NYJA insists that our government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic prioritize the saving of lives above all else, and that it center the needs of our state’s most vulnerable residents. We must not let short-term concerns about increased public debt or tax burdens hold us back from taking the dramatic steps that are necessary to combat this virus and support those who have lost the most in its wake. In our eyes, a just response to COVID-19 prioritizes saving lives over saving money and does not let a single human being fall through the cracks of our bureaucracy, regardless of their immigration status or access to financial resources.
Housing and Homelessness
Exacerbated by the pandemic, millions of New Yorkers across the state are facing a housing affordability crisis that has pushed thousands of individuals and families from their homes. NYJA is committed to securing New York’s progress in the arena of tenants’ rights while ensuring that small landlords with limited resources are given the support they need so that eviction becomes truly an action of last resort. NYJA stands in solidarity with those who have already lost their homes, and calls on community leaders to protect homeless individuals and families and treat them with the dignity and respect they deserve.
NYJA believes that the public education system of New York is the most vital ingredient in the movement to ensure equality for all New Yorkers. All New Yorkers, regardless of what they look like, where they live, or what faith they hold, should have access to high-quality education that meets baseline standards for secular education, as mandated by New York state law. We are grateful for the tireless work of New York’s teachers, and support them as they fight to ensure their teaching environments are safe and their compensation is just.
NYJA refuses to turn a blind eye to the rampant systemic injustices in America that have endured to the present day. We believe that Black Lives Matter, and are passionate advocates for meaningful reforms to our policing and criminal justice systems. We acknowledge the tragedy of Native American dispossession in New York and stand with New Yorkers of indiginous heritage who are fighting to protect their culture. We empathize with those New Yorkers who are navigating the unjust American immigration system and support them in their calls for immigration reform.
NYJA is committed to combating antisemitism, along with all other systems of oppression that use conspiracies, scapegoats, fear, or anger to divide New Yorkers from each other. We stand resolute against the increasingly bold and violent forces of white supremacy who seek to create a version of America that only serves people like themselves. We will not hesitate to hold to account any individual or group who repeats the dangerous messages of antisemitism, no matter who they are or how powerful they may be. At the same time, we humbly acknowledge that we cannot fight this hateful force alone, and that we can only dismantle the machinery of antisemitism as part of the larger movement to fight other forms of racism, bigotry, and oppression. To that end, we proudly join hands with our allies who are fighting against anti-black racism, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, and all other forms of discrimination and hate. By showing up for our neighbors, we can repel white nationalism together and build a New York that is safe and free for all its inhabitants.
Record-breaking wildfires, increasingly powerful tropical storms, and extreme temperatures across the country have confirmed what we already knew: human-caused climate change is real and the threat is growing daily. Our country needs to take dramatic action now to reverse these dangerous trends, and New York should be setting a national example in climate leadership. Our leaders must be unafraid to stand up to polluting industries and prioritize emissions reductions over short-term profits. As Jews, we have a responsibility to leave the planet better than we found it for the sake of the generations to come.
Israel / Palestine
We uphold the founding vision of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state while acknowledging the challenges it has faced to fully realize that vision. Our core Jewish values of dignity and equality call upon us to support a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that recognizes the right to self-determination for both the Jewish and Palestinianian peoples and the human rights of all. We oppose the Israeli government’s ongoing occupation and control of millions of Palestinian lives, including its policy of creeping annexation of the West Bank. At the same time, we are proud to call ourselves liberal Zionists, as we are committed to the idea of Jewish self-determination and to the right of all people to live in free and just societies. We do not support the BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanctions) movement because it is not an effective strategy to achieve a resolution of the conflict, which we believe requires acknowledging the legitimate claims and history of both Jews and Palestinians. As a New York organization, we see a responsibility to educate state and local leaders about the dangers of the path being pursued by current Israeli and Palestinian leadership, and to encourage a respectful debate within our community about the future contours of a just and negotiated solution to the conflict. We believe that conversations that focus on underlying values and goals rather than specific policy proposals are key to repairing the internal wounds within our own Jewish community.