Who Are We?
"Happy are those who act justly, who do right at all times.” (Psalm 106.3)
Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR) is an Israeli organization, active in three main areas – work within and about the Occupied Territories; work to promote social and economic justice within Israel; and activities in the fields of education and interreligious dialogue. RHR was founded in 1988 in response to contraventions of human rights taking place in the Occupied Territories. Since its inception, its activities have expanded to include
To articulate a vision of justice rooted in Jewish tradition, in the spirit of the Rabbinical teaching that all persons are created in God’s image
To act in order to prevent violations of human rights taking place within Israel and in the Occupied Territories
To further a vision of Judaism sanctifying life, justice and equality and to increase awareness of this vision within Israeli society
To further these values on the basis of constant engagement with Jewish tradition
We are guided by the richness of Jewish tradition, and by the call to advance the dignity and protect the rights of all individuals which we find at its heart. This reading of Judaism informs our activities in a variety of fields. It emboldens us to try wherever possible to influence government policy, to hold the State of Israel to live up to its vision and its responsibility: to defend the weak and the downtrodden in society regardless of race, religion, affiliation or orientation. We strive to live in an Israel true to the call of the prophets of old, and the spirit of Israel’s Declaration of Independence.
Approximately one hundred men and women are currently members of our organization. They are rabbis, cantors, seminary students and others occupying positions of religious leadership. Several hundred volunteers from throughout Israeli society and beyond Israel’s borders are active in RHR.
RHR is not affiliated with a political party. When it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we do not promote one approach over another, but we do insist that whatever policy prevails is consistent with principles of human rights, dignity and justice.
Our members are affiliated with different streams within the Jewish world – Orthodox. Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, Renewal, and Humanist. A number of our members serve in communal positions as rabbis and educators and on other capacities, and are active in effecting significant change in Israel.
As a Rabbinic organization, we strive to raise a Jewish voice relating to different aspects of the reality unfolding in contemporary Israel. For several years we have published Torah teachings forging a link between the timeless teachings of Parashat Hashavuah, the Weekly Portion, and issues of ethics and conscience, here and now. In 2017 we published To Be Continued… The book contains a year of Torah teachings written by the late Rabbi Ben Hollander and a variety of his colleagues.
For a collection of our teachings on the Weekly Portion, press here