Jews United for Democracy and Justice (JUDJ), a broad-based coalition of Los Angeles’s Jewish Community, today announced its formation in response to disruptive actions taken by the administration over the course of the last month.
The group’s conveners include Dan Loeterman, David Myers, Janice Kamenir-Reznik, Shawn Landres, Rep. Mel Levine (ret.), and Sup. Zev Yaroslavsky (ret.). A full list of signers can be found here.
A statement of purpose, reproduced below, attracted over 1800 signatories gathered in under 60 hours, including clergy, elected and appointed officials, philanthropic and nonprofit leaders, and others reflecting the political, religious, and ethnic diversity of Los Angeles’s Jewish community.
Jews United for Democracy and Justice (JUDJ): A Los Angeles-based Coalition
Jews United for Democracy and Justice (JUDJ) is a broad cross-section of Los Angeles Jews who stand with our community and others to assert a Jewish voice to safeguard the principles and foundations of our constitutional democracy.
Founded in the wake of the executive orders on immigration and refugees, JUDJ is deeply concerned about rising threats to religious tolerance, equal rights, a free and fair press, human dignity, and long-held norms of decency and civil society. We will speak out and take action when our shared Jewish values require us to counter those threats.
As Americans, we join together in support of the fundamental principles embedded in our nation’s Declaration of Independence and Constitution respecting “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” and equal protection under the law. As Jews, we also are guided by our tradition’s moral and historical imperative to defend the most vulnerable, including the refugee; the Bible commands us to love the stranger and condemns those who would deny them justice (Deut. 10:18, 27:19). As Angelenos, we are called to connect our core values with the aspirations and needs of our neighbors of all backgrounds and creeds.
Jews United for Democracy and Justice pledges to work in solidarity with our fellow Americans and Angelenos—neighbors, friends, and family—in pursuit of the following principles:
1. America is a nation of laws:
Our nation’s leaders must defend the constitutional rights and freedoms of all Americans, honor the constitutional separation of powers. uphold equal protection and the integrity of the judiciary, respect a free and fair press, and protect the right to vote.
2. America is a nation of immigrants:
No nation, race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, or creed should be singled out for exclusion from this country. America can and must remain a secure place of refuge for innocents fleeing persecution abroad, irrespective of their place of birth or religious beliefs. As a community comprised of generations of immigrants, refugees, and survivors, we know what it means to be turned away at freedom’s shores, and commit ourselves to not stand idly by in the face of discrimination or bigotry.
3. America is a nation that aspires to equality, respect, and justice for all people:
Our diversity is part of what makes this nation great. The U.S. government must prevent and denounce all forms of group and identity-based hate and discrimination, including but not limited to anti-Semitism. This nation must resist any erosion of civil rights and above all show compassion and empathy for all—especially the most vulnerable Americans.
We believe our communal and political leaders must act wisely and courageously in this moment of great challenge, and help ensure that our country does not abandon the great promise of the founding ideals of the United States of America. And we pledge to do all within our power to realize our nation’s values of democracy and justice.