Jewish Platform for a Just Farm Bill
Our Rabbis teach us that sustenance and food security are inextricably intertwined with scripture as the foundation of Jewish life. “Without sustenance, there is no Torah. Without Torah, there is no sustenance.” (Pirke Avot 3:21) The link between food and faith obligates us as Jews to challenge the injustice of hunger, champion the right to food and steward the land on which our sustenance depends.
As Jewish Americans, we recognize that our country’s food and agricultural policies have a profound impact on people at home and abroad. Reforming our broken food system would constitute a major step forward in repairing a world where too many needlessly suffer from hunger and poverty.
The undersigned national Jewish organizations urge the U.S. Congress and Administration to take the opportunity presented by the reauthorization of the Farm Bill to prioritize policies that reduce hunger and poverty, and encourage sustainable stewardship. To promote food justice in the United States and worldwide, we support the following principles for the 2012 Farm Bill:
- Strengthen and expand programs that reduce hunger and improve nutrition in the United States.
- Strengthen and increase investment in policies that promote conservation and good stewardship of the land.
- Reform support systems to enable farmers in both the United States and the developing world to earn sustainable livelihoods.
- Protect the health, safety and dignity of those responsible for working the land.
- Promote research on clean, renewable energy sources that do not negatively impact food staple prices and availability or the environment.
- Reform the international food aid system in ways that encourage flexibility and promote local food security.
American Jewish World Service*
Association of Jewish family
and Children’s Agencies
Coalition on the Environment
and Jewish Life*
Green Zionist Alliance
Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center
Jewish Council for Public Affairs*
Jewish Community Centers
Association of North America
Jewish Council on Urban Affairs
Jewish Farm School
The Jewish Federations of North America
Jewish Reconstructionist Federation
MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger*
National Council of Jewish Women
The Rabbinical Assembly
UJA-Federation of New York
Union for Reform Judaism
*Member of the Jewish Farm Bill Working Group