopt the view that abortion can be a permissible moral choice. Islam permits abortion where the pregnant woman’s life or wellbeing is at risk. Majorities of Hindus and Buddhists in America also believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

Dobbs allows states to prohibit people from exercising these moral prerogatives. Indeed, in contravention of the views and teachings of various faiths and religious traditions, several states already have enacted total or near-total abortion bans. These laws disproportionately affect those who lack resources to travel to states where abortion remains legal. Numerous faiths expressly affirm the importance of ensuring reproductive freedom for all people, including women who are poor or low-income, and who are from groups that have historically suffered disenfranchisement and discrimination.

Indeed, people hurt most by abortion restrictions are those already facing barriers to accessing health care and who are bearing the brunt of the pandemic and economic crisis—particularly Black, Indigenous and People of Color, women, and those working to make ends meet. Medication abortion must remain a safe, legal option. The Biden Administration should take immediate action to ensure appropriate access to medication abortion for people residing in states banning or restricting abortion access. Several states have explicitly restricted or banned access to medication abortion, and others have introduced similar legislation.

Emergency action to protect access to medication abortion would be an impactful way of curbing the dire reproductive health and maternal mortality and morbidity consequences of the abortion restrictions enacted by several states. Such action would reduce the number of people forced to give birth—an outcome with significantly greater risk to material health and mortality. Because “[m]edication abortion can be completed outside of a medical setting,” and “[p]ills can be . . . delivered directly to a patient through the mail,” expanding and protecting access to medication abortion is now “even more critical in the delivery of care to many people who may be unable to access care in a clinic.” Specifically, in recognition of the seriousness of such adverse health outcomes, we urge the Secretary of Health and Human Services to declare a public health emergency under the PREP Act. Such a declaration would act to preempt any state law that otherwise would restrict access to medication abortion. 

Congress enacted the PREP Act to facilitate the administration of drugs that mitigate public health emergencies declared by the Secretary. Notably, the PREP Act includes a provision that expressly overrides any state law that otherwise would frustrate the administration of a drug as contemplated by a PREP Act declaration. Post-Dobbs, the surge in enforcement of abortion bans, coupled with existing restrictions and vigilante enforcement laws enacted in anticipation of the decision, has precipitated a public health emergency. Restoring access to medication abortion nationwide can mitigate this public health emergency because a declaration by the Secretary of a public health emergency under the PREP Act would prevent states from enforcing their medication abortion restrictions, and would help ensure that people have the ability to make the deeply personal, important decision about whether to terminate a pregnancy—if necessary to protect their own lives and health, and in other circumstances—consistent with their moral agency and religious beliefs. 

Everyone in this country must have access to safe, reliable reproductive health care, regardless of the state in which they live. Dobbs already has denied, and will continue to deprive, millions of people of the freedom to exercise their moral agency to make reproductive health care decisions in accordance with their own beliefs. The Biden Administration has the power and the responsibility to utilize the PREP Act to declare a public health emergency and protect and expand access to medication abortion, especially for vulnerable women. Immediate action is necessary to restore the right to bodily autonomy and self-determination in keeping with individuals’ respective religious traditions and values. 

Sincerely,

National Council of Jewish Women

 

African American Ministers in Action

ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal

Ameinu

American Jewish World Service

Auburn Seminary

Avodah

Catholics for Choice

Central Conference of American Rabbis

DignityUSA

Faith in Public Life

Global Justice Institute

Habonim Dror North America

Hadassh, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc.

IKAR

Interfaith Alliance

Jewish Council for Public Affairs

Jewish Emergent Network

Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance

Jewish Women International

Keshet

Metropolitan Community Churches

Muslims for Progressive Values

Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies

Rabbinical Assembly

Reconstructing Judaism

Reconstructionist Rabbinical Assembly

Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice

Reproductive Justice Resilience Project (RJRP)

SACReD

Society for Humanistic Judaism

T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights

The Shalom Center

The Workers Circle

Union for Reform Judaism

Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual (WATER)

Women of Reform Judaism

Women’s Rabbinic Network

Zioness

82 Jewish Organizations Express Support for the Women’s Health Protection Act

Dear Senators:

The below 82 national, state, and local organizations guided by Jewish values write to express our strong and unequivocal support for the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), which would create a new tool for safeguarding access to high-quality care and securing constitutional rights by protecting patients and providers from this dangerous political interference. We need federal legislation now more than ever. With the leaked draft opinion of the Supreme Court signaling its intent to overturn the protections of Roe v Wade, and state bans on abortion being passed across the country, it has never been more critical to act.

In Judaism, we consider pikuach nefesh, the saving and preserving of life, to be one of our most critical principles. We affirm that protecting the existing life of the pregnant person is paramount at all stages of pregnancy. We also know it is profoundly unjust that abortion bans and restrictions fall hardest on those already facing barriers to exercising their human rights — including Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC); those working to make ends meet; members of the LGBTQI+ community; immigrants; young people; those living in rural communities; and people with disabilities.

In Judaism, a fetus does not have the same personhood status as one who is already living and functioning in the world, up until and into the onset of labor and childbirth (Mishnah, Ohalot 7:6). The Talmud (Babylonian Talmud, Yevamot 69b) asserts that the fetus is “mere fluid” for the first 40 days (from conception; that which would be considered 7- or 8-weeks’ gestation by today’s counting) and, following this period, the fetus is regarded as a physical part of the pregnant individual’s body (Babylonian Talmud, Gittin 23b).

This is why we know that the Women’s Health Protection Act — ensuring equal access to abortion nationwide — is a step forward for racial justice, for abortion justice, and for religious freedom. The US Constitution demands that no one religion should be enshrined in law or dictate public policy on any issue, including abortion.

We call on the Senate to support the Women’s Health Protection Act to protect access to abortion and to help us build a society where all can participate equally and thrive in our communities with dignity.

Respectfully,

National Council of Jewish Women

 

National Organizations
ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal

Ameinu

American Jewish World Service

Association of Reform Jewish Educators

Avodah

B the Difference

Bend the Arc: Jewish Action

Central Conference of American Rabbis

Jewish Democratic Council of America

Jewish Women International (JWI)

Jewish Youth Climate Movement

Jews for a Secular Democracy

Keshet

Limitless Judaism

Rabbinical Assembly

Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association

Society for Humanistic Judaism

T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights

Union for Reform Judaism

Women of Reform Judaism

Women’s Rabbinic Network

Women’s League (Conservative Sisterhoods)

Zioness

 

State Organizations

Carolina Jews for Justice

Falmouth Jewish Congregation

Hebrew Sr Life

Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action

Jewish Community Action (MN)

National Council of Jewish Women, Virginia

National Council of Jewish Women, Atlanta Section

National Council of Jewish Women, Cleveland Section

National Council of Jewish Women, Colorado Section

National Council of Jewish Women, Maryland Action Team

National Council of Jewish Women, Massachusetts State Policy Advocate

National Council of Jewish Women, Michigan Section

National Council of Jewish Women, Nashville Section

National Council of Jewish Women, St. Louis Section

National Council of Jewish Women, Washington State Policy Advocate

 

Local Organizations

Congregation B’Nai Torah

Congregation Beth Am

Congregation Beth El

Congregation Dorshei Tzedek

Congregation Emeth

Congregation Kol Halev

Congregation Shirat HaYam

Detroit Jews for Justice

Havurat Shalom

Hope Havurah, Colorado

Hope Havurah, Idaho

IKAR

JCADA

Jewish Community Relations Council of St. Louis

Lab/Shul

Ma’yan Tikvah

Na’aseh, Congregation Beth Elohim

National Council of Jewish Women, Atlanta Section

National Council of Jewish Women, Austin Section

National Council of Jewish Women, Bergen County Section

National Council of Jewish Women, Chicago North Shore Section

National Council of Jewish Women, Dallas Section

National Council of Jewish Women, Essex County Section

National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Long Beach and West Orange County Section

National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Miami Section

National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Philadelphia Section

National Council of Jewish Women, Palm Beach Section

National Council of Jewish Women, Pittsburgh Section

National Council of Jewish Women, St. Louis Section

Rosenberg Family Trust

Suburban Temple-Kol Ami

Temple Beth Am

Temple Beth Avodah

Temple Chai

Temple Emanu-El

Temple Emanuel

Temple Hillel B’nai Torah

Temple Isaiah

Temple Israel

Temple Shir Tikvah

Temple Sinai

Vassar Temple

Worship and Study Minyan at Harvard Hillel

The State of Women 2022

During the COVID-19 pandemic millions of women left the workforce, and to date, 1.1 million still have not returned. As the economy recovers for men and corporations, women are often still being left behind.

President Biden laid out an agenda to ensure that we build this country back from the pandemic with equity. And we have made progress. The American Rescue Plan was one of the single biggest investments in women and families in the last decade. The expansion of the child tax credit lowered child poverty by 40 percent. But because of obstruction in the Senate, it hasn’t been renewed. Despite the efforts of many in Congress, some members continue to block life-saving legislation. Meanwhile, women are being stretched thin by the demands of work, child care, and caring for their families.

One in three families are struggling to find child care. Yet, the working families of America continue to keep this country running in every industry from education to healthcare, service, small business and more, enabling those at the top to reap the benefits. And Black, Latinx, Indigenous and AANHPI women have been on the front lines continuing to disproportionately bear the cost.

In 2020, 82.2 million women reported casting their ballots – nearly 10 million more women than men. We voted for politicians who promised to enact policies and pass laws to help us recover from the pandemic and support us in building a thriving future for ourselves and our families.

Instead, we see critical legislation continue to stall in the Senate, while state legislatures introduce constant threats to our reproductive rights and our bodily autonomy.

Women are still bearing the brunt of this crisis. But we can change the outcome.

Today, women across the country are raising their voices to tell our leaders what we need. Together, as a movement and with a unified voice, we demand that Congress deliver on five policies women need to survive and thrive across the country, across communities and experiences, and across our lifespans:

  1. Pass the Build Back Better Agenda: Congress must extend the child care tax credit and guarantee 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave. We need to invest in affordable child care, universal pre-k for all families, expanded home and community-based services, better wages for care workers, and maternal health care. Additionally, we need a long-promised path to citizenship for immigrants.
  2. Protect abortion rights and access:   Pass legislation, including the Women’s Health Protection Act, to protect and expand access to abortion care regardless of where a person lives, how much money they make, or their immigration status.*
  3. Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act:  This law is essential to protecting and supporting survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault and expanding prevention efforts.
  4. Protect voting rights: Voting rights are a cornerstone of our democracy and a free vote protects all other rights. Our lawmakers must protect every American from the relentless attacks on our right to vote, especially for Black, Brown, Asian American and Pacific Islander, young voters, and voters with disabilities.
  5. Criminal legal reform: To advance racial and gender equity and justice, we need to reimagine public safety and crisis response through investments in non-carceral, non punitive public health solutions to community, family, and school safety. We must end mass incarceration/mass criminalization, and root out gender, racial, and disability bias from every aspect of the criminal legal system.

Women don’t live our lives in silos – we need all of these policies to build a country where women and families can thrive. The President has laid out an agenda to meet the moment with us. It’s up to Congress to deliver.

Our movement stands ready to work with our elected officials and champions in Congress to get this agenda passed. Even now in this moment of global crisis, especially now, the women and girls and families of our country need us to succeed and to make the united state of women strong.

In solidarity,

  • 9to5
  • ACCESS Reproductive Justice
  • American Association of People with Disabilities
  • American Association of University Women (AAUW)
  • Black Women’s Roundtable, NCBCP
  • Care In Action
  • Caring Across Generations
  • Change Begins With ME (Indivisible)
  • End Rape On Campus
  • ERA Coalition
  • Esperanza United (Formerly Casa de Esperanza: National Latin@ Network)
  • Feminist Majority
  • Feminist Women’s Health Center
  • Girls for Gender Equity
  • Institute for Women’s Policy Research
  • In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda
  • Indivisible San Francisco
  • It’s On Us
  • Jewish Women International (JWI)
  • Just Solutions
  • Justice for Migrant Women
  • me too. International
  • MomsRising
  • Marshall Plan for Moms
  • Mississippi Black Women’s Roundtable
  • NARAL Pro-Choice America
  • National Alliance to End Sexual Violence
  • National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF)
  • National Council of Jewish Women
  • National Crittenton
  • National Domestic Workers Alliance
  • National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice
  • National Network to End Domestic Violence
  • National Organization for Women
  • National Partnership for Women & Families
  • National Urban League
  • Not on Ruth’s Watch
  • NWAAF – Northwest Abortion Abortion Access Fund
  • National Women’s Law Center
  • Paid Leave for All
  • Planned Parenthood Action Fund
  • Resilience, formerly Rape Victim Advocates
  • Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
  • Supermajority Education Fund
  • The Center for Reproductive Rights
  • UltraViolet
  • United State of Women
  • Vote Run Lead
  • We Demand More Coalition
  • Women Employed
  • Women’s March
  • Women’s Media Center
  • YWCA USA

513 Jewish Clergy Leaders Express Support for the Women’s Health Protection Act

Dear Senators: 

As Jewish clergy leaders from across the United States representing all major denominations of Judaism, we write to express our strong and unequivocal support for the Women’s Health Protection Act and urge the Senate to pass the bill.

In partnership with the National Council of Jewish Women, we represent a network of over 1,500 Rabbis and Jewish Clergy for Repro who have pledged to speak out about abortion justice in our communities and to educate others about the Jewish values underpinning our support for abortion access for all. We work to ensure that our communities are places where anyone who has, or may ever, terminate a pregnancy feels loved and welcomed, where people understand what our tradition teaches about these issues, and where we emphasize the importance of fighting for reproductive health, rights, and justice for everyone.

The Women’s Health Protection Act embodies this mission and our hope for a future where all are free to make their own moral and faith-informed decisions about their lives, their futures, and their families without political interference. It is profoundly unjust that abortion bans and restrictions fall hardest on those already facing barriers to exercising their human rights — including Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC); those working to make ends meet; members of the LGBTQI+ community; immigrants; young people; those living in rural communities; and people with disabilities.

In Judaism, we consider pikuach nefesh, the saving and preserving of life, to be one of our most critical principles. We affirm that protecting the existing life of the pregnant person is paramount at all stages of pregnancy. In Judaism, a fetus does not have the same personhood status as one who is already living and functioning in the world, up until and into the onset of labor and childbirth (Mishnah, Ohalot 7:6). The Talmud (Babylonian Talmud, Yevamot 69b) asserts that the fetus is “mere fluid” for the first 40 days (from conception; that which would be considered 7 or 8 weeks’ gestation by today’s counting) and, following this period, the fetus is regarded as a physical part of the pregnant individual’s body (Babylonian Talmud, Gittin 23b).

This is why we understand the goal of the Women’s Health Protection Act — ensuring equal access to abortion nationwide — not only as an abortion justice issue and a core social justice issue, but as a matter of religious freedom as well. The US Constitution demands that no one religion should be enshrined in law or dictate public policy on any issue, including abortion.

Policies granting “fetal personhood” rights or establishing that “life” begins at conception are contrary to the teachings of our tradition and violate the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause by enshrining one religious view into law. What’s more, because Jewish law not only permits abortion in many cases but also requires it when the life or health (including psychological and physical health) of the pregnant individual is at risk, laws limiting or restricting access to abortion directly impede Jews’ ability to practice Judaism, further violating the Free Exercise Clause while simultaneously infringing upon the constitutional right to privacy found in the Fourteenth Amendment.

We need federal legislation now more than ever. With the passage of SB 8 in Texas and the strong possibility that the Supreme Court will overturn or significantly gut the protections of Roe v Wade this year, and over 100 new abortion bans passed in 2021 alone, there is more at stake now for reproductive and religious freedom than has been in fifty years. The Women’s Health Protection Act would create a new tool for safeguarding access to high-quality care and securing constitutional rights by protecting patients and providers from political interference. The bill guarantees providers the right to deliver abortion care — and people the right to receive that care — without limitations that single out abortion or impede access to care. Notably, the bill would also establish clear guidance for courts considering whether a requirement impedes access to abortion care in violation of Women’s Health Protection Act.

We call on the Senate to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act to protect access to abortion and to help us build a society where all can participate equally and thrive in our communities with dignity and freedom.

 

Respectfully, 

Rabbi Herschel Aberson

Rabbi Susan Abramson

Cantor Ester Acunis

Rabbi Richard Address

Rabbi Mona Alfi 

Cantor Sheri Allen 

Rabbi Adina Allen 

Rabbi Doug Alpert 

Rabbi Renni Altman

Cantor Dana Anesi 

Rabbi Camille Shira Angel

Cantor Rebecca Apt

Rabbi Noah Arnow 

Rabbi Emily Aronson

Cantor Devorah Avery

Cantor Matt Axelrod

Rabbi Ilana Baden 

Rabbi Elizabeth Bahar

Cantor Riselle Bain

Cantor Elise Barber

Rabbi Rachel Barenblat

Rabbi Meir Bargeron

Rabbi Daniel Bar-Nahum

Rabbi George Barnard

Cantorial Soloist Sherry Barnes 

Cantor Kathy Barr 

Rabbi David Basior

Rabbi Lia Bass 

Rabbi David Dunn Bauer

Rabbi Philip Bazeley

Rabbi Rachel Bearman

Rabbi Birdie Becker 

Rabbi Shelley Kovar Becker 

Rabbi Anne Belford 

Rabbi Debra Bennet

Rabbi James Bennett

Rabbi Lauren Ben-Shoshan 

Rabbi Leah Berkowitz

Cantor Julie Berlin 

Rabbi Donald Berlin

Rabbi Alan Berlin 

Rabbi Andi Berlin 

Rabbi Phyllis Berman

Rabbi Dahlia Bernstein

Rabbi Amy Bernstein

Rabbi Allison Berry 

Hazzan Richard Bessman

Rabbi Amy Bigman 

Rabbi Barry Block 

Rabbi Adena Blum 

Rabbi Kim Blumenthal

Rabbi Rena Blumenthal

Rabbi Sam Blustin 

Rabbi Karen Bogard

Rabbi Jill Borodin 

Rabbi Erin Boxt 

Rabbi Julie Bressler

Rabbi Gary Bretton-Granatoor 

Cantor Vera Broekhuysen

Rabbi Deborah Bronstein

Rabbi Josh Brown 

Rabbi Megan Brudney

Rabbi Shawna 

Brynjegard-Bialik 

Rabbi Meredith Cahn

Rabbi Jillian Cameron

Rabbi Richard Camras

Rabbi Debra Cantor

Rabbi Adalah Caplowe

Rabbi Kenneth Carr

Rabbi Carla Cenker

Rabbi Kerry Chaplin

Rabbi Elyssa Cherney

Rabbi Noah Chertkoff

Other Laura Chinofsky

Cantor Kenneth Cohen

Rabbi Aryeh Cohen

Rabbi Daniel M Cohen

Rabbi Emily Cohen 

Rabbi Amy Cohen 

Rabbi Ayelet S. Cohen

Rabbi Sandra Cohen

Rabbi Judy Cohen-Rosenberg 

Rabbi Hillel Cohn 

Rabbi Glynis Conyer

Cantor Kelly Cooper

Cantor Kelly Cooper

Rabbi Heidi Coretz 

Rabbi Stephanie Crawley 

Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Rabbi Melissa Crespy

Rabbi Faith Joy Dantowitz

Rabbi Sydney Danziger

Cantor Farid Dardashti

Rabbi Benjamin David

Rabbi Josef Davidson

Rabbi April Davis 

Rabbi Michael Davis

Rabbi Alexander Davis

Cantor Francyne Davis Jacobs 

Rabbi Lisa Delson 

Rabbi Geoffrey Dennis

Rabbi Sarah DePaolo

Cantor Susan Cohen DeStefano 

Rabbi Stephanie Dickstein

Hazzan Elisheva Dienstfrey 

Rabbi Megan Doherty

Rabbi Ellen Dreyfus

Rabbi Aderet Drucker

Cantor Nancy Dubin

Rabbi Andy Dubin 

Hazzan Joanna Dulkin

Rabbi Elizabeth Dunsker

Rabbi David Eber 

Rabbi Judith Edelstein

Rabbi David Edleson

Rabbi Denise Eger 

Rabbi Amy Eilberg 

Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso 

Rabbi David Eligberg

Rabbi Dov Elkins 

Rabbi Barat Ellman 

Rabbi Susan Falk 

Rabbi Amy Feder 

Rabbi Leah Fein 

Rabbi Nora Feinstein

Cantor Devorah Felder-Levy 

Rabbi Fern Feldman 

Rabbi Jason Fenster

Rabbi Patricia Fenton

Rabbi Michael Fessler

Rabbi Avi Fine 

Rabbi David Fine 

Rabbi Jeremy Fineberg

Cantorial Soloist Diane Firestone 

Rabbi Adam Fisher 

Rabbi Libby Fisher 

Rabbi Robyn Fisher 

Rabbi Joshua Fixler 

Rabbi Allison Flash 

Rabbi Andi Fliegel 

Rabbi Bruce Forman

Rabbi Sarah Fort 

Rabbi Chase Foster 

Cantor Shelly Fox 

Rabbi Karen Fox 

Rabbi Alan Freedman

Rabbi Eli Freedman 

Rabbi Dayle Friedman

Rabbi Avi Friedman 

Rabbi Shoshana Friedman

Cantor Kathy Fromson

Cantor Jennifer Frost

Rabbi Pam Frydman

Rabbi Gordon Fuller

Rabbi Jodie Futornick

Rabbi Aaron Gaber 

Rabbi Jonah Geffen 

Rabbi David Gelfand

Rabbi Aimee Gerace

Cantor Edwin Gerber

Rabbi Gary Gerson 

Rabbi Jordie Gerson

Cantor Nancy Ginsberg

Rabbi Chana Leslie Glazer 

Rabbi Gary Glickstein

Rabbi Laura Gold 

Rabbi Rosalind Gold

Rabbi Irwin Goldenberg

Rabbi Rachel Goldenberg 

Cantor Elizabeth Goldmann

Rabbi Barbara Goldman-Wartell 

Rabbi Megan GoldMarche

Rabbi Lynne Goldsmith

Rabbi Andrea Goldstein

Rabbi Hannah Goldstein

Rabbi Seth Goldstein

Rabbi Elizabeth Goldstein

Rabbi Jeffrey Goldwasser

Rabbi Linda Henry Goodman 

Rabbi Keren Gorban

Rabbi Jodie Gordon 

Rabbi Pamela Gottfried

Rabbi Deena Gottlieb

Rabbi Andrea Gouze

Rabbi Katie Greenberg

Cantor Tanya Greenblatt

Rabbi Fred Greene 

Rabbi Lisa Greene 

Rabbi Jennifer Greenspan

Rabbi David Greenspoon

Rabbi David Greenstein

Rabbi Nicki Greninger

Rabbi Steven Gross 

Rabbi Victor Gross 

Rabbi Susan Grossman

Rabbi Rachel Gross-Prinz

Rabbi Rosie Haim 

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman 

Rabbi Laura Harari 

Rabbi Alicia Harris 

Rabbi Kim Harris 

Cantor Deborah Hartman

Hazzan Miriam Haselkorn

Rabbi Jill Hausman 

Rabbi Oren Hayon 

Rabbi Alan Henkin 

Rabbi Benjamin Herman

Rabbi Joui Hessel 

Rabbi Deborah Hirsch 

Rabbi Lisa Hochberg-Miller 

Rabbi Yechiel Hoffman

Rabbi Linda Holtzman

Cantor Sharon Hordes 

Rabbi Daniel Horwitz

Rabbi Carla Howard

Rabbi Mark Hurvitz

Rabbi Jill Jacobs 

Rabbi Marci Jacobs

Rabbi Suzie Jacobson

Rabbi Howard Jaffe

Rabbi Marisa James

Rabbi Miriam Jerris

Rabbi Meredith Kahan

Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster 

Rabbi Cassi Kail 

Rabbi David Kaiman

Rabbi Beth Kalisch

Rabbi Debra Newman Kamin 

Rabbi Emily Kapor-Mater

Rabbi Juliana S. Karol

Rabbi Peter Kasdan

Rabbi Nancy Kasten

Rabbi Neal Katz 

Rabbi Karyn Kedar 

Rabbi Peg Kershenbaum

Cantor Sara Kheel 

Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block 

Rabbi Paul Kipnes 

Rabbi Emma Kippley-Ogman 

Rabbi Beth Klafter 

Rabbi Dusty Klass 

Rabbi David Klatzker

Rabbi Alexandra Klein

Rabbi Michael Knopf

Rabbi Annette Koch

Rabbi Sharon Korn

Rabbi Audrey Korotkin

Rabbi Marc Kraus 

Rabbi Yaacov Kravitz

Rabbi Harold Kravitz

Rabbi Alex Kress 

Rabbi Jeremy Kridel

Cantor Alexandra Kurland

Rabbi Gail Labovitz 

Rabbi Howard Laibson

Rabbi Rachmiel Langer

Rabbi Michael Latz 

Rabbi Sari Laufer 

Rabbi Darah Lerner 

Kohenet Ketzirah Lesser

Cantor Janet Leuchter

Rabbi Bradley Levenberg

Hazzan Sheldon Levin

Cantor Alison Levine

Rabbi Julie Levine 

Rabbi Jason Levine 

Rabbi Chai Levy 

Rabbi Kelly Levy 

Rabbi David Levy 

Cantor Debby Lewis

Rabbi Lynn Liberman

Rabbi Beth Lieberman

Cantor Barbra Lieberstein

Rabbi Noah Lind 

Cantor David Lipp 

Rabbi Susan Lippe 

Rabbi Ellen Lippmann

Rabbi Richard Litvak 

Rabbi Sharon Litwin

Rabbi Joshua Lobel 

Rabbi David Locketz

Rabbi Alan Londy 

Rabbi Emily 

Losben-Ostrov 

Rabbi Jessica Lott 

Rabbi Michal Loving Cantor Abbe Lyons 

Rabbi Shana Mackler

Kohenet Juna Berry Madrone 

Rabbi Beverly W. Magidson 

Rabbi Deborah Mangan

Rabbi Bryan Mann 

Rabbi Paula Marcus

Rabbi Marc Margolius

Rabbi Bonnie Margulis

Rabbi Sarah Marion 

Rabbi Randall Mark 

Rabbi Jeffrey Marker

Rabbi Todd Markley 

Cantor Michael McCloskey

Rabbi Zoe McCoon 

Rabbi Amy Memis-Foler

Rabbi Myra Meskin 

Rabbi Sabine Meyer

Rabbi David Meyer 

Rabbi Margaret Meyer

Rabbi Mimi Micner 

Rabbi Goldie Milgram

Rabbi Avis Miller 

Rabbi Ellie Miller 

Rabbi Heather Miller

Rabbi Jordan Millstein

Rabbi/Cantor Ellari Mirabel 

Rabbi Michelle Missaghieh

Hazzan Alberto Mizrahi

Rabbi Steven Morgen

Rabbi Joel Mosbacher

Cantor Rebecca Moses

Rabbi Linda Motzkin

Cantor Penny Myers

Cantor Sarah Myerson

Cantor Richard Nadel

Rabbi Beth Naditch 

Cantor Judith Naimark

Rabbi Gail Nalven 

Rabbi Mara Nathan 

Cantor Sharon Nathanson

Rabbi Fred Natkin 

Rabbi Jason Nevarez

Rabbi MJ Newman 

Rabbi Avi Olitzky 

Rabbi Jesse Olitzky

Cantor Barbara Ostfeld 

Rabbi Liz P.G. Hirsch

Rabbi Lee Paskind 

Rabbi Rachael Pass

Rabbi Salem Pearce

Rabbi Allison Peiser 

Rabbi Hava Lynn Pell

Rabbi Barbara Penzner

Rabbi Cheryl Peretz

Rabbi Jay Perlman 

Rabbi Jill Perlman 

Rabbi Shoshana Perry

Rabbi Amy Pessah 

Rabbi Stacy Petersohn

Rabbi Iah Pillsbury 

Rabbi Daniel Plotkin

Rabbi Marcia Plumb

Rabbi Sam Pollak 

Rabbi Gayle Pomerantz

Hazzan Alisa Pomerantz-Boro 

Rabbi Eve Posen 

Rabbi Taylor Poslosky

Rabbi Richard Prass

Rabbi Sally Priesand

Rabbi Deborah Prinz

Rabbi Esther Reed 

Rabbi Deborah Reichmann 

Rabbi Steven Rein 

Rabbi Dr. Karen Reiss Medwed 

Rabbi Steven Reuben

Rabba Dorothy Richman

Rabbi Ken Richmond

Rabbi Yael Ridberg 

Cantor Jen Roher 

Cantor Rachel Rosenberg

Rabbi Dina Rosenberg

Cantor Beth Rosenfeld

Rabbi Jessica Rosenthal

Rabbi Adam Rosenwasser

Rabbi Michael Ross

Rabbi Francine Roston

Rabbi Michael Rothbaum 

Rabbi Jonathan Rubenstein 

Cantor Michelle Rubenstein 

Rabbi Adrienne Rubin

Rabbi Ralph Ruebner

Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg

Rabbi Joan Sacks 

Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin

Rabbi Dalia Samansky

Rabbi Arnie Samlan

Rabbi Sara Sapadin

Rabbi Marna Sapsowitz

Rabbi Dennis Sasso

Hazzan Pamela Sawyer

Rabbi Peter Schaktman

Rabbi Martin Scharf 

Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb 

Rabbi Simone Schicker

Rabbi Janine Schloss

Rabbi Aaron Schonbrun

Hazzan Anita Schubert

Rabbi Evan Schultz 

Cantor Marleen Schussler

Rabbi Marvin Schwab

Rabbi Julie Schwarzwald

Rabbi Stephen Segar

Rabbi Judith Seid 

Rabbi Hugh Seid-Valencia

Rabbi Ahud Sela 

Rabbi Larry Sernovitz

Rabbi Gerald Serotta Rabbi Isaac Serotta 

Rabbi Scott Shafrin 

Rabbi Talya Weisbard Shalem 

Rabbi Jaimee Shalhevet

Rabbi Benjamin Sharff

Rabbi Shira Shazeer

Rabbi Daniel Sher 

Cantor Wendy Shermet

Rabbi Cantor Robbi Sherwin 

Rabbi Jessica Shimberg

Rabbi Rebecca Shinder

Rabbi Stephanie Shore 

Rabbi Natalie Shribman

Rabbi Andy Shugerman

Rabbi Alexandria Shuval-Weiner 

Rabbi Susan Silverman

Rabbi Becky Silverstein

Cantor Rollin Simmons 

Rabbi Melissa Simon

Rabbi Joel Simon 

Rabbi Michael Singer

Rabbi Suzanne Singer

Rabbi Rebecca Sirbu

Rabbi Raina Siroty 

Rabbi Scott Slarskey

Cantor Rachel Slusky

Hazzan Joel Smith 

Hazzan Linda Sue Sohn

Rabbi Myra Soifer 

Rabbi Severine Sokol

Rabbi Felicia Sol 

Rabbi Eric Solomon 

Rabbi Idit Solomon 

Rabbi Jenny Solomon

Rabbi Robin Sparr 

Rabbi Kate Speizer 

Rabbi Scott Sperling

Rabbi Reena Spicehandler

Cantor Rachel Spilker

Rabbi Jonathan Spira-Savett 

Rabbi Seth Stander 

Rabbi Cyril Stanway 

Rabbi Aaron Starr 

Cantor Stephen Stein

Hazzan Michael Stein

Hazzan Jeremy Stein

Rabbi Howard Stein

Rabbi Paul Steinberg

Rabbi Sharon Steinberg

Rabbi Rachel Steiner

Rabbi Lane Steinger

Rabbi Oren Steinitz 

Rabbi Eleanor Steinman

Rabbi Rebekah Stern

Cantor Elizabeth Sternlieb

Rabbi Debbie Stiel 

Rabbi Jeffrey Stiffman

Rabbi Ariel Stone 

Rabbi Yvonne Strassmann

Rabbi Simon Stratford

Rabbi David Straus 

Rabbi Alvin Sugarman

Madrikh Barry Swan 

Rabbi Robert Tabak 

Rabbi Sarah Tasman

Rabbi David Teutsch

Rabbi Lauren Tuchman

Rabbi Rochelle Tulik

Hazzan Arlyne Unger

Rabbi Victor Urecki 

Rabbi Daniel Utley 

Rabbi Jason van Leeuwen 

Rabbi Burton Visotzky

Cantor Marci Vitkus 

Rabbi Carrie Vogel 

Rabbi Carrie Vogel 

Rabbi Marcey Wagner

Hazzan Star Wahnon

Cantor Risa Wallach

Rabbi Arthur Waskow

Rabbi Pamela Wax 

Rabbi Abi Weber 

Rabbi Elyse Wechterman

Cantor Diane Weil 

Rabbi Daniel Weiner

Rabbi Philip Weintraub

Rabbi Stephen Weisman

Rabbi Ora Weiss 

Rabbi Micah Weiss 

Cantor Lizzie Weiss

Rabbi Sarah Weissman

Rabbi Alex Weissman

Rabbi Julia Weisz 

Rabbi Ariann Weitzman

Rabbi David Wilfond

Rabbi Jeremy Winaker

Rabbi Elyse Winick 

Rabbi Joseph Wolf 

Rabbi Greg Wolfe 

Rabbi Michal Woll 

Rabbi Jonathan Woll

Rabbi Marina Yergin

Cantor Natalie Young 

Rabbi David N. Young

Rabbi Sara Zacharia

Rabbi Elana Zaiman

Rabbi Daniel Zemel 

Rabbi Jill Zimmerman

Cantor Michael Zoosman

Jewish Sign-on Letter in Support of the Freedom to Vote Act

October 18, 2021

Dear Senator:

The 66 undersigned local, state, and national Jewish organizations write in strong support of the Freedom to Vote Act (S. 2747), and urge you to pass it swiftly. Voting rights are under attack and as Jews, we cannot remain idle.  Our tradition exhorts us to pursue justice, tzedek, tzedek tirdof.

Passing this bill will enhance integrity, fairness, and transparency in our nation’s elections, and allow us to create a democracy that values all voices.

In September, Senators Amy Klobuchar, Tim Kaine, Angus King, Joe Manchin, Jeff Merkley, Alex Padilla, Jon Tester, and Raphael Warnock introduced the Freedom to Vote Act, a revised voting rights bill designed to realize thepromise of democracy for all. Specifically, the Freedom to Vote Act would set robust national standards for federal elections to combat laws that make it harder for people to vote. It would protect against election subversion, ban partisan and racial gerrymandering, and reduce the power of special interests in our elections.

This far-reaching legislation is essential to counteract the many laws making it harder to vote enacted in nineteen states across the country in 2021. Voters of color, Native voters, younger voters, voters with disabilities, and women are disproportionately impacted by these new laws. Voter suppression has no place in our democracy. The freedom to vote is fundamental to our nation’s constitutional promise of equality for all.

The reforms in the Freedom to Vote Act are necessary to advance racial justice and ensure that our government works for all of us. President Biden has repeatedly expressed his commitment to pass transformational voting rights legislation, and Majority Leader Schumer has repeatedly expressed his desire to hold debate on this important bill. While we support bipartisan cooperation, we cannot let partisan politics block passage of popular legislation. We urge you to support this critical bill and not let anything stand in the way of its passage. 

 

Sincerely,

National Council of Jewish Women

The Workers Circle

 

National Organizations:

ADL

ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal

Alpha Epsilon Phi Sorority

Ameinu

American Jewish Congress

Avodah

Aytzim: Ecological Judaism

Bend the Arc: Jewish Action

Habonim Dror North America

JCPA

Jewish Democratic Council of America

Jewish Labor Committee

Jewish Women International

Keshet

Lilith magazine

Moving Traditions

Rabbinical Assembly

Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association

T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights

Union of Reform Judaism

 

State Organizations:

Carolina Jews for Justice

Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action

Jewish Community Action

Jews for Racial & Economic Justice

National Council of Jewish Women, Arizona Section

National Council of Jewish Women, California

National Council of Jewish Women, Georgia

National Council of Jewish Women, Maine Section

National Council of Jewish Women, Maryland Action Team

National Council of Jewish Women, Massachusetts

National Council of Jewish Women, Michigan Section

National Council of Jewish Women, Minnesota

National Council of Jewish Women, Pennsylvania

National Council of Jewish Women, Rhode Island Action Team

National Council of Jewish Women, Washington State

Tzedek Georgia

 

Local Organizations:

Coastal Roots Farm

IKAR

Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Phoenix

Jewish Community Relations Council of Southern Arizona

Jewish Community Relations Council, Jewish Silicon Valley

Jewish Federation of Greater Portland 

Jewish History Museum & Holocaust History Center

National Council of Jewish Women, Atlanta Section

National Council of Jewish Women, Austin Section

National Council of Jewish Women, Bergen County Section

National Council of Jewish Women, Chicago North Shore Section

National Council of Jewish Women, Cleveland Section

National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Dallas Section

National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Houston Section

National Council of Jewish Women, Greater New Orleans Section

National Council of Jewish Women, Jersey Hills Section

National Council of Jewish Women, Kansas City Section

National Council of Jewish Women, Lakeville Section

National Council of Jewish Women, Los Angeles Section

National Council of Jewish Women, Milwaukee Section

National Council of Jewish Women, Northern Virginia Action Team

National Council of Jewish Women, Palm Beach Section

National Council of Jewish Women, Pittsburgh Section

National Council of Jewish Women, Rockland Section

National Council of Jewish Women, Sacramento Section

National Council of Jewish Women, San Antonio Section

National Council of Jewish Women, South Cook Section

National Council of Jewish Women, Valencia Shores Section

Interfaith Sign-on Letter in Support of Kristen Clarke

March 12, 2021
United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary
224 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Durbin, Ranking Member Grassley, and Committee Members:

On behalf of the 102 undersigned interfaith and community-based organizations, we write to express our strong support of Kristen Clarke for Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the US Department of Justice (DOJ).

As the nation’s top law enforcement agency, DOJ serves as an entity for advancing fair and impartial justice for everyone and a backstop for our fundamental civil rights. Therefore, it is critical that DOJ is comprised of leaders committed to ending discrimination; addressing white supremacy and hate violence; and advancing racial, gender, disability, ethnic, religious, immigrant, and LGBTQ justice. This is particularly true at a time when our country is grappling with the dangerous consequences caused by bigotry and discrimination stoked under the previous administration. The hateful rhetoric has infiltrated our discourse, social media, communities, and even Congress. Now, more than ever before, our elected and appointed leaders must be committed to a nation that is just and equitable for all people. We believe there is no better candidate to lead DOJ’s Civil Rights Division than Kristen Clarke.

Clarke has spent her entire career dedicated to the pursuit of equal justice and civil rights. She is a deeply qualified and passionate civil rights leader with an unparalleled depth and breadth of experience and is the leader our country needs in this vital role right now.

At the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Clarke has worked to promote fair housing and community development, economic justice, voting rights, equal educational opportunity, criminal justice, judicial diversity, and beyond. While Clarke served as its head, Lawyers Committee launched the Stop Hate Project specifically focused on combating hate and responding to hate crimes against communities including Muslims, Jews, immigrants, and others. Clarke formerly served as the head of the Civil Rights Bureau for the New York State Attorney General’s Office, where she led broad civil rights enforcement, including on issues of criminal justice, education and housing discrimination, fair lending, barriers to reentry, voting rights, immigrants’ rights, gender inequality, disability rights, reproductive access, and LGBTQ equality. Under her leadership, the Bureau secured landmark agreements with banks to address unlawful redlining, employers to address barriers to reentry for people with criminal backgrounds, police departments on reforms to policies and practices, major retailers on racial profiling of consumers, and one of the country’s largest school districts concerning issues relating to the school-to-prison pipeline.

At the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), Clarke led the organization’s work in the areas of voting rights and election law. Prior to joining LDF, she worked in the very office she has now been nominated to lead. She served as a federal prosecutor in the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division, handling police misconduct, police brutality, hate crimes, and human trafficking cases. Clarke also worked on voting rights and redistricting cases through the Division’s Voting Section. Consistent throughout her distinguished career is a focus on strengthening democracy and ensuring justice.

We have no doubt that Kristen Clarke is the right person to ensure the safety of our communities and strengthen our civil rights protections as head of the Civil Rights Division. Given her life’s work, Kristen Clarke will restore integrity, independence, and the pursuit of justice to this critical federal agency. We urge the Senate Judiciary Committee to quickly confirm Kristen Clarke as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights.

Sincerely,
National:
African American Ministers In Action
ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal
Ameinu
America Indivisible
American Friends Service Committee
American Jewish Congress
American Muslim Institution
Americans United for Separation of Church & State
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
Anti-Defamation League
Arab American Institute
Avodah
Bend the Arc Jewish Action
Catholics for Choice
Emgage Action
Freethought Society
ICNA Council for Social Justice
In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda
Interfaith Voices for Reproductive Justice
Islamic Networks Group
Ismailis Rise Up
Jewish Democratic Council of America
Jewish Women International
Jewish World Watch
Keshet
Lady Liberty League
Many Voices
Muslim Advocates
Muslim Public Affairs Council
Muslims for Progressive Values
National Action Network
National Council of Jewish Women
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
North American Islamic Foundation, Inc.
Pax Christi USA
Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Clergy Advocacy Board
Reconstructing Judaism
Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
SisterReach
Sojourners
T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
The Sikh Coalition
The Workers Circle
Uri L’Tzedek
Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual (WATER)

State:
Carolina Jews for Justice
Faith Commons
Indiana Muslim Advocacy Network
Jewish Community Action
Muslim Alliance of Indiana
National Council of Jewish Women Arizona
National Council of Jewish Women Colorado
National Council of Jewish Women Florida
National Council of Jewish Women Georgia
National Council of Jewish Women Illinois
National Council of Jewish Women Kentucky
National Council of Jewish Women Minnesota
National Council of Jewish Women Maryland
National Council of Jewish Women Massachusetts
National Council of Jewish Women Michigan
National Council of Jewish Women Northern Virginia
National Council of Jewish Women Tennessee
National Council of Jewish Women Texas
National Council of Jewish Women Washington
New Jersey Jewish Labor Committee
New York Jewish Agenda

Local:
A Just Harvest
Bend the Arc: Pittsburgh
Darul Arqum Islamic Center
Greater Bethesda MBC

IKAR
Islamic Society of Tulsa
Jewish Democratic Women’s Salon Atlanta
Jewish Silicon Valley
Kesher Pittsburgh
McCormick Theological Seminary
Minnesota Deaf Muslim Community
Muslim Community Center
National Council of Jewish Women Atlanta (GA) Section
National Council of Jewish Women Austin (TX) Section
National Council of Jewish Women Bergen County (NJ) Section
National Council of Jewish Women Chicago North Shore (IL) Section
National Council of Jewish Women Cleveland (OH) Section
National Council of Jewish Women Essex County (NJ) Section
National Council of Jewish Women Greater Dallas (TX) Section
National Council of Jewish Women Houston (TX) Section
National Council of Jewish Women Kendall (FL) Section
National Council of Jewish Women Lakeville (FL) Section
National Council of Jewish Women Greater Long Beach (CA) Section
National Council of Jewish Women Louisville (KY) Section
National Council of Jewish Women Greater Miami (FL) Section
National Council of Jewish Women Milwaukee (WI) Section
National Council of Jewish Women Palm Beach (FL) Section
National Council of Jewish Women Peninsula (NY) Section
National Council of Jewish Women Greater Philadelphia (PA) Section
National Council of Jewish Women San Antonio (TX) Section
National Council of Jewish Women Saddleback (CA) Section
National Council of Jewish Women Sarasota-Manatee (FL) Section
National Council of Jewish Women SE Atlantic (F) Section
National Council of Jewish Women Valencia Shores (FL) Section
Reviving the Islamic Sisterhood for Empowerment
Sisters Need A Place