Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ and its partner agencies and synagogues listed below strongly and unequivocally condemn today’s Supreme Court ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturning Roe v. Wade.
For close to 50 years, access to safe, affordable, and legal abortion and reproductive health care has been constitutionally protected, enshrined through law and precedent. Today’s decision not only undermines women’s basic right to reproductive freedom and endangers women’s health — it will inevitably lead to the criminalization of those who get abortions and the doctors who perform them. This decision will disproportionately impact people of color, those who are low-income, and young people, leading to continuing cycles of poverty and, in some cases, death.
For the Jewish community, today’s decision prioritizing the rights of the fetus over the life of a pregnant woman undermines Jewish law and tradition. Jewish law takes a nuanced approach to abortion, but generally prioritizes the life of the pregnant woman over the life of the unborn fetus. Our sacred Jewish texts, millennia of rabbinic interpretations, and Jewish practices and teachings affirm Judaism’s deep reverence for life. In certain cases, where the life or health of the woman is in jeopardy, Jewish law requires abortion to preserve the life and health of the woman.
Overturning Roe v. Wade and placing American Jews in situations in which the law prohibits abortion in circumstances in which their religion requires it is a violation of freedom of religious expression, as guaranteed under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
In light of our strong interest and opposition to this decision, Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ, local clergy, and partner agencies will continue to work for reproductive freedom and call on Congress to pass laws preserving the right for all women to exercise their right to reproductive freedom without the unwarranted interference of the government in their most personal decisions.
Greater MetroWest Synagogue and Agency co-signatories (in formation)
B’nai Keshet Reconstructionist Synagogue, Montclair and Rabbi Elliott Tepperman and Rabbi Ariann Weitzman
Congregation Agudath Israel of West Essex, Caldwell and Rabbi Ari Lucas
Congregation B’nai Israel, Millburn and Rabbi Ari Isenberg
Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, Short Hills and Rabbi Matthew D. Gewirtz
Congregation Beth El, South Orange and Rabbi Jesse Olitzky and Rabbi Rachel Marder
Congregation Beth Israel, Scotch Plains and Rabbi Howard Tilman
Congregation Shomrei Emunah, Montclair and Rabbi David Greenstein
MAKOMnj and Rabbi Ellie Miller
Oheb Shalom Congregation, South Orange and Rabbi Abigail Treu
Temple B’nai Abraham, Livingston and Rabbi David Vaisberg
Temple B’nai Or, Morristown and Rabbi Michael Satz
Temple Beth El Mekor Chayim, Cranford and Rabbi Paul David Kerbel
Temple Beth Shalom, Livingston and Rabbi Simeon Cohen
Temple Emanu-El of Westfield and Rabbi Ethan Prosnit, Rabbi Victor Appell, and Rabbi Charles Kroloff
Temple Har Shalom, Warren and Rabbi Randi Musnitsky
Temple Ner Tamid, Bloomfield and Rabbi Marc Katz
Temple Sha’arey Shalom, Springfield and Rabbi Renee Edelman
Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel, South Orange and Rabbi Alexandra Klein and Rabbi Daniel M. Cohen
Temple Sholom of West Essex, Cedar Grove and Rabbi Laurence Groffman
Temple Sinai of Summit and Rabbi Erin Glazer, Rabbi Stuart Gershon, and Rabbi Peter Kasdan
White Meadow Temple, Rockaway and Rabbi Charles Popky
Rabbi Joel Abraham of Temple Sholom, Scotch Plains
Rabbi Mark Mallach, Emeritus of Temple Beth Ahm Yisrael, Springfield
Rabbi David Nesson of Morristown Jewish Center Beit Yisrael
Rabbi Robert Tobin of Temple B’nai Shalom, West Orange
Hillel of Greater MetroWest
JCC of Central NJ and Mike Goldstein, Executive Director
JCC MetroWest, West Orange and Stuart Raynor, CEO
JFS MetroWest and Diane Squadron, CEO
JSDD, Livingston and Linda Press, Executive Director
Photo credit: “Supreme Court” by Mark Fischer is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/?ref=openverse.