From ancient legal codes that layout some of the earliest animal protection laws in the world to serving in leadership positions in the nation’s largest secular animal protection organizations, Jews care about animals. Despite the impressive involvement of Jewish community members in the animal protection movement, many Jews have stood up for animals in the name of secular rather than Jewish values. Of course, animal protection isn’t only a Jewish value, but at the Jewish Initiative for Animals we believe it’s time to reconnect Jewish communities and the long Jewish tradition of being a voice for the voiceless. Whether it’s the dogs and cats with whom we share our home, endangered species, or farmed animals, we want to empower Jewish institutions to stand by Jewish values of compassion for animals and build stronger, more inclusive Jewish communities in the process.
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The HSUS is proud to work with America’s diverse faith traditions to advance our shared concern for animal welfare. Compassion for animals is a Jewish value and its one of the reasons I’ve devoted myself to building a kinder world for all animals, especially farm animals. I’m especially impressed by JIFA’s pioneering efforts to have faith-based institutions adopt ethical food policies that will help reduce meat use and get factory farming off the menu, thereby putting Jewish values of compassion back at the center of our plates.
—Paul Shapiro, Vice President, Humane Society of the United States