Jewish Leaders Issue Open Letter Calling for Increased Commitment to Fight Against AIDS
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism together with reform, conservative and reconstructionist Jewish leaders on Monday in observance of World AIDS Day issued an open letter to the Jewish community, calling on "synagogues and rabbis to renew and affirm our commitment to ending the AIDS crisis in Africa and elsewhere around the world," Global Jewish News reports. Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center, said that the letter in part was meant to emphasize the seriousness with which the Jewish community views the epidemic, adding, "Now we hope the letter will be distributed to synagogues and rabbis across the country and lead them to do more educational programs and look for ways to be helpful in expanding the response to this issue." In addition, Jewish leaders throughout North America on Monday affirmed their commitment to fighting AIDS. Ruth Messinger, president and executive director of the American Jewish World Service, said, "In the case of AIDS, we think that these are preventable deaths. There are few mandates in Judaism as clear as pikuach nefesh, to not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor." AJWS helped found the Jewish Coalition Responding to AIDS in Africa, a coalition of 18 U.S. organizations and congregations (Solomont, Global Jewish News, 12/2).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.