Last updated on: 6/10/2015 | Author:

Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC) Biography

Con to the question "Should the Death Penalty Be Legal?"

“Biblical law mandates the death penalty for 36 offenses…

The Reform Movement, however, has followed rabbinic interpretations that effectively abolished the death penalty centuries ago. Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5 stresses the importance of presenting completely accurate testimony in capital cases, for any mistakes or falsehoods could result in the shedding of innocent blood…

[P]revailing Jewish thought in every movement has followed the previous opinions, which either oppose the death penalty outright, or allow for it only in the most extreme – once in seventy years — circumstances. Following this line of thinking, the major Jewish movements in the United States all have specific policy supporting either abolition of the death penalty, or a moratorium on its use.”

“The Death Penalty and Jewish Values,”, accessed July 28, 2008


“For more than 50 years, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (or “the RAC”) has been the hub of Jewish social justice and legislative activity in Washington, D.C. As the DC office of the Union for Reform Judaism, the RAC educates and mobilizes the Reform Jewish community on legislative and social concerns, advocating on more than 70 different issues, including economic justice, civil rights, religious liberty, Israel and more.”

“About the RAC,” (accessed June 4, 2015)


“To be the voice of the Reform Jewish Movement in Washington.”

“Religious Action Center: History and Influence Program Guide,” (accessed June 4, 2015)

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