SNOWMASS, Colo. (Jul. 8)
The Central Conference of American Rabbis has called on the Reagan Administration to “normalize relations” with the Sandinista government in Nicaragua and urged a halt to U.S. funding for the military activities of the Contra rebel forces fighting the government in Managua.
At the same time, the nearly 400 delegates attending the CCAR’s 97th annual convention here voted to support a resolution condemning the Nicaraguan government for its treatment of Jews, its ties with terrorist groups, and its denial of freedoms, its persecutions of Meskito Indians and what the CCAR called “the betrayal of its own revolution.”
The resolutions were part of a series of such actions on a variety of issues taken at the conclusion of the CCAR convention. Other resolutions adopted by the delegates included a call for discouraging CCAR members from gambling — a recent report indicated that 25 percent of America’s compulsive gamblers are Jews — while another resolution called on the government to protect people who have tested positively, or who have developed symptoms of AIDS under the same laws that protect the rights of the handicapped.
Another resolution condemned the political system of racial separation in South Africa and directed the CCAR’s Executive Board to divest all investments in corporations doing business in South Africa. Additionally, the resolution directed the Board to boycott firms doing business in South Africa who have not accepted the so-called Sullivan Principles, an employment code for American businesses in South Africa.
In addition, three separate resolutions were passed on Catholic-Jewish relations, which acknowledged increased dialogue and shared social actions between Jews and Roman Catholics and called for the establishment of a variety of ways to further understanding between the two religions.
At the same time, the second resolution passed by the CCAR calls for the Vatican to grant immediate diplomatic recognition to the State of Israel. Finally, the last of three resolutions on Roman-Catholic/Jewish Relations objected to the establishment of a Carmelite convent at the site of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. The resolution urged its relocation to neutral ground.
APPEAL BY CHAVEZ
In another development at the CCAR convention, Cesar Chavez, head of the United Farm Workers Association, thanked the Reform Rabbis for their support over the years and made a plea for contributions and continued help with the farm workers’ boycott of table grapes.
Chavez also urged religious leaders to consider the plight of the farm workers, “one of the most oppressed societies in America.” Chavez said the table grape boycott is the result of a refusal by officials in California to limit pesticide use on farms.