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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘statement’

RCA Statement on Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

In the years since the Rabbinical Council of America’s first comment about JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality), “the only Jewish based organization dedicated to assisting individuals with unwanted same sex attractions move from gay to straight” in January, 2004, in which we suggested that rabbis might refer congregants to them for reparative therapy, many concerns about JONAH and reparative therapy have been raised.

As rabbis trained in Jewish law and values, we base our religious positions regarding medical matters on the best research and advice of experts and scholars in those areas, along with concern for the religious, emotional, and physical welfare of those impacted by our decisions. Our responsibility is to apply halakhic (Jewish legal) values to those opinions.

Based on consultation with a wide range of mental health experts and therapists who informed us of the lack of scientifically rigorous studies that support the effectiveness of therapies to change sexual orientation, a review of literature written by experts and major medical and mental health organizations, and based upon reports of the negative and, at times, deleterious consequences to clients of some of the interventions endorsed by JONAH, the Rabbinical Council of America decided in 2011, as part of an overall statement on the Jewish attitude towards homosexuality, to withdraw its original letter referencing JONAH. Despite numerous attempts by the RCA to have mention of that original letter removed from the JONAH website, our calls, letters, and emails remain unanswered. As Rabbi Shmuel Goldin, president of the RCA, stated in 2011, “We want it taken down. JONAH said it was a letter of support, but if you read the letter it is not. They took an informational statement and reprinted it, and the use of that as an endorsement is an error.”

We believe that properly trained mental health professionals who abide by the values and ethics of their professions can and do make a difference in the lives of their patients and clients. The RCA believes that responsible therapists, in partnership with amenable clients, should be able to work on whatever issues those clients voluntarily bring to their session. Allegations made against JONAH lead us to question whether JONAH meets those standards.

Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm, Chancellor of Yeshiva University and author of the 1974 Encyclopedia Judaica Year Book article, “Judaism and the Modern Attitude to Homosexuality,” the first contemporary article to address the issue from the perspective of Jewish law and philosophy, had originally commended the work of JONAH. In response to the negative reports about JONAH’s activities and concerns expressed to him by respected mental health professionals, Dr. Lamm withdrew his endorsement of JONAH.

About the RCA:

The Rabbinical Council of America, with national headquarters in New York City, is a professional organization serving more than 1000 Orthodox Rabbis in the United States of America, Canada, Israel, and around the world. Membership is comprised of duly ordained Orthodox Rabbis who serve in positions of the congregational rabbinate, Jewish education, chaplaincies, and other allied fields of Jewish communal work

For further information about this statement, you may contact:

Rabbi Mark Dratch Executive Vice President

Rabbi Shmuel Goldin
President

US State Dep’t: Alan Gross Begins Fourth Year of Unjust Imprisonment

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Mark C. Toner, Deputy Spokesperson for the US State Department, released the following statement on Monday:

“Tomorrow Alan Gross will begin his fourth year of unjustified imprisonment in Cuba. He was arrested on December 3, 2009 and later given a 15-year prison sentence by Cuban authorities for simply facilitating communications between Cuba’s Jewish community and the rest of the world.

“Mr. Gross is a 63-year-old husband, father, and dedicated professional with a long history of providing assistance and support to underserved communities in more than 50 countries.

“Since his arrest, Mr. Gross has lost more than 100 pounds and suffers from severe degenerative arthritis that affects his mobility, and other health problems. His family is anxious to evaluate whether he is receiving appropriate medical treatment, something that can best be determined by having a doctor of his own choosing examine him.

“We continue to ask the Cuban Government to grant Alan Gross’s request to travel to the United States to visit his 90-year-old mother, Evelyn Gross, who is gravely ill. This is a humanitarian issue.

“The Cuban government should release Alan Gross and return him to his family, where he belongs.”

Hungarian Parliamentarian Calls To Make List of Jews

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

A call by a far-right Hungarian parliamentarian to register Jews on lists as national security threats met international condemnation on Tuesday, as well as a protest outside the legislature, calling for his resignation.

Marton Gyongyosi of the Jobbik party said he would not resign, and said he had meant Hungarians with Israeli passports should be listed, not all Hungarian Jews.  He issued an apology to “my Jewish compatriots” for any misunderstanding.

The recommendation came following a parliamentary discussion of Hungary’s position on the recent war in Gaza, during which several legislators stated their interest in a halt to Israel’s attacks on terror targets.

Reuters quoted Gyongyosi as saying “”I think such a conflict makes it timely to tally up people of Jewish ancestry who live here, especially in the Hungarian parliament and the Hungarian government, who, indeed, pose a national security risk to Hungary.”

Protests outside the parliament featured Hungarians wearing yellow stars and chanting “Nazis go home!”

Almost a full day after Gyongyosi’s statement, the government issued its own statement condemning the idea.

Between 500,000 to 600,000 Hungarian Jews were killed in the Holocaust. Approximately 100,000 Jews now live in Hungary.

US Pediatrician Group Says: Give Morning-After-Pill Prescriptions to Underage Patients

Monday, November 26th, 2012

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) on Monday urged American pediatricians to provide prescriptions for post-intercourse contraception to underage patients, as well as making them aware of the ability to take medications to prevent pregnancy even after engaging in sex.

The AAP policy statement would enable girls to get “morning after” pills immediately with their prescriptions.  US policy does not allow girls under the age of 17 to buy the pills over-the-counter – the pills are available to women of age with proof of age.

The pills work by preventing ovulation, not by preventing the implantation of a fertilized egg or otherwise causing the body to abort a growing embryo.

According to a Reuters report, a 2010 report on seven studies of emergency contraception concluded that teens were not more likely to engage in sexual activity or decrease their use of standard contraceptive devices if emergency contraception medications were made available to them.

US Blocks UN Security Council Statement Condemning Israel

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

The United States on Tuesday blocked a U.N. Security Council statement condemning violence between Israel and Gaza, calling the statement a “fail[ure] to address the root cause” of the battle, namely missile attacks by Hamas.

Reuters reported that Erin Pelton, spokeswoman for the US mission to the UN said the statement would not assist the “de-escalation of violence and a durable outcome that ends the rocket attacks on Israeli cities.”  She expressed US concern that “by failing to call for the immediate and permanent halt to rocket launches from Gaza into Israel, this press statement failed to contribute constructively to those goals,” and that  “as such, we could not agree to this statement.”

Russia has responded by vowing to push through a resolution rather than a statement, though the US would be expected to veto the move.

Rice at UN Security Council: Cessation of Violence Only Through Ceasefire

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

The UN Security Council session last night of the situation in the Gaza Strip ended at an impasse.

The United States opposed the approval of a statement that has no mention of Hamas rocket fire and Israel’s right to defend itself. U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said that the cessation of violence must be done through a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, sustainable agreement. She said it’s important that the Council’s initiative promote an agreed cessation of violence.

Canada “Stands With Israel”

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

The Ma’an News Agency reported that Canada’s Foreign Minister John Baird said Wednesday that his country backs Israel’s right to defend its citizens from air assaults by Hamas.

“We fundamentally believe that Israel has the right to defend itself and its citizens from terrorist threats,” Baird said in a statement.

“Far too often, the Jewish people find themselves on the front lines in the struggle against terrorism, the great struggle of our generation. Just last weekend, more than 100 rockets rained down on civilians in southern Israel from positions in the Gaza Strip.

“Canada condemns the terrorist group Hamas and stands with Israel as it deals with regional threats to peace and security.”

Defense Minister Barak: “Spirit of the Civilians is Source of Our Strength in Battle Today”

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Defense Minister Ehud Barak made the following statement at a press conference earlier this evening (Wednesday, 14 November 2012), at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv:

“A few hours ago, the political echelons ordered the IDF to launch Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza. The accuracy of the intelligence on behalf of both the Israel Security Agency and our Military Intelligence, as well as the precise action of the IDF, led to the elimination of Hamas’ military leader [Ahmad] Jabari. We also struck most of the long range Fajr missiles, additional Hamas infrastructure, as well as other terror elements.

Israel does not want war. But Hamas’ consistent provocation in recent weeks, in particular the incessant rounds of artillery rockets and mortars into the heart of our southern communities, the tunnel which exploded deep into Israeli territory, the anti-tank missile fired at a jeep – again inside of Israel – forced our hand into acting with both precision and decisiveness.

We must be clear that Israel will not tolerate a situation in which there is incessant [rocket] fire on our citizens. No life-loving country would accept this situation.

The goals of the operation are as follows:

Strengthening our deterrence To inflict serious damage on the rocket launching network To deliver a painful blow for Hamas and the other terrorist organizations To minimize damage to our home front

I would also like to express my deep appreciation for Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz, Israel Security Agency Director Yoram Cohen, head of the Military Intelligence and his personnel, the IDF, the ‘Iron Dome’ system and its operators, and of course the Air Force. I wish you all continued success throughout the operation. The IDF will receive the full backing to do all that is necessary in order to restore quiet to the south.

There is no ‘quick-fix’ solution. Right now, as we stand here, massive barrages of missiles are being fired at our cities. But we will achieve these aforementioned goals throughout the course of this operation.

During the last few hours, I have spoken with mayors and regional councils throughout the south. I would like to commend them on their resilience and the spirit of the civilians in all the communities in the southern region. It is the source of our strength in this battle that we are waging today.

We are still at the beginning of the event, not at the end, and we expect some complicated tests ahead. It will require vigilance; not only in Gaza, but also in Israel and in Judea and Samaria. But in the long run I believe that this operation will contribute to strengthening deterrence and reinstituting the calm in the south. I call upon the leaders of the region to act with composure, in order to promote stability and restore quiet so that we are not – heaven forbid – dragged into further deterioration.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/defense-minister-barak-spirit-of-the-civilians-is-source-of-our-strength-in-battle-today/2012/11/14/

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