Racial Justice

January 2017

Civil & Human Rights

Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc., reaffirms its ongoing commitment to civil rights and equal protection under the law for all people in the United States. We share the deep frustration felt by people of color due to persistent disparities, discrimination, underrepresentation, and inadequate attention to these issues by officials at all levels of government.

Hadassah, and the wider American Jewish community, have a long history of advocacy against bigotry and discrimination. Rabbis and Jewish activists proudly stood arm-in-arm with African-American leaders during the civil rights movement—a deep bond forged based on our communities’ mutual histories of oppression, commitment to faith, and resounding belief in the American ideals of equality and freedom.

Today, the Jewish community draws on that legacy as a source of strength and inspiration to continue the fight for racial justice. More can and must be done to strengthen the longstanding connection between the African-American and Jewish communities and build new relationships with the diverse range of communities of color in the United States. The unique voices and valuable contributions from Jews of color also help strengthen this work and our community as a whole.

Over half a century since passing the 1964 Civil Rights Act—and despite great progress made to advance opportunities available to racial minorities—intolerance, hatred, and violence still persist in the United States. People of color are disproportionately impacted by generational poverty, environmental injustice, educational inequities, and substandard health outcomes. These disparities are often compounded by gender and other identities which face discrimination. Hadassah reaffirms and expands its support for policies to eliminate discrimination, including:

  • Vigorous enforcement of existing civil rights and hate crime laws;
  • Efforts to strengthen voting rights and fight against voter suppression; and
  • Approval of new measures to address police brutality, criminal justice reform, and other systemic barriers to equality

Hadassah also urges regions and chapters to form collaborations and join in coalitions with organizations from all communities of color, which can further opportunities for Tikkun Olam, health education, advocacy, Israel awareness raising, and interfaith dialogue.

Hadassah's Policy Statements represent the organization's official stance on a wide variety of issues facing our nation, Israel and other international matters of concern. Policy Statements are debated and voted on at national meetings by Hadassah’s national board and delegates from our membership. Once approved, statements become official policies of the organization and serve to define Hadassah's overall agenda and advocacy priorities. Hadassah, as a charitable organization classified under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, is prohibited from any direct or indirect support of, or opposition to, candidates for public office.