NYJA’s advocacy is guided by five core Jewish values: Dignity, Equality, Justice, Responsibility, and Unity. Jews have been working to build societies shaped by these values for thousands of years, and we are honored to be bringing them forward to face the challenges of the day here in New York.

Dignity (Kavod / כָּבוֹד)

Our tradition teaches us that all human beings hold within themselves a spark of the divine and that each individual soul has the intrinsic value of the entire world. With this in mind, we believe that all people deserve to live their lives with dignity and respect, with no exceptions. In the 21st century, in one of the most prosperous countries in the world, it is unacceptable to us that so many New Yorkers go without the basic necessities of life, such as health care access, food, education, and shelter. As Jews, we stand with those within and outside of our community who are fighting to ensure that the most vulnerable in our society are given the dignity they deserve, and that the most prosperous among us pay our fair share to support those with less.

Equality (Shiv’yon / שִׁוְיוֹן)

We believe in the fundamental equality of each human being, and so we advocate for the equality of all New Yorkers in society and before the law. No individual’s ability to succeed should be diminished by their race, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, nationality, immigration status, educational level, class background, or any other identity marker. To achieve this vision, NYJA is committed to speaking out against all forms of oppression that target members of marginalized groups, including racism, sexism, antisemitism, and homophobia.

Justice (Tzedek / צֶדֶק)

Our sacred texts are clear: Jews have a responsibility to pursue justice. To us, that means taking a hard look at the structural inequalities in our society and working to correct them. From reforming the criminal justice system to restoring morality in our immigration policies to supporting our Native American siblings to stating loud and clear that Black Lives Matter, NYJA stands in support of the pursuit of justice.

Responsibility (Achrayut / אַחֲרָיוּת)

The lessons of Jewish history remind us of the price of inaction. Rather than stand by and hope that things change for the better, we must stand up for what we know is right. Here in New York, we see the window of opportunity closing to avoid the devastating impact of climate change, and so we commit to advocating for real environmental change now. Across the world, we witness with sadness the deterioration of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, but we refuse to give up hope. As Jews who believe in the inalienable human rights of both Jews and Palestinians in Israel, we are obligated to speak out, both in America and in Israel, when they stray from the path of peace.

Unity (Achdut / אַחְדוּת)

We are committed to continuing the New York Jewish community’s rich tradition of standing in solidarity with other communities in their times of need. We know that the values we hold are shared by many other groups, and we are proud to stand with them as allies in our shared fight for a better world. In our coalition work, we bring our full selves to the struggle for justice, tying the various threads of our Jewish identities together. We passionately believe that our Jewish community is stronger when we stand with our neighbors, and we commit to resisting efforts to divide us from social justice advocates of all backgrounds.