May 17, 2005
Whereas gambling in general, and card games involving significant wagering such as poker in particular, have received tremendous public attention as a result of numerous depictions in the media of both gaming professionals as well as popular celebrities engaging in high-stakes games of chance; and,
Whereas certain Jewish communal institutions – e.g., synagogues, day schools, federations, and other Jewish fraternal organizations - have recently placed an increased emphasis upon offering “Las Vegas” nights and poker games as a new way to raise significant funds; and,
Whereas it is readily apparent that high stakes gambling runs counter to Jewish values; and,
Whereas Jewish communal organizations must always model appropriate ethical and moral standards not only as they carry out their mandates, but also as they promote themselves, especially when encouraging Jews to participate in specific activities for fundraising purposes; and,
Whereas the Orthodox community recognizes that the alarming, “at-risk” behavior of many adolescents, including excessive gambling, is in part fostered by the well-publicized activities of their adult role-models and of the Jewish institutions of their communities:
Therefore, the Rabbinical Council of America hereby calls upon all Jewish communal institutions not to use gambling as a fundraising vehicle and to seek alternative fundraising methods instead, even if they thereby raise less money.