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Introducing the URJ’s 2020 Vision: A Clear View of Our Future



When Rabbi Rick Jacobs assumed the presidency of the Union for Reform Judaism two years ago, the URJ committed to develop more coherent and aligned services that not only would significantly strengthen Reform congregations and the pressing issues they face, but also would advance the mission and ideals of Reform Judaism. To understand the needs […]

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Reform Leaders Commend President Obama’s Commitment to Stopping the Spread of ISIS



In response to President Obama’s announcement of an expanded military effort against ISIS, Reform Movement leaders issued the following statement: We commend President Obama’s commitment to stopping the spread of ISIS, which has imposed terror in the Middle East and beyond and whose actions are appalling and offensive to all who value freedom. Already, the […]

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Unanimous Vote on Iron Dome Funding Vital to Israel’s Security; Hamas Violation of Ceasefire Condemned



In response to the unanimous U.S. Senate vote authorizing emergency aid for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, issued the following statement: The news this morning that Hamas violated the agreed upon 72 hour humanitarian cease fire, killed two IDF soldiers, and kidnapped Givati Brigade […]

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An Update on “Stop the Sirens”



As you know, the conflict in Gaza has intensified. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the Israeli soldiers killed in action, with our brothers and sisters in Israeli, and with all who are in danger. When the conflict began, the Reform Movement made a decision to join Stop the Sirens, a community-wide […]

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Reform Jewish Movement Mourns the Deaths of Murdered Israeli Teens



News broke a few hours ago that Israeli officials had discovered the bodies of missing Israeli teens Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaar, and Eyal Yifrach. Our hearts are broken by this devastating development. Reform Movement voices from around the world have expressed their sadness at today’s news. To read statements from various entities within our Movement, […]

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Rabbi Rick Jacobs’ Letter to Delegates at the Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly



Copies of this letter are being given to delegates at the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s General Assembly in Detroit, MI, who will be voting this week on several Israel-focused resolutions related to Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Dear Friend, As the president of America’s largest Jewish denomination, representing 1.5 million North American Jews, it is my […]

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Celebrating NFTY’s Diamond Jubilee



Taking the words of the prophet Joel as the refrain of her 1981 classic song “And The Youth Shall See Visions,” Debbie Friedman captured the role of young people in our Movement: And the old shall dream dreams, and the youth shall see visions, And our hopes shall rise up to the sky. For 75 […]

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Rabbi Rick Jacobs’ Open Letter to President-Elect Reuven Rivlin



[Editor’s Note: This letter from Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform, Judaism, to Reuven Rivlin, Israel’s president-elect, originally ran in Haaretz.] Dear President-elect Rivlin, I want to offer my warm congratulations to you upon your election as the 10th president of Israel. What a tremendous opportunity you have to serve our beloved […]

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Shalom from Israel! URJ Board Trip is Underway



Shalom from Eretz Yisrael! I’m thrilled to be here in Jerusalem as part of the first URJ Board of Trustees Mission to Israel, led by Rabbi Rick Jacobs. This is a critical, working trip to advance the goals of our movement. We just arrived Tuesday night, but here’s a rundown of some of the highlights […]

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Why I Support J Street Joining the Conference of Presidents (Hint: It’s Not about J Street)



This week the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations will meet to consider the application for membership from J Street. J Street, which calls itself “the political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans,” has successfully completed all the administrative requirements for membership. The Conference – which exists to bring together the entire Jewish, pro-Israel community […]

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Christian and Jewish Leaders Achieve Breakthrough, Resuming Dialogue and Engagement



The heads of Jewish and Christian organizations and denominations met in an unprecedented summit in New York City today to discuss strategies to strengthen and maintain relationships even in the face of significant disagreements. The gathering to discuss relationships and how we treat each other was the first to bring together these groups since a […]

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Rabbi Rick Jacobs

What Is Audacious Hospitality?



The Jewish people is here today because those who came before us were audacious. By that I mean courageous, fearless, and bold. Genesis teaches us to practice audacious hospitality. On a blisteringly hot day, Abraham runs after three desert wanderers, insisting they come inside for nourishment. What makes his act so memorable is not waiting […]

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Remembering Mark Levy



Recently, I attended the funeral of Mark Levy, z”l, in Los Angeles and had the honor of celebrating his life. Mark and his wife, Peachy, have been deeply committed to the future of the Jewish people for decades. Through their incredible leadership, they have distinguished themselves as two of the Reform Movement’s most generous donors. […]

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Ariel Sharon

Reform Movement Mourns the Death of Ariel Sharon



On the occasion of the death of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, released the following statement: “Today, we mourn the death of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, an iconic leader whose love for Israel and the Jewish people infused his entire illustrious career. He was […]

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