Civil Rights, Racial Justice & DEI

WRJ is committed to doing the essential work of DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) within WRJ, in our Movement, and in our Jewish, local and national communities, in ourselves working with partners in the greater community. WRJ understands DEI and Racial Justice work to be continuing the work of ongoing improvement by educating ourselves and bending the arc of history toward justice, inclusion, and belonging. 

The women of WRJ have long been active in the fight against discrimination and for the betterment of society through the expansion of rights and freedoms. We have led the Reform Movement in our support of civil rights and racial equality, LGBTQ equality, the rights of people with disabilities, public education, immigration reform, gun violence prevention, employment rights, and criminal justice. Our commitment to the Jewish mandate of “tzedek, tzedek tirdof, justice, justice you shall pursue (Deuteronomy 16:18),” has inspired us to fight to bring justice and equality to all people. 

Race Relations & Criminal Justice

In response to tragedies in Ferguson, New York City, and Cleveland, the WRJ Executive Committee has made a statement advocating for systemic change to address racial & structural inequality in law enforcement in the U.S. WRJ is proud of its long history supporting race relations and criminal justice through our Resolutions and Statements: from advocating for an anti-lynching bill in the 1930s to promoting affirmative action and equal protection under the law in the 1970s and 1990s.

LGBTQ Rights & Religious Freedom

In light of Kay Long's experience as a transgender woman who was prohibited from praying in either section of the Kotel, WRJ recognizes the transgender Jews who share in this struggle with us and hope that all women—regardless of assigned gender at birth—be allowed to pray as they wish. WRJ has been a vocal advocate of transgender and LGBTQ rights, in particular as the first Jewish organization to openly support gays and lesbians, and of the right of women to pray equally at the Kotel.

For Jewish Disability Awareness Month (February)

Read about how Rachel's congregation and Jewish community welcomed her daughter with Autism Spectrum Disorder with open arms.

Check out the programs put on by past Or Ami award winners Sisterhood of Congregation Shaarai Shomayim of Lancaster, PA (2013) and Temple Shalom Sisterhood of Dallas, TX (2009) for more ideas on how to support and include community members with disabilities.

The Beth Am Women of Los Altos Hills, CA, and the Women of Temple Isaiah of Lafayette, CA have organized for many years to support families with adult children who suffer from chronic mental illness. In 2013 they created a support group guide and a training brochure for communicating with people with mental illness, for which they won the WRJ Pacific District Kavod Award

Resolutions & Statements

2015: The Crisis of Racial and Structural Inequality in Law Enforcement

2013: The School-to-Prison Pipeline

2010: Voluntary Extension of Foster Care

2007: Drug Policy

2003: Transgender and Bisexual Rights (Advocacy Guide)

2001: Elections in the United States

1999: Hate Crimes

1999: Equal Justice and Equal Protection

1997: Gay and Lesbian Rights

1995: Affirmative Action

1991: The Rights of Gay Men and Lesbian Women

1991: Racism

1987: Civil Rights Restoration Act

1985: Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1985

1985: Intergroup Relations: Increased Effectiveness in Pursuit of Social Justice

1983: Crime and the Criminal Justice System

1981: "We the People"

1977: Affirmative Action

1977: Rights of Individuals

1975: Rights of Individuals

1975: Certain Problems of the Family of Humankind

1971: Crime and Administration of Justice

1967: Anti-Poverty, Crime, and Firearms Legislation

1965: Judaism and the Family

1959: Capital Punishment

1957: The Middle East

1957: The Worth of the Individual

1955: Desegregation

1947: Opposition to Poll Tax

1944: Anti-Poll Tax Legislation

1940: Anti-Lynching Legislation

1936: Analysis of Ruthless Discrimination Against Racial and Minority Groups

1936: Costigan-Wagner Federal Anti-Lynching Bill

Advocacy Alerts

2015: WRJ Statement on the Crisis of Racial and Structural Inequality in Law Enforcement and More

2015: #LoveWins at the Supreme Court

2013: ENDA, Women in Jewish Organizations, New Israeli Ambassador

2013: Supreme Court, Immigration Reform, and Alberta Flood Victims

2013: Boy Scouts of America, EPA Regulations

2013: LGBT Rights and Gift of Life

2013: Violence Against Women Act, NDAA, Roe v. Wade Anniversary

2012: Support Israel from Home, Montreal's First Jewish Mayor, Native American Women

2012: Support Strong Juvenile Justice Funding, Segregation in Israel

2012: Get Out The Vote

2012: Supreme Court Critical Rulings, VAWA, One Minute Campaign in Memory of Murdered Israeli Athletes

2012: Court Strikes Down Texas Voter ID Law, America's Anti-Hunger Programs, L'Dor V'Dor

2012: Medicaid Expansion, Judicial Nominations, WRJ in the News

2012: WRJ at the White House, Gun Catastrophies, Boy Scouts Decision, Judicial Vacancies

2012: WRJ Joins Cour Brief in Favor of Gay Marriage, News from RAC and IRAC

2012: Student Non-Descrimination Act, Childhood Obesity, Jewish Energy Covenant Campaign

2012: Or Ami Awardees Continued, Reminder: Help End Childhood Hunger

2012: End Violence Against Women, Living Wage, Rights of the Disabled

2012: Jewish Disability Awareness Month, Report on UN Statement on Persons with Disabilities, End Childhood Hunger

2011: Show the RAC's It Gets Better Video at a Sisterhood Meeting

2010: End Homophobic Bullying and Harassment

2010: Celebrate 50 Years of Social Justice with the RAC