JCPA launches national civility campaign

Mirroring a similar effort launched last month by the S.F.-based Jewish Community Relations Council, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs has announced a national campaign to foster more civility in national political discourse within the Jewish community and beyond.

The JCPA released a “Statement on Civility” on Nov. 1, signed by more than 100 prominent leaders from Jewish community and pro-Israel groups, former government officials, educators, rabbis and activists.

The statement reads in part, “The expression and exchange of views is often an uncivil, highly unpleasant experience. Lack of civility makes it more difficult, if not impossible, to open minds, much less find common ground. Therefore we as a community and as individuals must pledge to uphold the basic norms of civil discussion and debate at our public events.”

JCRC Executive Director Rabbi Doug Kahn is pleased the local civility project has helped inspire a national effort, saying the JCPA statement on civility has “generated a tremendous amount of positive interest, and incorporates some elements of the pastoral letter from the Bay Area, but is striking the same theme of how important from a Jewish values standpoint it is to adhere to a commitment to civility.”

The JCPA statement can be viewed online at www.civilitystatement.org.