Feldman:This case is an important opportunity for the Supreme Court to recognize the value of exposing students to the richness of our society’s diverse population by studying and socializing with children from varying backgrounds at the earliest levels of education.
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Washington, DC, October 11, 2006 – The Union for Reform Judaism has joined with other members of the faith community in filing an amicus brief coordinated by the American Jewish Committee before the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the voluntary integration plans of schools in Seattle and Louisville. Rabbi Marla Feldman, Director of the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
We are proud to join with those who value the role of diversity in our society by supporting the voluntary integration plans put forth by schools in Seattle and Louisville. The case will affect whether public school districts can use race-conscious means voluntarily to ensure racial integration in their elementary and secondary schools. This case is an important opportunity for the Supreme Court to recognize the value of exposing students to the richness of our society’s diverse population by studying and socializing with children from varying backgrounds at the earliest levels of education.
With approximately 90% of our nation’s students in public schools, those schools have an important role to play in fostering healthy relationships among students of varied backgrounds. Public education is one of the most hallowed of our civic virtues and the Union for Reform Judaism has long recognized that public schools have been the ladder that American Jews, and so many others, used to climb from poverty to success in American life. Such achievement has been possible not only because of the school curriculum, but also because the diversity of our schools. Learning in a diverse setting teaches students to thrive in an environment reflective of the larger society in which they will later work as adults, and best prepares them for living in our multi-cultural society.
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.