Torat Tzedek
ID: 580651404    Category:
1. Torat Tzedek will strive for a society that honors God's Image in every human being, and for the human rights that this necessitates
2. Torat Tzedek will educate our society that honoring God's image in every human being, protecting human rights
Torat Tzedek is an Israeli human rights NGO founded in September 2017 by Rabbi Arik Ascherman, who let Rabbis for Human Rights for 21 years.

Torat Tzedek is working in several areas. On principle we don't want to focus on just one of them, despite the fact that in the beginning there won't be a budget for employing many staff people. The reason is that "the medium is the message." The very fact that we are working for the human rights of diverse populations, including both Jews and non-Jews, is a powerful statement that all human beings are created in God's Image.

1. Negev Bedouin. Most of Torat Tzedek's current work regarding the Bedouin is lobbying in the Knesset and with other decision makers, and with the international community, as well as press work. Currently, we are in touch with people at high levels to try to find a solution for Umm Al Hiran. In Torat Tzedek founder Rabbi Arik Ascherman's previous organization Rabbis For Human Rights, he initiated several public opinion polls that indicate that there is a very good possibility of changing public opinion regarding the Bedouin. If Torat Tzedek could raise the money, we would want to do a major campaign based on the messages that the polls indicate would be effective. This would include both new and paid media.
2. Restoring the Position of the Morar High Court Decision. In the Morar decision of 2006, Rabbi Ascherman was very instrumental in winning a significant victory. As a result, until this day, Israeli security forces are protecting Palestinian farmers accessing lands they could not access for as many as 16 years or more. However, eleven years after the decision, the army has succeeded in chipping away at the decision. Many Palestinians have internalized the idea that they only have the right to access their lands once or twice a year. Torah Tzedek intends to map out the needs in every village so that we can use the authority of the Morar decision to demand that the army allow and protect the carrying out of all work required to meet these needs. A potential place to start is the fact that there are places where there are Palestinian trees inside settlement fences. In some cases the settlers do not harm the trees, and the army does allow Palestinian access to their trees once or twice a year. However, in a location such as the Awarta lands inside the Itamar settlement's fence, there isn't much to do when the farmers get in, other than to bring out dead trees for firewood. Limited access and vandalism have taken their toll. Rabbi Ascherman worked this past year with the Awarta local council to submit to the army a program for restoring their lands. The army ignored this request. We will need to continue to press the issue, perhaps even taking legal action. If we succeed, there will be a need to fund trees, irrigation, fertilizer, tractors, etc. Torat Tzedek has now initiated a similar process with the Municipality of Beit Umar, where farmers have lands inside the fence of the Karmei Tzur settlement.
3. Preventing Home Demolitions. Starting back in 1997, Rabbi Ascherman committed himself to stopping the scourge of administrative home demolitions for the lack of impossible to obtain building permits. Realizing that standing in front of bulldozers wasn't going to change the policy, he put together a coalition in 2005 to get to the heart of the issue by petitioning the Israeli High Court to return planning and zoning authority for villages in Area C to Palestinian hands. In 2015, the Court unfortunately accepted a fig leaf "policy change" by the government to consult with Palestinians about master plans for their villages, while maintaining full planning authority. Even this was never actually done. The Court mandated that, after three years, there be a progress report. The different organizations involved in the High Court case more or less lost interest after the decision. There is a need to press the government regarding the reporting r
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    Categories of Activities:
  • Human Rights

Rabbi Ascherman's niche through the years has been to work for universal human rights as a Jewish religious obligation, and to present the foundation for this obligation in Jewish sources. On principle, he made sure to work for the human rights of both Jews and non-Jews. Rabb Ascherman has always believed that in the human rights field we must have "One foot in the grass roots, and the other among the decision and opinion makers." He has never been somebody who just sat in an office. Our greatest successes have been the result of field work that gave us knowledge and a moral voice when we went to the court, the Knesset, the public, the international community and/or the press. Where necessary, he is willing to put his body on the line. Torat Tzedek will not work on issues that are consensus, nor be a Don Quixote chasing at windmills. We will look for issues where our input, combined with the efforts of whoever else is working on a given issue, could possibly tip the scales. For many who support a human rights agenda in Israel and around the world, Rabbi Ascherman serves as a role model, demonstrating that it is both possible and obligatory for a religious Jew to work for universal human rights and uphold international law, based on the Jewish tradition. However, many members of Torat Tzedek are not religious. We will not confine ourselves to religious arguments. However, Torat Tzedek will have a Jewish, religious character, and allow staff and members to speak from the Jewish tradition. This name "Torat Tzedek" (Torah of Justice) embodies the belief that the Torah and the Jewish tradition must be a force for justice. However, it does not leave out those who are not Jewish or religiously motivated. "Torah" in Hebrew is not only a Torah scroll, but also a body of thinking or knowledge, or certain approach to a subject. We have been debating whether or not my new initiative will be interfaith. We intend to leave the interfaith possibility open. In particular, there is a possibility of a project regarding nonviolence in the three religions. However, we don't know whether this project will happen immediately.

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Address: Antigonus 8, Jerusalem, Jerusalem
Tel: 050-5607034
Website: torat-tzedek.org.il/