Making the Jewish Case for Human Rights – about René Cassin and our Campaigns for Change

René Cassin is ‘the Jewish voice for Human Rights in the UK’

We celebrate the timeless and universal nature of human rights laws and protections, which were shaped by the distinctive values and experiences of the Jewish people. In particular, we work to preserve and further the legacy of our namesake, Monsieur René Cassin, to the development of contemporary human rights principles in the aftermath of the Second World War.

Our Vision

René Cassin’s vision is of a world where everyone fully enjoys all their human rights as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and in which members of the Jewish community are actively engaged in promoting and protecting these rights.

Our Mission

Our mission is to promote and protect the universal rights of all people, drawing on Jewish experience and values. We aim to:

  • Remake a compelling case for human rights values
  • Campaign for change in defined human rights areas
  • Lead and grow a group of committed Jewish human rights advocates
  • Maximise our capacity to work effectively

Our Values

Our values underpin all the work we do:

  • Solidarity – human rights belong to us all, so we stand for the rights of everyone, everywhere
  • Judaism – we are inspired by Jewish values and experience
  • Collaboration – our work is not isolated, but intertwined with the efforts of others, so we nurture and mobilise relationships
  • Empowerment – we turn today’s Jewish activists into tomorrow’s leaders
  • Monsieur René Cassin – we are determined to create a legacy worthy of our namesake

How We Work

We progress towards our goals through:

Remaking the case for human rights

Human rights are at risk

Human rights are under threat. The post-war consensus that human rights are an essential bulwark protecting individuals and minorities from the overarching state – reached in reaction to the abuses of Nazi Germany and the Stalinist Soviet Union – is now fracturing.

Populist nationalism is on the rise – and human rights, as a liberal and internationalist project, are increasingly viewed with indifference or antagonism. Principles that have been hard fought for and which had appeared firmly entrenched are now being questioned and attacked. It seems that the system of human rights protections, largely rooted in the Jewish experience in Europe from 1933-45, is being casually discarded.

In 2018, as we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, there has never been a greater need for a strong Jewish advocate, actor and partner making the case for the contemporary importance of human rights values and protection.

There has never been a more important time to get involved in our work.

Read or download Making the Jewish Case for Human Rights in the UK as a PDF