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Rabbis, scholars compile materials to guide civility drive

(JTA) — A group of leading rabbis and scholars has compiled sermons and other materials to help Jewish leaders talk about civility during the High Holidays and all year.

The civility materials, which include religious texts and study materials, were prepared by a working group composed of rabbis and scholars from across the Jewish religious spectrum under the auspices of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs.

They are part of the Campaign for Civility that JCPA launched in 2010 and can be found on the JCPA website.

“Increasingly, conversations are giving way to diatribe. We can do better,” said JCPA President Rabbi Steve Gutow. “We hope that these materials will be used as a resource by synagogues, rabbis, schools, and throughout the Jewish community to help build understanding about the Jewish value of civil discourse.

"Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are times for self reflection, a time when confessional prayers and study help us to focus on issues of listening and speech. It is a perfect opportunity to evaluate just how we have used our power of speech and how we might choose our words in ways that engender greater cohesiveness and mutual respect.”

 

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