Rabbi Olitzky: The Jewish Imperative to Fight Youth Incarceration

Rabbi Jesse M. Olitzky. the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth El in South Orange and a member of the Rabbinical Assembly’s Social Justice Commission, writes in New Jersey Jewish News:

The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice and Youth Justice New Jersey launched this campaign to close Jamesburg and the Juvenile Female Secure Care and Intake Facility (also known as Hayes) and to focus on rehabilitation, intensive and developmentally appropriate wrap-around services, and smaller facilities closer to children’s parents instead of locking them away in youth prisons...

Our responsibility is not to push our loved ones away when those mistakes are made. In my opinion, Judaism clearly directs us to educate and embrace our children. For this reason, as a parent, as a rabbi, as a Jew, and as a resident of this state, I believe that the only answer is to close Jamesburg and to close Hayes. Let us see each child as made in God’s image, and we should honor God by joining this campaign.

To read the full OpEd, please click here

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