For Immediate Release
December 4, 2017
WASHINGTON – In response to President Trump’s decision to dramatically shrink Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement on behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism, Central Conference of American Rabbis and wider Reform Movement:
“We strongly condemn the president’s decision to shrink Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. These places are unique ecological treasures and sites of invaluable cultural heritage for several American Indian tribes. Removing their protections would continue a shameful history of indigenous erasure.
“Our Jewish text commands us to till and tend the Earth (Genesis 2:15), teaching us of our obligation to be responsible stewards of the environment. We must ensure that our land, and particularly ecologically vulnerable land, is protected for future generations. For these reasons, we decry the president's harmful decision and urge him to keep Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante whole.”
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose nearly 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 2,000 Reform rabbis. Visit www.rac.org for more.