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Disputation of Barcelona

Beit Hatfutsot (Diaspora Museum), Tel Aviv, IL
Like Nachmanides, who argued the Jewish point of view at the Disputation of Barcelona, 1263 CE, JILV relies on the liberal principles of free thought and expression to advance viewpoint diversity and counter the imposition of ideology within the Jewish community and in dialogue with other communities. Click to learn more about the Disputation of Barcelona, or scroll down to learn more about JILV.

Why Jews must stand up for


Our Mission is to support liberal principles of free thought and expression, advance viewpoint diversity, counter the imposition of the Critical Social Justice (CSJ) ideology in the Jewish community, and highlight and oppose novel forms of antisemitism emerging from this ideology.

Freedom to think as you will and to speak as you think are means indispensable to the discovery and spread of political truth; that without free speech and assembly, discussion would be futile; … that the greatest menace to freedom is an inert people.

Louis Brandeis

The Challenge to Liberalism in the


Americans have work to do in curtailing racism and inequality. We must undertake this work, however, in a spirit of intellectual honesty and integrity. Critical Social Justicethe idea that there are hidden systems of oppression in America and that only marginalized people have the standing to define them—is a rising phenomenon in the organized Jewish community. It tends to stifle alternative views and prevents due consideration of such issues as racial justice and gender identity. Absent a balanced discussion, CSJ can corrupt the core values of many institutions and lead to cultures that restrict free thought.  Such absolutist sentiment is a threat to the country and the Jewish community, and fans the flames of antisemitism.
To learn more about CSJ and antisemitism, click here.



Liberal principles


Jewish civic life in the democratic tradition


Suppression of Dissent


collective moral guilt


Rising Ideological Antisemitism

How we Influence


Currently, the response to Critical Social Justice has been mixed in the Jewish world. There are Jewish groups that firmly oppose or ignore CSJ. There are groups that enthusiastically endorse it. And there are many mainstream Jewish organizations—national and local—that have yet to develop a clearly defined position. The Jewish Institute for Liberal Values (JILV) will help Jewish organizations and individuals hold constructive conversations about CSJ and ensure a balanced approach.



JILV aims to reinforce Jewish values, such as discourse and debate, that are especially important for challenging topics. We don’t have to agree with one another—about politics or even religion—to come together and stand up for democratic liberal values.

EDUCATOR: Provide Jewish community learning opportunities on CSJ and liberalism and the connection of this ideology to antisemitism

FACILITATOR: Issue discussion guides and lead discussions of complicated issues on social justice with Jewish organizations

PRODUCER: Generate educational materials, blog posts, virtual meetings, videos and podcasts

MOBILIZER: Conduct advocacy campaigns to raise awareness and advance change


COLLABORATOR: Create meaningful connections with the broader movement for liberalism in American society

ORGANIZER: Assemble constituencies (e.g. rabbis, scholars, Jewish professionals, lay leaders, etc.) within the Jewish community

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News & Blog


We post regularly about Liberal Values in the Jewish community. We invite JILV followers to contribute articles to our blog on relevant topics. Contact if you are interested in contributing.

Contact info



(301) 452-8136 

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