Human rights are innate to Jewish values and to the collective Jewish experience. From our earliest experiences as a people, the values of justice, freedom and equality have been part of what it means to be Jewish.
Our Jewish experience, and specifically the Holocaust, signified the need for a codified set of principles to underpin the international community’s shared understanding and commitment that the horrors that affected so many individuals, families and groups in the Second World War must never happen again.
For many of us, the resulting human rights framework has defined who we are and how we live our lives. So much so that many of us take for granted that the rights and protections that come from this legal framework and close our eyes to the many abuses of these rights that happen in our society and abroad.
As we today celebrate and benefit from this human rights legacy, we must ask ourselves, what will our human rights legacy be for the future? How will we ensure that human rights are enjoyed by everyone?
As the Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70, René Cassin is asking communities to take part in Human Rights Shabbat on 8th December, using these resources:
Making the Jewish Case for Human Rights – In this resource, we have tried to share the interwoven stories of Jewish values, Jewish experience and Jewish human rights heroes, illustrating the profound impact they have had in shaping and forming the modern human rights framework, and the importance of human rights for Jewish people today.
Art Competition -To mark the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, René Cassin invites you to submit a create a piece of art representing this important human rights legacy.