December 19, 2014 · 27 Kislev

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Position of the Reform Jewish Movement
The Reform Movement has a number of policies that support our work on environmental health issues.

Both the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) and the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) have resolutions which address environmental health threats, including the issues of toxic waste and chemical pollutants.  In 1983 the Union for Reform Judaism (then the Union of American Hebrew Congregations) passed a resolution entitled Toxic Substances in the Environment that reaffirmed “our commitment to an environment free from the dangers of chemical and radioactive toxic waste” and recognized “that as inhabiters of the environment, we all bear responsibility for solving the problem of toxic wastes.” Additionally the resolution addressed the issue of pesticides calling on the government to strictly test them for adverse health implications.  The CCAR passed a similar resolution one year later.

In 1991, the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) passed a resolution called “The Environment” calling upon our congregations and congregants to consciously modify their behavior in order to preserve our planet, as well as to ensure that the economic and health costs of environmental hazards do not disproportionately fall upon poor and minority communities.

Finally, as evidence of their commitment to the issue of environmental health, the Central Conference of American Rabbi’s passed a 1998 resolution, Health Care Without Harm, officially joining a coalition of the same name aimed at reducing the environmental dangers of health care practices without compromising safety or care.

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