In the Talmud (Shabbat 31a), Judaism teaches us that we should respect the rights of others, “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor.” We are also taught in the Torah about the sanctity of life, that every human being is “created in the image of G-d,” (Genesis 1:27). The theme of human rights continues throughout the Torah as we are told “in Jewish law, the rich man and the pauper are to be treated equally before the judge. Standing by passively when someone else is being hurt is a crime. If orphans or widows cry out to G-d because they are being mistreated, G-d considers it a personal offense.”
Understanding these core principles, as well as our own people’s painful history of exclusion, discrimination and genocidal violence, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington strongly advocates for policies that oppose discrimination in all its forms as to race, color, religion or creed, sex, age, ancestry or national origin, marital status, physical or mental illnesses or chronic conditions, physical, intellectual and cognitive disabilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. All human beings are equal before G-d and should be equally treated under the law. The JCRC firmly believes in the value of derech eretz – acting with common decency and honor – in our relationships with others as a necessary attribute of a diverse society that is based on mutual acceptance and respect. We therefore reiterate our commitment to enshrining and vigorously defending laws and public policies that afford all people, regardless of any distinguishing personal identity or characteristic, with individual security, dignity, and fair and equal opportunity.