Joint Statement from the URJ, CCAR, RA, USCJ, RRA, and Reconstructing Judaism on Solidarity with the ADL and the Importance of Coalitions for Justice

August 18, 2020

The Union for Reform Judaism, Central Conference of American Rabbis, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, Rabbinical Assembly, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, and Reconstructing Judaism have for many generations been close partners with the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) in the work of making the world more just. We have stood together in the struggles against antisemitism, against hate crimes, against bigotry, and for LGBTQ equality, for Holocaust education, and for civil rights for all people. This work has been done in coalitions alongside cherished partners that span the spectrum of faith and race.

Indeed, every successful social justice change effort in American history has been characterized by its broad engagement of individuals and groups with diverse backgrounds and viewpoints, coming together over a shared commitment to bringing more justice into the world. Of course, this has never meant that all groups agree on all issues. It has meant that those differences have never been allowed to supersede our commonalities. Time and again when differences have surfaced that had the potential to impede the work, groups have chosen to engage one another in difficult conversations. Sometimes that has resulted in common resolution, sometimes we have agreed to disagree, even while working together on the far larger range of issues on which we do agree. We must continue on that path.

We vehemently reject efforts to silence or shun the ADL. Many of the criticisms that have been made are unjust or distort ADL’s long record of commitment to civil rights and its successful efforts in legislatures, courts, schools, and communities to fight discrimination and hate. We remain committed to working in our vital coalitions in close partnership with the ADL on our shared desire to fight bigotry, wherever it may be found. In this moment when our nation is rightly reckoning with the systemic racism that has fostered ongoing injustice, we urge greater dialogue, greater engagement, and greater commitment to the power of coalitions of decency. Together, we can continue to heal what is broken in our world.