Torat Tzedek (Torah of Justice) is an Israeli human rights NGO founded in September 2017 by Rabbi Arik Ascherman, who led Rabbis for Human Rights for 21 years, and is internationally recognized as a role model for faith based activism. Torat Tzedek capitalizes on Rabbi Ascherman's experience as one of Israel's most veteran human rights professionals in order to identify issues not being dealt with, and look for out of the box solutions. In addition to Rabbi Ascherman, Torat Tzedek has a small staff, interns, an active board of veteran human rights defenders, and members at large.We draw inspiration from the Jewish tradition, universal concepts of human rights, and international law.
The goals submitted to and approved by Israel's NGO directorate are the following:
1.Torat Tzedek will strive for a society that honors God's Image in every human being, and for the human rights that this necessitates.
2.Torat Tzedek will educate our society that honoring God's image in every human being, protecting human rights and taking concrete action to further these goals is a human and religious obligation in general, and a Jewish religious obligation in particular.
Torat Tzedek combines grass roots activism and traditional attempts to influence decision and opinion makers. In our experience, field work gives us both the knowledge and moral voice making us most effective when appealing to the courts, the Knesset, the public, the international community and/or the press. Where necessary, Rabbi Ascherman is willing to put his body on the line.
Torat Tzedek works in several project areas, generally in partnership with additional organizations. On principle we don't focus on just one project, despite the fact that we are still a small organization. "The medium is the message." The very fact that we are working for the human rights of diverse populations, including both Jews and non-Jews, is a powerful statement that all human beings are created in God's Image.
Torat Tzedek will not work on issues that are consensus, nor be a Don Quixote chasing at windmills. We look for issues where our input, combined with the efforts of others working on a given issue, could possibly tip the scales.
Current Torat Tzedek projects include accompanying and protecting Palestinian shepherds, seeking to stop and reverse the chipping away at the 2006 High Court ruling governing army behavior towards Palestinian farmers, administrative home demolitions, preventing East Jerusalem evictions, public housing for Israelis, appealing the "Nation State" Bill, opposing Israeli arms sales to rogue governments, and defending "unrecognized" Israeli Bedouin villages in the Negev.