From 2005-2015, T’ruah served as the leading Jewish voice working to end state-sponsored torture in the United States. The Honor the Image of God: Stop Torture Now campaign organized the Jewish community to oppose the torture of detainees held in the U.S. War on Terror and the indefinite detention of terrorism suspects. This campaign responded to the shocking revelations about the use of torture by American interrogators and troops in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and Afghanistan. These instances were not the work of a few individual personnel, but part of a profound shift in American foreign policy about the legal limits of interrogation techniques and about the rights of detainees. What was once unthinkable–that America would use torture as an interrogation technique and justify its use under convoluted readings of American and international law– became policy, as the authorizations for torture went up to the highest levels of government.

T’ruah also became one of the founders of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. T’ruah’s formal anti-torture campaign ended in 2015 when the Senate released a partial Torture Report (Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program), finally exposing details of the CIA’s torture program. Today, the values that inspired this work on torture inspire us to work to end the use of prolonged solitary confinement in American prisons and jails, a practice defined by international law experts as torture.

However, even though President Obama officially ended torture via Executive Order in 2009, the next administration has threatened to restore the practice. We continue to monitor this situation.


Campaign News

  • July 12, 2019

    T’ruah Applauds NJ For Passing Nation’s Most Progressive Anti-Solitary Confinement Legislation

    We congratulate the New Jersey Legislature and Gov. Murphy for taking a major step to end this form of torture, the T’ruah clergy who organized their own communities to support this legislation, the survivors of prolonged isolation, and our other coalition partners for this groundbreaking victory. We commit to working with T’ruah supporters across the country to ensure that other states quickly follow New Jersey’s lead.

  • June 21, 2019

    T’ruah Welcomes N.J. Solitary Confinement Bill Passage, Disappointed N.Y. Bill Not Brought to Vote

    We applaud the New Jersey State Legislature for passing the Isolated Confinement Restriction Act that will dramatically restrict solitary confinement, and we call on New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy to sign this bill into law immediately. We are disappointed, however, that New York State legislators failed to do the same, but that instead, in a backroom deal Thursday night, prevented the #HaltSolitary act from even coming to a vote.

  • September 18, 2018

    Lowering U.S. Refugee Admissions to Record Low Is Unconscionable

    We are dismayed and outraged that, amid a global refugee crisis, the Trump administration is turning its back on the world’s most vulnerable people and…

T'ruah in the News

Jul 04, 2019
Jul 03, 2019
May 08, 2019