The American Jewish community is facing a challenge to the liberal principles that have long defined Jewish civic life and America’s democratic tradition. Today this freedom is being threatened. An ideology is taking hold across the country that insists there is only one way to look at the problems we face, and those who disagree must be silenced. This suppression of dissent violates the core Jewish value of open discourse. Jewish tradition cherishes debate, respects disagreement, and values questions as well as answers. In ancient times, the Beit Midrash—the House of Study—encouraged passionate argument “for the sake of heaven.”
The Jewish Institute for Liberal Values (JILV) supports liberal principles of free thought and expression, advances viewpoint diversity, and counters the imposition of the Critical Social Justice (CSJ) approach in the Jewish community. Our vision is to bring out more courageous voices in the Jewish community willing to stand up for freedom of expression, a more balanced discussion that includes multiple viewpoints in the Jewish community, and an inclusive environment where people can speak openly about sensitive topics without fear of disparagement or penalty.
In order to make change, JILV will undertake a range of initiatives, including:
- Educate the Jewish community on liberalism and the imposition of critical social justice
- Issue discussion guides and facilitate discussions on sensitive issues with Jewish organizations
- Produce educational materials, articles, and videos
- Conduct advocacy campaigns to raise awareness and advance change
- Collaborate with the broader movement for liberalism
- Organize constituencies (e.g. rabbis, lawyers, etc.) within the Jewish community
JILV was founded because a small group of rabbis, Jewish professionals, journalists, and thought leaders understood that the free expression of ideas is under threat in both the Jewish community and the larger society. We joined together to write “A letter to our fellow Jews on equality and liberal values.” We then built an organization to continue to stand up for our values—the traditional values of the American Jewish community—of freedom of expression. We hope you will join us in this crucial endeavor.
In order for us to be successful in this mission, we need both human and financial resources. We need to be able to remunerate talented people to produce cutting-edge videos and materials and organize a wide range of activities and constituencies. Your donation will directly pay for this work. Please consider making a gift through the website. And please recommend us to others who might be interested in learning more about our work and supporting JILV in the days ahead.
If you are in a position to underwrite a large gift, please feel free to call David to discuss (301) 452-8136.
Thank you for your support.
Let’s work together