Founded in 2002, Rabbis for Human Rights - North America (RHR-NA) is an organization of rabbis from all streams of Judaism dedicated to expanding support for the mission and work of RHR in Israel, and to education and advocacy on human rights issues in North America.
RHR-NA promotes discussion of human rights issues in the Jewish community by bringing speakers from RHR into Jewish communities nation-wide, sends delegations to Israel to join our colleagues in protecting human rights in Israel, and supports the efforts of RHR to change Israeli policies that lead to human rights violations.
Goals of RHR-North America:
Recruiting as many rabbis as possible from all denominations as active supporters for Rabbis for Human Rights and developing local rabbinic groups for learning and mutual support.
Reaching out to gain widespread support for Rabbis for Human Rights within the North American Jewish communities and among all in North America who share our vision, including developing “Friends of RHR” groups in different cities.
Raising significant funds from individual supporters, religious communities, and foundations to support the work of Rabbis for Human Rights.
Providing speakers and materials on Judaism, human rights and the work of Rabbis for Human Rights.
Creating an advocacy network that can respond rapidly to human rights concerns.
RHR-NA Statement of Principles:
"Every human being is created in the image of God" Bidmut Elohim asah oto: It is incumbent on each of us to act in a way that affirms the fundamental dignity of every human being. Respect for each human being is the foundation of Jewish ethics.
"[We must] do what is just and right." La''asot Tzedek U''Mishpat: For a nation to have legitimacy, it must enforce a system of law that is fair, equitable, and just.
"Do not oppress the stranger, orphan or widow." Ger, Yatom, V''Almananah Al Tonu: We have a duty to promote a society that cares for the economic well-being of all of its members, especially those who are most vulnerable.
We believe that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights flows from these Jewish values, as well as from our own historical experience, especially that of the treatment of Jews during the Holocaust. Therefore, it is incumbent on us, as Jews, to defend the human rights of all who are oppressed.