WASHINGTON, Jan. 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ - The Congressional Caucus For the Advancement of Torah Values was recently inaugurated in Washington, DC by a bi-partisan group of Democrats and Republican congressmen and congresswomen. Caucus Co-chairs are Congressman Don Bacon (R -Nebraska District 2) and Congressman Henry Cuellar (D - Texas District 28).
Championed by Rabbi Dovid Hofstedter, Founder of Dirshu, the largest Torah organization in the world, Members of the US House of Representatives met to support the Caucus launch, and discuss ongoing issues of concern to Jews in the United States, Canada and around the world.
In his address to the Congressmen/Congresswomen, Rabbi Hofstedter who is based in Toronto, Canada, outlined the issues on which the Caucus will focus:
"The rise of anti-Israel bigotry that has led to an increase of antisemitism incidents on college campuses and elsewhere;
The rise of hate crimes against Jews in New York city and elsewhere, where Jews easily identifiable by their garb are targeted;
The uneven-handed lockdown of Synagogues and Yeshivas in New York that was and inconsistent with city and state policy."
Dirshu, is an Orthodox Jewish International organization founded in 1997 in Toronto by Rabbi Dovid Hofstedter, the son of Holocaust survivors. It includes 200,000+ supporters dedicated to the study of Jewish texts, sponsoring Torah lectures and offering financial incentives to individuals and groups to learn and master Talmud, Halakha and Mussar texts. Dirshu operates in 26 countries on five continents with its US headquarters in New Jersey.
Congressman and Co-Chair Bacon said, "The purpose of this Caucus is to pledge our friendship to our Jewish friends, our brothers and sisters. We are 100% standing with you against antisemitism in any form. I don't care where it comes from – left or right."
Congressman and Co-Chair Cuellar said, "This Caucus is going to be so important in a bipartisan way. We have to be able to have the strength so we know what's good, what's bad, what's moral and what's not moral."
Speaking in Washington to the Members in attendance, Rabbi Hofstedter said, "Torah values have been under attack for many years – basic values such as the deep respect for religion, for human dignity, honesty, integrity, self-sacrifice, charity, compassion and empathy. These values are the foundation of the USA. As Members of Congress, your attendance and participation here demonstrates your personal commitment to supporting Jewish values and to promoting unity. I feel a deep sense of encouragement about what lies ahead and I intend on conveying your messages of encouragement to all members of our organization in your respective districts. We at Dirshu look forward to working together in the months and years to come, to ensure that freedom of religion is never abridged, and that never again, in fact, remains just that – Never Again."
The attending Members of Congress were asked "to continue to be more clear and forceful in their condemnation of antisemitic acts especially in light of the increased number of hate crimes against Jews." Congressional districts represented included Florida, Nebraska, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Texas and Wisconsin.
Rabbi Hofstedter added, "We appreciate and continue to rely on the support of the United States and the benevolence of its government to protect Jewish people when we have been the subject of persecution and under attack. Let us celebrate the inauguration of this Caucus as we embrace its principles and strive energetically and bravely to ensure freedom of religion and religious education, even in the most challenging of times. Let us battle, together, against antisemitism. Let us fight to restore human dignity and advanced Torah values in America and throughout the world. Doing so, we should always be mindful of the Torah values as embodied in the Declaration of Independence with the firm reliance of the protection of divine providence."