2023 Resolution

Resolutions Submitted for Action
Annual Convention, May 18, 2023
Equity for Women

Women have been fighting for equal justice, equal rights and equal pay and equality of human treatment for decades. One of the first nationally well-known demonstrations for equal rights was the Right to Vote Movement. This movement took years of difficult meetings, demonstrations, letter writing appealing to male legislators and negotiations before women earned the right to vote in 1920! Women's suffrage took the lives of women who were jailed, taunted, physically beaten, force fed during strikes and even institutionalized. This fight for equal rights, equal pay and equal position within our society continues to this day.

In 2023, women still witness denials to these rights. Laws have been reversed that allow a woman to have the right to control her body. The most recent loss of a woman's right was the overturn of the earlier Roe vs. Wade decision. This decision dismantled 50 years of legal protection and paved the way for individual states to curtail and/or ban a woman's reproductive rights. This decision even criminalizes having an abortion in some states. Reports are surfacing where women who are trying to control their reproductive rights are having to travel across state lines, risking their safety and spending inordinate amounts of out-of-pocket money to get the care that they need. Now the courts are attempting to ban the use of the well-known and federally approved drug, mifepristone, which has proven to save women's lives during reproductive crises. Because reproductive rights have been greatly curtailed, incidents of maternal mortality have risen to levels higher than in most third world countries.

Women continue to be at an overwhelming disadvantage due to unfair employment practices, such as:
  • Earning 82% of what men earn,
  • Establishing new job titles for similar jobs, causing women to earn less than men for the same work,
  • Uncompensated last-minute changes in daily work schedules,
  • Reduction in work hours that make women ineligible for benefits, especially for health care,
  • Failure to pass family leave legislation means many women must choose between work or caring for family members, thus reducing her quality of life, her earning power and opportunities for promotions, and
  • Reasonable accommodations for pregnant women.

Even after 107 years of over 40 resolutions passed at The Federation of Jewish Women's Organizations of Maryland at its Annual Conventions (see website or list of previous resolution in this program booklet), the inequities for women continue. Therefore, The Federation of Jewish Women's Organizations of Maryland in convention assembled on May 18, 2023 resolves:
1. To fight for all legislation and practices at all levels of government that:
  • Protect women's reproductive health and life,
  • Create equal status for women in the workplace, and
  • Develop fair practices that prevent uncompensated scheduling and lack of benefits.
2. To urge all employers to provide equal compensation and benefits for equal work.
3. To call on all member organizations to monitor and support all legislation that supports economic equity, protects all women during pregnancy, is fair in employment issues and provides for the privacy of her medical records.

Resolutions Submitted for Action
Annual Convention, May 18, 2023
Mental Health Today

Judaism concerns itself with the health and well-being of the mind
and the soul as well as the body.

Millions of people across North America are affected by mental illness. With the exception of heart disease, mental illness causes disability and premature death more frequently than all other diseases. Mental illness knows no boundaries, touching people of all ages and backgrounds, reaching into our communities and families. Cutting across the entire lifespan, mental illness is also prevalent among children, teenagers and the elderly. Approximately 20% of children and adolescents suffer from debilitating mental health disorders.

The reality is that mental illness continues to be stigmatized in our society. While people with physical disorders are usually treated with solicitude and concern, persons with mental illness are frequently the objects of ridicule, contempt or fear. The mentally ill are frequently marginalized or excluded. This stigma may limit the extent to which individuals in the community reach out to support those with mental illness and their families or caregivers.

Even though there are a variety of treatment options for most mental illnesses, almost half of all persons with mental health problems do not seek treatment. The stigma frequently leads mentally ill persons to deny or hide their disorders and creates reluctance to seek treatment. Often they may resort to self-medication, leading to the abuse of prescription drugs, alcohol or street drugs. Stigma and discrimination may also have led to inequities in health insurance coverage for mental health services. Another barrier to treatment may be the fragmented and complex mental health systems which can be impossible to navigate. Moreover, the existing mental health systems are unable to keep pace with the increasing needs of care.

In accordance with the Jewish tradition regarding mental health as a fundamental part of total health, The Federation of Jewish Women's Organizations of Maryland in Convention assembled on May 18, 2023 resolves:
  • To implement programming to destigmatize mental illness, to increase awareness that mental disorders are medical concerns and to strengthen the responsiveness to signs of developing mental health problems from infancy through the senior years,
  • To call for the increased focus on recognition, prevention, intervention and treatment of depression and other mental illnesses of people of all ages and backgrounds,
  • To urge the United States government to increase funding for
    • treatment, research and testing of mental illness,
    • assistance for those with mental illness to live healthy and independent lives,
    • support of community-based and school-based treatment programs, and
    • programming for caregivers of persons with mental illness,
  • To call for legislation at the federal and state levels to require parity between physical and mental health insurance coverage, both public and private,
  • To encourage employers to end workplace discrimination against persons with mental illness and to assist employees with proper care to return to work,
  • To call for increased focus on the mental health needs of children, teenagers and young adults who are experiencing stress, anxiety and depression in the highest levels ever recorded, and
  • To advocate for community-based, coordinated comprehensive systems of care for people with serious mental issues.

Resolutions Submitted for Action
Annual Convention, May 18, 2023
Antisemitism: 2023

Antisemitism is not just a threat to the Jewish community- accepted hate, in any form, it is a vital threat to our society. An effective way to overcome antisemitism is to build bridges between people and communities through direct engagement and compassionate, impactful education. This requires all to listen intentionally to perspectives that differ from our own and create spaces for uncomfortable conversations in the spirit of building connections and understanding.

The Foundation to Combat Antisemitism (FCAS) reports the following: Jews make up 2.4 % of the U.S. population and are victims of 8.7% of all hate crimes. Antisemitic hate crimes make up 55% of all hate crimes in the U.S. In 2013, there were 750 antisemitic crimes reported. In 2020, there were over 2,000 antisemitic hate crimes reported. Forty per cent of American Jews have avoided visiting locations, wearing symbols and sharing content that identify them as Jewish. One in four American Jews have been targets of antisemitism in the last 12 months. Thirty-two per cent of Jewish college students reported experiencing antisemitism in the last academic year.

Antisemitism is an insidious form of prejudice stretching back millennia that attacks the humanity of the Jewish people and has lead to violence, destruction of lives and communities, as well as genocide. Conspiracy theories have led to mass killings of Jews, culminating in the Holocaust; killing six million Jews including 1.5 million Jewish children. Yet, Holocaust distortion and denial has grown in the past decade. A 2020 survey of all 50 U.S. states on Holocaust knowledge among Millennials and Gen Z (Conference on Jewish Materials Claims Against Germany) revealed that 63% had no idea that 6 million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust.

A surge of antisemitic incidents in the U.S. has been documented. There is a documented and a dangerous rise of antisemitism globally. In the United States, jews have been targeted with grotesque lies and misinformation such as being blamed for the spread of COVID-19, taking control of the media and financial systems, and having dual loyalty.

Jews were violently attacked in New York and Los Angeles and a terrorist held 4 Jews and a Rabbi hostage at gunpoint for over 11 hours at a synagogue in Pennsylvania. Antisemitic language, conspiracy theories and hatred has increased on social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok and other sites. This language included praises for Hitler and demonizing all Jews.

Because of this alarming rise in antisemitism, the Federation of Jewish Women's Organizations of Maryland in convention assembled on May 18, 2023 resolves:
  • To praise police departments for their actions against antisemitism and for stepping up security patrols at synagogues in some states,
  • To continue to educate others regarding major Jewish contributions to medicine, technology and society for a better understanding of Jewish values within mainstream society,
  • To raise awareness by providing educational programs and web sites and links in our Federation web site where one can access tools for dealing with antisemitism and reporting antisemitic incidents,
  • To encourage interdenominational communications through meetings and programs that would build familiarity and understanding of Jews,
  • To strongly support our legislators to act on the Holocaust educational grants which were promised by the State Superintendent in 2019 which requires the State Department to comply with changes to Holocaust education curriculum,
  • To continue to participate in and educate the community regarding the crucial contributions that Jewish Americans have made to our collective struggle for a more just and fair society; leading movements for social justice and equality and working to ensure fair and equal opportunities for all, and
  • To call upon our elected officials to combat any form of antisemitism and hate.


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