Resolution Adopted by the CCAR

Urban Crisis

Adopted by the 104th Annual Convention of
the Central Conference of American Rabbis
Montreal, Quebec, June 1993

Our sage Hillel taught: Al tifrosh min hatzibbur --do not separate yourself from the community.
Sadly, our every day reality mocks that teaching. For many years, but even more in the last decade, our nations have turned away from their cities with inevitable results: Separation and degradation in our urban areas. Many have fled and abandoned our cities; governments have radically reduced funding for infrastructure, public education, social services, income support, health care, economic development, housing and more. Crime, violence, illicit drugs, illiteracy, family breakdown, and unemployment have increased. Too many residents of our cities live without hope.
The CCAR has not ignored these issues in the past. We have addressed through resolutions and actions these critical issues: economic justice, hunger, child abuse and neglect, civil rights and racism, unemployment, discrimination in housing, crime, personal security, eradication and amelioration of poverty, health care, welfare reform and income maintenance, and substance abuse. We commit ourselves anew to act upon the challenge of these resolutions.
Yet we have witnessed the continuing decay and deterioration of our urban communities, increasing violence, and growing despair of families. Moreover. too many of our congregants who have left the cities no longer feel responsibility or connection to urban problems. We cannot, however, separate ourselves from these problems. Those in the cities, those who have left, and those who depend on the cities for their livelihood all share a common community, with its challenges and its future.

THEREFORE, the Central Conference of American Rabbis calls upon:

1. The United States administration, Congress and the government of Canada to give the urban crisis a high priority on their national agendas;

2. The Commission on Social Action to place the urban crisis high on our Movement's agenda, and

3. Our congregations to undertake programs that educate and involve our congregants in the rebuilding of our cities and restoring of hope and opportunity in our urban communities.