WYNCOTE, PA, March 16, 2007 The Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association (RRA) has adopted a resolution calling for a “rapid and responsible withdrawal” of U.S. military forces from Iraq. The resolution opposes U.S. troop escalation in Iraq and any unilateral and preemptive U.S. military intervention in Iran, urging instead a “political and diplomatic” solution to the region’s problems.
Resoundingly approved at the RRA’s annual convention, the resolution calls on Congress to examine rigorously any evidence alleged by the Bush administration to support further U.S. military action in Iraq or Iran, citing the “misleading rhetoric that was used to create a pretense for the U.S. invasion of Iraq.”
In the resolution, the RRA urges the administration “to engage with the international community, particularly those nations of the Middle East willing to work together in a political and diplomatic initiative designed to help Iraq move towards stability and away from its current state of violence and chaos.”
Rabbi Toba Spitzer of Newton, Mass., the newly elected president of the association, said: “It was time for voices in the Jewish community, especially those of rabbis, to be raised in opposition to the continuing carnage that has become the tragedy of Iraq. We feel the need to speak out as allusions to a potentially similar, dangerous and disastrous course of action in Iran are increasingly being suggested.” Spitzer drafted the resolution along with RRA immediate past president Rabbi Brant Rosen of Evanston, Ill.
During the March 11-14 convention in Phoenix, attended by 90 rabbis, the RRA also adopted a groundbreaking new “Code of Ethics” that provides moral guidance and reflects the professional standards of behavior for members of the association. The guidelines serve as an educational resource for rabbis, employers and lay people.
Spitzer’s election at the convention makes her the first openly lesbian or gay rabbi elected to head a national rabbinic association. In her inaugural remarks, she noted that the full equality of Jewish gay men and lesbians in the Reconstructionist movement dates back to 1984 when the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College adopted a non-discrimination admissions policy.
Spitzer noted that what has become a normative and non-controversial inclusivity of gay men and lesbians within the Reconstructionist movement regrettably remains a source of debate and disagreement within much of the Jewish community. She also noted that exactly 20 years earlier, the RRA was the first national rabbinic association to elect a female rabbi as its president.
The RRA is the professional association of Reconstructionist rabbis, whose 280 members serve in congregations, on campuses, as chaplains, educators, academics, agency staff, artists and authors throughout the North American Jewish community and in Israel.
The full text of the resolution is attached.
|RRA Resolution on Iraq-Iran 3-16-07.pdf||65.74 KB|