- Rabbinic Voice
- Reform Responsa
- CCAR Journal: The Reform Jewish Quarterly
Resolution Adopted by the CCAR
Digests of resolutions adopted by the
1. We cannot have national security without economic freedom and well-being of
individual. In the period which lies ahead, the achievement of economic
through social action will determine the strength and effectiveness of our
as much as will political or military measures. We believe that the current
trend has been toward
the curtailment of the individual's economic freedoms. Judaism has been
concerned with the rights of the individual, believing that his welfare is
inseparably bound up with the security of the nation
Central Conference of American Rabbis
between 1889 and 1974
We therefore recommend the following:
a) Labor, management and capital are completely interdependent. Without one another, none of them can be secure or free. We applaud the evidence of increased statesmanship developing both in organized labor and in industrial leadership. We hail those labor unions which have taken the initiative in ridding themselves of Communists. We oppose specious generalizations labeling unions as "communistic" and business as "fascistic.'' We oppose vigorously any expression by unstatesmanlike businessmen that "a little unemployment is a healthy thing." We call for the establishment by labor and management of joint fact-finding boards, whose data will be used in contract negotiations and will be made public to influence in the direction of accuracy and truth the climate of public opinion with regard to labor-management relationships.
We affirm our long-held belief in collective bargaining and mediation as the keystones of industrial peace and cooperation. We oppose legislative and judicial encroachments upon them unless and until national security demands such encroachments. In such cases, the government should interfere only in direct relationship to the severity of the national emergency, and the infringement upon the autonomy of labor and industry should be only in proportion to the demands being made upon all other segments of the American population. We call for the revision of the Taft-Hartley Law to eliminate the gross injustices which have jeopardized the status and growth of the labor movement.
We urge all labor unions to remove immediately all discriminatory bars to membership, in order to make available to all citizens who wish them the benefits of organized labor. We reaffirm our traditional opposition to child labor and condemn any attempts to relax statutes prohibiting or delimiting the requirement that the place of children is in our schools, not in our factories or mines.
Recognizing the need for full and fair employment as a requisite to national security, we call for the increased employment of able senior citizens and the handicapped.
b) We call for the enactment of a federal Fair Employment Practices Act which will guarantee freedom of economic opportunity to all citizens, regardless of race, color, or creed. We recommend the extension of educational and training opportunities to all persons on the sole basis of ability, recognizing that the vastly increased numbers of technical specialists needed in our national economy must come from all segments of our population, quite apart from our deep concern for the moral problem involved.
In this connection we call upon the federal government to take immediate steps toward full and equitable employment of all racial groups within federal service in those areas not requiring further legislation.
c) We express our deep concern that the national administration has seen fit to do away with all price and wage controls. We urge the immediate enactment of stand-by controls as a, vital requirement for our national security, so that there will never be a dangerous interval between the arising of a need for controls and the enactment and enforcement of such necessary controls.
d) We favor the abandonment of restrictive tariffs as stultifying the growth of American industrial ingenuity and genius.
e) We favor a revision of our current immigration laws which, among many other evils, is preventing the bringing to our shores of freedom-loving individuals who can strengthen our economy.
f) We call for a universal national health insurance program, believing that a healthy America is necessary for economic well-being.
g) We urge increased attention to the problems of the aged disabled. Social security coverage should be extended and increased, providing for retirement with dignity of our citizens who have given years of diligent and devoted labor.
h) The maintenance of maximum food production is essential to our national security and our international responsibilities. We are concerned about the serious drop in farm income during the past two years. We urge all necessary legislative steps be taken to ensure continued maximal food production. (1953, p. 128-30)
2. See Democracy, Sec. 4 (1953).
3. See Congress, U.S., Sec. 5 (1954).
4. The pivotal problem which confronts us today remains that of the proper balance between individual freedom and national security. Our Conference has spoken in clear and forthright terms on the subject. Two years ago, in an institute sponsored by this Conference, we said: "We believe that the national security of our country is rooted in the individual freedom of its citizens." Last year, our Conference spelled out in detail its fear of the present investigatory techniques. The months since then have offered some small cause for the allaying of our fears. While the censure of Senator McCarthy brought a measure of sanity and a seeming lessening of the Senator's influence, it did little to forestall the technique we have come to know as McCarthyism.
The administration of our security program is still open to the gravest doubts and reservations. We deplore the use of professional informers such as Crouch, Natvig, and Matusow. We cannot countenance such ineptness of our government and its leaders as evidenced in the Ladejinsky affair. Such actions and such events undermine the confidence of the people--and do little to protect us against an enemy within our gates. On the contrary, they weaken our defense by eating away our confidence and our principles. We rejoice over the Supreme Court decision in the case of Dr. John Peters, but agree with Justice Douglas that until the Court meets the basic constitutional issues involved, faceless informers used by the Department of Justice or Congressional Committees may continue to threaten the livelihood and reputations of innocent American citizens. In this regard, we reiterate and reemphasize our opposition to the Attorney General's list and commend those public figures who have expressed their disapproval of such a listing. A review of the entire security program is a pressing need. We urge such a review upon our government for the safeguarding not alone of the rights of individuals but for the ultimate protection of our democratic way of life. (1955, p. 65)