August 23, 2014 · 27 Av

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Reform Jewish Movement Outraged by Senate Decision to Support Arctic Drilling
Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement in response to the Senate vote allowing for drilling in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge noting, "The failure of Senator Cantwell’s amendment to protect the Refuge is an offense to the environment, endangers vulnerable species, and infringes on the sacred space of the indigenous Gwitch’in tribe."

Saperstein: The failure of Senator Cantwell’s amendment to protect the Refuge is an offense to the environment, endangers vulnerable species, and infringes on the sacred space of the indigenous Gwitch’in tribe.

Contact: Alexis Rice or Avital Weinberg 202.387.2800

Washington, March 16, 2005 – Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement in response to the Senate vote allowing for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. 

    The Reform Jewish Movement has been a strong advocate against drilling for oil in the Refuge. Judaism teaches that we have an obligation to future generations and other living creatures to protect the Earth’s ecosystem. We are instructed in the Torah not to destroy (bal tashchit).  Rather, we are to become stewards and protectors of the land.  

    The failure of Senator Cantwell’s amendment to protect the Refuge is an offense to the environment, endangers vulnerable species, and infringes on the sacred space of the indigenous Gwitch’in tribe. Drilling – damaging – this unique area will not make a sufficient difference in moving the United States towards energy independence to justify this damage. We continue to urge a broader program of development of alternative energy sources and improvements in energy efficiency standards as a more effective approach to meeting our nation’s energy needs. 

    We are deeply saddened by the failure of this amendment and are alarmed by the implication this has for future assaults on the environment.


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The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1800 Reform rabbis.

 



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