Reform Jewish Voice of New York State: Social Justice Advocacy

126 New York Congregations worked together to create a New York State advocate for Social Justice similar to the efforts of the Religious Action Center.


Reform Jewish Voice of New York State
633 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017-6778
(202) 387-2800

Target Groups: Multi-generational Social Action Program
Reform Jewish Voice of New York State (RJV) is Reform Judaism’s advocate for social justice in New York State. Our mission is to advance the social justice principles that are central to the Reform Jewish movement’s ethical values on behalf of the nearly 100,000 families who belong to more than 125 Reform Jewish Congregations throughout New York.

To fulfill this mission we promote progressive New York State legislation and governmental actions that address the root causes of social and economic injustice and advance religious tolerance and human dignity in New York State. We accomplish this through 1) educating New York’s Reform Jews on the critical issues facing our state and 2) taking an active role as advocates in local legislative districts and in Albany.

Since our founding in 2002, we have educated our members on critical issues and taken an active role as advocates in local legislative districts and in Albany. Our work is modeled on the nationwide efforts of the Religious Action Center, and our positions are consistent with those of the national Reform Movement.

Working through a Steering Committee and other committed volunteers from the five URJ regions in New York State, we have accomplished a great deal. Among other things, Reform Jewish Voice has:

  • co-sponsored a statewide Consultation on Conscience in March 2004 attended by 138 people representing 37 synagogues from Buffalo to Eastern Long Island;
  • organized a variety of programs to help synagogues engage in social justice advocacy;
  • advocated on issues, such as increasing the minimum wage, providing emergency contraception in hospitals and pharmacies, and opposing restoration of the death penalty;
  • developed collaborative relationships with other advocacy groups, such as Interfaith Impact of New York State, Family Planning Advocates, New Yorkers Against the Death Penalty, Planned Parenthood and the Women of Reform Judaism;
  • received the prestigious Fain Award of the Commission on Social Action