US National SecurityThe security of the United States is the first responsibility of America’s political leaders. JAACI will work to keep the Jewish community and our legislative leaders informed of the threats to the USA and will support laws and policies aimed at furthering America’s security. This is especially important in an age where the greatest threat to both the Jewish people around the world and the United States derives from a common source: Islamic fundamentalism. The security of the United States and the well being of the Jewish people are inextricably bound together in a common cause: defending the American Republic from those who oppose the fundamental values of Western Civilization and seek to destroy our way of life.
Defending the ConstitutionThe Constitution, the fundamental law of the United States, is the bedrock upon which the American political order stands. The Constitution established the principles and political institutions which have served to guide America toward the fulfillment of the promise of democracy. While the promise of liberty and justice for all remains a goal yet to be achieved we believe the Constitution is the best guide to securing that promise. The Constitution is particularly important to the Jewish community as it provides the framework under which we have been able to freely adhere to the teachings and practices of the Torah and the Jewish tradition. JAACI is committed to informing the Jewish community and our legislative leaders of the importance of adhering to fundamental constitutional principles. JAACI supports efforts to defend the Constitution and opposes attempts to alter the meaning of the Constitution to fit particular political ideologies.
Protecting IsraelIsrael is the homeland of the Jewish people. The promise of the Jewish homeland is rooted in G-d’s covenant with the Jewish people. The Jewish State owes its existence first and foremost to G-d’s promise and the Jewish people’s desire to live in accord with that covenant. While the events of the twentieth-century served to remind the world of the necessity of a homeland for the Jewish people, Israel’s right to exist in security and freedom is rooted in the promise to Abraham:
“And you will be a blessing. And I will bless those that bless you, and he that curses you will I curse. And all the families of the earth will be blessed through you.”(Genesis: 12:2-3)The United States of America, the greatest friend and supporter of Israel, recognizes the Jewish nation’s unique role in history and in contemporary international affairs. This is as it should be since the security and well-being of the USA is bound to the security and well-being of Israel. JAACI is committed to informing the Jewish community and our legislative leaders of the necessity of maintaining a strong Israel, and resisting all efforts calling into question the Jewish character of Israel, or Israel’s right to exist. While we support efforts to promote peace in the Middle East we do not equivocate in our support for Israel. The continued violence between Israel and her Arab neighbors is due to the simple fact of the denial of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. JAACI works to remind our lawmakers of this fact and calls for an end to all efforts to blame Israel for the problems of the Middle East.
Educational ExcellenceThe future of the Jewish people in America is dependent on excellence in Jewish education. Recent studies confirm what Jewish educators have known through the ages: the transmission of Jewish identity can only be maintained through excellence in Jewish education. In today’s world, Jewish Day Schools are the best guarantor that Jewish children will develop the knowledge and skills to maintain their Jewish identity and succeed in the world at large. JAACI rejects the false idea that government recognition and support for Jewish education is unconstitutional and threatens public education. JAACI believes that school choice through vouchers, tuition tax credits and other constitutional means are important means to further educational excellence for all Americans. JAACI works to inform the Jewish community and legislative leaders of the importance of policies furthering educational choice and excellence.
Marriage and FamilyThe Jewish tradition recognizes that the family is the basic social unit for teaching and maintaining the fundamental values of the Jewish people. Through the course of civilization the family has served as the first institution in the transmission of moral values and has been essential for the establishment of social justice. In the United States the family has been especially important for the development and maintenance of the values necessary for the fulfillment of the promise of democracy. JAACI works to inform the Jewish community and legislators of laws and policies supporting the family and will oppose those policies undermining family life.
Life IssuesJewish tradition recognizes that all human life is sacred and that humans are created “betzelem elokhim,” in the image of G-d. The well-being on any political order requires adherence to this fundamental principle for children in the womb and those who are born. Government policies which undermine the value of life through any part of the course of life are inherently repugnant. JAACI works to inform the Jewish community and legislative leaders of policies which support the Jewish view of life and those which unfortunately undermine life.
Religious FreedomThe Jewish people are grateful for the opportunity to live in the United States of America, the land of religious freedom. Religious freedom is freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.
The recent view which holds that religious freedom requires a wholesale separation of religious belief from the political order is a false and dangerous idea rooted in modern ideology rather than the Constitution of the United States.The Preamble to the Indiana Constitution states: TO THE END, that justice be established, public order maintained, and liberty perpetuated; WE, the People of the State of Indiana, grateful to ALMIGHTY G-D for the free exercise of the right to choose our own form of government, do ordain this Constitution. JAACI believes religious freedom is a fundamental principle of the American Republic, and that religious liberty includes the liberty for religious voices to be heard and religious bodies to have a role in the public square. Although government must not favor any single religion, neither must it give atheism a privileged status. All religions must be treated with respect and have equal access to legislative bodies. JAACI believes that America is today needful of religious voices in the public arena and works to further religious liberty by supporting policies which are of mutual benefit to religious belief and democratic political institutions. JAACI applauds programs such as faith–based initiatives which demonstrate the capacity for religious institutions and government agencies to work together to advance the cause of social justice.