50 LA Rabbis Call to Congress: “A Responsibility to do Better”

August 1, 2015

Fifty of the most prominent Reform, Conservative, Orthodox and Independent rabbis in Los Angeles have signed this letter to congress and the senate. Please read their letter and share it with your friends. They are unified on this issue:  “we strongly support and heed the Jewish Federation’s recent call to action to express our collective opposition to this dangerous agreement.”

For more than 20 months, our communities have kept keen eyes on the nuclear negotiations overseas. As our diplomats from Washington worked tirelessly to reach a peaceful resolution to the Iranian nuclear challenge—we have hoped, and believed, that a good deal was possible.

Unfortunately, that hope is not yet realized.

We have weighed the various implications of supporting—or opposing—this agreement. Together, we are deeply troubled by the proposed deal, and believe this agreement will harm the short-term and long-term interests of both the United States and our allies, particularly Israel.

Collectively, we feel we must do better.

If this agreement is implemented, Iran will receive as much as 150 billion dollars, without any commitment to changing its nefarious behavior.

The Iranian regime denies basic human rights to its citizens, publicly calls for America’s downfall and Israel’s annihilation, and openly denies the Holocaust. This dangerous regime—the leading state sponsor of terrorism—could now be given the financial freedom to sow even more violence throughout the world.

But what do we get in return?

Even after flooding Iran with an influx of funds, this deal will not subject Iran to an airtight, comprehensive inspections structure—granting the regime the means to violate the agreement and develop a covert nuclear program.

The deal would also lift key arms embargos, so that in eight years Iran will be given international legitimacy to arm terror groups with conventional weapons and ballistic missiles.

The agreement also entitles Iran to develop advanced centrifuges after 10 years—all-but paving Iran’s path to a nuclear weapons capability with virtually zero “breakout time.”

We fear the world we will leave our children if this deal is approved. And we fear having to someday bear the responsibility for Iran becoming wealthier, further empowered and better equipped to produce nuclear bombs when we had the chance to stop it.

For these reasons, we agree with the assessments of leaders and experts in the United States, along with virtually all Israeli voices across the political spectrum, that we can, and must, do better.

We call upon our Senators and Representatives to consider the dangers that this agreement poses to the United States and our allies, and to vote in opposition to this deal.

Furthermore, we strongly support and heed the Jewish Federation’s recent call to action to express our collective opposition to this dangerous agreement.

At this historic moment, with so much at stake, we have a critical responsibility to shape the world we pass on to our children. With no less than the safety of future generations hanging in the balance, we must insist on a better deal.

We hope and pray that God will assist us in ushering in for the entire world a time promised by Isaiah (2:4) when “nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they engage in war anymore,” when peace will prevail. Until then, we simply cannot afford to empower and enrich a regime that continues to lift its sword without mercy towards so many who stand for good, freedom and peace.


Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein
Rabbi Israel Barouk
Rabbi Moises Benzaquen
Rabbi Mark Blazer
Rabbi Yonah Bookstein
Rabbi Daniel Bouskila
Rabbi Asher Brander
Rabbi Richard Camras
Rabbi Abraham Cooper
Rabbi Zvi Dershowitz
Rabbi Pini Dunner
Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn
Rabbi Gabriel Elias
Rabbi Dov Emerson
Rabbi Mordecai Finley
Rabbi Effie Goldberg
Rabbi Michael Gotlieb
Rabbi Nicole Guzik
Rabbi Marvin Hier
Rabbi Joshua Hoffman
Rabbi Yitz Jacobs
Rabbi Alan Kalinsky
Rabbi Adam Kligfeld
Rabbi Bentzion Kravitz
Rabbi Abraham Lieberman
Rabbi Meyer May
Rabbi Elazar Muskin
Rabbi Shimon Paskow
Rabbi Adir Posy
Rabbi Jonathan Rosenberg
Rabbi Brian Schuldenfrei
Rabbi Shlomo Seidenfeld
Rabbi Erez Sherman
Rabbi Arye Sufrin
Rabbi Boruch Sufrin
Rabbi Kalman Topp
Rabbi Menachem Weiss
Rabbi David Wolpe
Rabbi David Woznica
Rabbi Gersh Zylberman

More rabbis are signing on. If you are a rabbi and interested in attaching your name to the letter please email rabbi @ picoshul.org.

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