Apr 6, 2009
The Rabbinical Council of America has today sent the following letter to the Obama Administration commending the new Stem Cell Research Guidelines, and finding them substantially in accord with the RCA’s own earlier-adopted position on Stem Cell research.
Dear Mr. President:
We write to you on behalf of this nation's largest Orthodox Jewish rabbinical organization to congratulate you on the decision you have taken to remove barriers to federal funding of responsible scientific research involving human stem cells.
We reaffirm the position we took in 2001 following consultations with rabbinic authorities in our community and with scientists cognizant of and sensitive to traditional Jewish values, in expressing our firm support for embryonic stem cell research conducted with appropriate scientific guidelines and careful ethical oversight. That position, as subsequently reconfirmed by the RCA on October 22 2004, can be seen at http://www.rabbis.org/news/article.cfm?id=100553.
At the same time we emphasize that vigilance must be taken to protect against the erosion of the value that American society affords to human life, including potential human life, in the execution of such research.
We admire your courage in taking a difficult decision on an issue which divides loyal Americans with different legitimate perspectives and we wish you the continued paramount blessing for political leaders that the Jewish tradition offers - wisdom.
Rabbinical Council of America
Feige Kaplan, Ph. D.
Professor, Human Genetics, Pediatrics
and Biology, McGill University
Visiting Professor, Harvard Medical School