Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR) is the only rabbinic voice of conscience in Israel, defending human rights of marginalized communities within Israel and the Palestinian Territories. The organization was founded in 1988, and today has over 100 members-all Israelis and all ordained Orthodox, Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist, and Renewal rabbis as well as some rabbinical students.
The work of RHR expresses the view that as Jews, we are obligated to protest against every injustice enacted against any other person, a view based on the belief that man and women was created in God’s image. RHR members believe that it is our obligation to inform the Israeli public about human rights violations, and that it is our role to pressure the State institutions to fix these injustices.
RHR members derive their authority from two main sources- from the humanistic Jewish tradition and from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In parallel to their efforts to prevent violations of human rights, RHR brings a humanistic understanding of Jewish sources to the Israeli public discourse. In a time in which a nationalist and isolationist understanding of Jewish tradition is heard frequently and loudly, RHR gives expression to the traditional Jewish responsibility for the safety and welfare of the stranger, the different and the weak, the convert, the widow and the orphan.
RHR serves as a shofar for the distribution of information about human rights in Israel and in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, working in partnership with local Israeli organizations, and with international human rights organizations.
RHR as an organization is not aligned with any specific political party. RHR is supported by Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist Rabbinical organizations in North America and the UK.