Contact: Nathan Diament
March 9, 2009
UNION OF ORTHODOX JEWISH CONGREGATIONS APPLAUDS PRESIDENT OBAMA’S EXTENSION OF FEDERAL FUNDING FOR STEM CELL RESEARCH
Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America – the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization – applauded President Barack Obama’s issuing a new executive order that will permit federal funds to support embryonic stem cell research. The “Orthodox Union” has long been a leading proponent of public support for therapeutic stem cell research within a context of vigorous ethical guidelines and oversight.
(See: OU/IPA on Stem Cell Research)
Nathan Diament, the Orthodox Union’s director of public policy who will attend the President’s policy announcement at The White House today, issued the following statement:
The Jewish tradition places great value upon human life and its preservation. The Torah commands us to treat and cure the ill and to defeat disease wherever possible; to do this is to be the Creator’s partner in safeguarding the created. The traditional Jewish perspective thus emphasizes that the potential to save and heal human lives is an integral part of valuing human life. Stem cell research is consistent with and serves these moral and noble goals.
The UOJCA appreciates President Obama’s decision to have the federal government support stem cell research, a position the UOJCA has long advocated. We urge the President, and the leadership of the National Institutes of Health, to ensure that robust ethical guidelines and oversight bodies are put in place to ensure this important research is conducted in the most appropriate fashion – balancing science with ethics.
We recognize that those who oppose this research and this executive order do so upon the basis of deeply and sincerely held moral beliefs. So too, the UOJCA supports the array of stem cell research options because of our deeply held moral and religious traditions. We commend all those who engage in this important debate with respect and civility for those with whom they disagree; that is the only type of debate this issue deserves.