October 20, 2014 · 26 Tishrei

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Reform Jewish Leader Applauds House Passage of Embryonic Stem Cell Legislation
Following today’s historic passage of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005 (H.R. 810) by the U.S. House of Representatives, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement noting, "House members have fulfilled their obligation, not only to their constituents, but to all those worldwide, today and in future generations, whose length and quality of life will likely one day be enhanced because of embryonic stem cell research."

Saperstein: House members have fulfilled their obligation, not only to their constituents, but to all those worldwide, today and in future generations, whose length and quality of life will likely one day be enhanced because of embryonic stem cell research.

Contact: Alexis Rice or Eric Gold
202.387.280

WASHINGTON, May 24, 2005 – Following today’s historic passage of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005 (H.R. 810) by the U.S. House of Representatives, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

    Today’s House passage of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005, which will expand the critically small number of stem cell lines available for federally funded research, is true cause for celebration. We commend Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE) and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) for working tirelessly to bring together a bipartisan group of members of Congress to pass legislation that gives hope to as many as 100 million Americans suffering from debilitating and life-threatening diseases and conditions.

    Because stem cell research holds the potential to repair and regenerate human tissues, nerve cells, and skin cells, it holds significant promise toward finding a cure or treatment for conditions including breast and prostate cancer, leukemia, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, spinal cord injuries and Huntington’s chorea. Future stem cell research holds even more promise and the legislation passed today will do much to ensure that the federal government helps, rather than hinders, that process.

    Our Jewish tradition teaches us that preserving life and promoting health are among the most precious of values. Nachmanides, a medieval Torah and Talmud scholar, taught that the practice of healing is not merely a profession, it is a mitzvah, a righteous obligation. House members have fulfilled their obligation, not only to their constituents, but to all those worldwide, today and in future generations, whose length and quality of life will likely one day be enhanced because of embryonic stem cell research.

    We urge the Senate to follow the House of Representatives’ lead by passing the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act. We also call upon the President to reverse his stated intention to veto this legislation and to recognize that the overwhelming majority of Americans support safe, regulated and ethical embryonic stem cell research. Only by expanding the current shortage of stem cell lines available for federally funded research will we provide hope to those in need and fulfill our obligation as faithful Americans to work to heal the sick.

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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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