[New York, NY, February 16, 2018]
In response to the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Rabbi Marla J. Feldman, Executive Director of Women of Reform Judaism, and Blair C. Marks, President of Women of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
“Do not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor.” (Leviticus 19:16)
In the wake of the recent tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, one of the ten deadliest mass shootings in United States history, Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ) once again is compelled to speak out on the issue of gun violence in America.
We offer our condolences to the families and friends of the victims and our prayers for healing for those who are wounded. To our WRJ sisters and the families of Congregation Kol Tikvah in Parkland, Florida, and Temple Beth Orr in Coral Springs, Florida, we mourn with you and hope the loving embrace of family, friends, and your sisters from afar will bring some sense of comfort during this difficult time.
WRJ has been advocating for gun safety laws since as early as 1967. In 1991, 1993, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2016, WRJ repeatedly has decried the epidemic of gun violence and the proliferation of mass shootings in America and argued for gun violence prevention measures. Yet the number of mass shootings in America continues to climb. Three of the deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history have occurred in the last five months. And seemingly there is no end in sight. Nevertheless, WRJ pledges to continue its efforts to advocate against gun violence and for stronger gun laws in America.
Dr. Martin Luther King said, “The time is always right to do what is right.” There is no better time than now, for America and our elected officials to finally do what is right and to enact common-sense legislation to protect our children, families, friends, and neighbors from gun violence.
Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ), founded in 1913, is the women’s affiliate of the Union for Reform Judaism, the central body of Reform Judaism in North America. WRJ represents tens of thousands of women in hundreds of women’s groups, strengthening the voice of women worldwide and empowering them to create caring communities, nurture congregations, cultivate personal and spiritual growth, and advocate for and promote progressive Jewish values.