Gun Violence Prevention

The Reform Movement, led by students and NFTY, is outraged at the current lack of legislative action and political leadership that allows this horrible violence to continue. This epidemic is not natural, nor normal and gun violence can be prevented.

Description

The epidemic of gun violence continues to plague individuals and communities across the United States, including our own Jewish communities as well as those of our friends, neighbors, colleagues, and partners. The Reform Movement, led by students and NFTY, is outraged at the current lack of legislative action and political leadership that allows this horrible violence to continue. This epidemic is not natural, nor normal and gun violence can be prevented. Drawing on Jewish traditions and values, we remain committed to taking action by engaging in community and legislative advocacy to end the gun violence epidemic.

Why Should Jews Care?

Jewish tradition emphasizes the sanctity and eternal value of human life. The Talmud teaches that: 

“One who takes a life, it is though they have destroyed the universe. And one who saves a life, it is as though they have saved the universe” (Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5).

The dehumanization of individuals and the carelessness with which human life is taken during incidents of gun violence stand in direct violation of these affirmations of our tradition. We are called upon to take action to prevent the loss of lives and end gun violence.

Take Action

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Urge Congress to take immediate action to stop gun violence

very year, almost 40,000 Americans die as victims of gun violence. That’s over 100 deaths per day. Americans are 25 times more likely to be killed with a gun than people in other developed nations, despite the fact that gun deaths are incredibly preventable. The scourge of gun violence in America is both a public safety issue and a public health epidemic.

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Handgun over dictionary definition of "violence"

Require Universal Background Checks on all Gun Sales

The vast majority of Americans, including gun owners, support common-sense policies like background checks for every gun sale to prevent senseless violence. As Reform Jews, it is our duty to demand that Congress take action to pass gun legislation and save countless innocent lives.

What's New

An Al Cheit for this Moment in Time

August 10, 2020
I’m praying that these weeks of consolation before the High Holidays will give us the time to confront our sins and respond in ways that will help us to heal from our brokenness and find the courage and resolve to build a better year for all.

RAC Reads Guide: Crossing Lines by Melanie Weiss

RAC Reads is a program by the Religious Action Center to encourage reading groups that explore contemporary social justice topics in the context of Jewish teachings and values. The discussion guides are designed for families, congregations and communities. As such, not all of the facilitation tips and discussion questions may be applicable in all cases.

Related Press Releases

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Reform Judaism's Resolutions on Gun Violence Prevention

Learn more about the position of the Reform Movement on these key issues, and read the formal resolutions by URJ and CCAR.

VIEW URJ RESOLUTIONS View Resolutions from Reform Movement Affiliates

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learning books

NFTY Students Leading Gun Violence Prevention

  • Youth and students around the United States have been the victims of gun violence, including horrific shootings at schools, and we refuse to stay silent. We are passionate about making the future—and present—safer, better, and full of hope. Join NFTY in advocating for gun violence prevention.
  • Join the Gun Violence Prevention Fellowship to learn more about gun violence prevention and how to organize your community. Contact Logan Gerber for more information at lgerber@rac.org

Find gun violence prevention leaders in your state commit to being that leader yourself

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Teens protesting gun violence at the US Capitol

Contact our Legislative Assistants

For more information on this issue, contact Shayna Han.

Learn More and Get Involved

Civic Engagement Campaign

Get involved in Every Voice, Every Vote, the Reform Jewish Movement’s 2020 Civic Engagement Campaign, a nonpartisan effort to strengthen our democracy by encouraging everyone to participate in the upcoming U.S. election and ensuring that Reform Jewish values are represented in the public square. Voting and civic engagement are vital to ensuring we have partners in elected offices who can make changes on a whole host of issues, including gun violence prevention.

Engage Your Congregation

a prayer for gun violence prevention

Shine Your light through the gloom. Heal us and local, national, and global communities.
Lead us toward homes free of affliction and strife, bodies and spirits untrammeled by gun violence.
Help us to be the change we hope to see. Soon and in our own lifetimes. -- Amen

Adapted from “A Prayer Amid Gun Violence,” by Virginia Spatz