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Reform Jewish Movement Denounces Decision to Add Citizenship Question to 2020 Census

Reform Jewish Movement Denounces Decision to Add Citizenship Question to 2020 Census

March 27, 2018

WASHINGTON – In response to the Department of Commerce’s announcement that it is adding a question about citizenship to the 2020 Census, Barbara Weinstein, Director of the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement on behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism, the Central Conference of American Rabbis and the wider Reform Movement:

“We strongly condemn the Department of Commerce’s decision to include a question about citizenship on the 2020 Census. At a time when America’s immigrant communities feel increasingly threatened, the effects of this decision are not hard to foresee: Census response rates from immigrant communities will be suppressed, undermining the Census’s integrity overall.

"The Census is an important means of apportioning political representation as well as determining the allocation of federal dollars to public services. An accurate Census is vital to understanding characteristics of the American people, such as population distribution, age, race, employment status, income and more.

Our Jewish responsibility to support the engagement of all people in the life and well-being of our community is significant. As the sage Hillel taught, "Do not separate yourself from the community" (Pirkei Avot 2:4). Unfortunately, the new Census citizenship question will undermine the achievement of these goals that are essential for the healthy functioning of our democracy. For the good of the nation, we call upon Congress to take immediate action to remove this damaging question.”


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 2,000 Reform rabbis.


Media Contact:
Jenna Galper, jgalper@rac.org, 202-387-2800

Published: 03/27/2018