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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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ASA’s Boycott Should End ASAP



Like many of you, I have been disturbed by the American Studies Association’s (ASA) vote to boycott Israeli academic institutions.  As outraged as I am about the ASA’s decision, I am gratified by the many strong and clear reactions from the academic community. As of today there are 33 U.S. universities that have made public […]

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Rabbi Rick Jacobs Travels to the Deep South



Summers in New York City are blisteringly hot. To escape, some people head to the Jersey Shore or to other beaches to cool off; others head to the mountains to get away from the humidity. Me? This July, I headed to the Deep South – Tennessee and Mississippi, to be exact – and although I […]

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Rabbi Rick Jacobs

Rabbi Jacobs Goes to Jerusalem



Last week, I was proud to welcome to Israel our partner from the URJ, Rabbi Rick Jacobs. We visited the Knesset together and we had formal meetings with nineteen Knesset Members from both the left and the right. Rick expressed the URJ’s love and commitment to Israel. It was an opportunity for Knesset members to […]

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Reform Movement Welcomes Ruling in Marriage Equality Cases



Reform Movement leaders issued a statement today in response to the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on marriage equality in the cases Windsor v. United States and Hollingsworth v. Perry. The following statement comes from Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, Rabbi Steve Fox, chief executive of the Central Conference of American […]

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Rabbi Rick Jacobs

JTA Op-Ed: “Israel must grant equality to women”



Is Judaism the problem or the solution to women’s equality? Try telling agunot, women who are chained to their husbands unable to obtain a get, a religious divorce, that they are equal to men. Overarching Jewish values like b’tzelem Elohim — that all people are created in the image of God — may teach equality, […]

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A Message from Rabbi Rick Jacobs



For many, summer is a season of travel and that’s certainly true for me right now. Last week I was in Chicago, where I had the pleasure of meeting with a number of my rabbinic colleagues, synagogue professionals, and lay leaders in congregations throughout the city. This past week I was in Baltimore, where similar […]

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Reform Movement Welcomes Sec. Kerry’s Prioritization of Middle East Peace



Today, in response to Secretary of State John Kerry’s remarks Monday at the American Jewish Committee Global Forum, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, issued the following statement: Secretary Kerry’s rousing address at the AJC Global Forum was a welcome reaffirmation of the Obama Administration’s commitment to Israel’s security and to […]

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg: Rodef Tzedek, Pursuer of Justice



Mr. Mayor, I have no illusions that my eloquent letter of invitation is what brought you here this morning. First, it helps to know someone at City Hall. My wife and I are blessed to know and love your First Deputy Mayor Patti Harris, who graces us here today and has contributed so much to your administration, this city, and our family.

But I suspect that a significant reason the mayor is here this morning is because of his long and close collaboration with my wife, Susan Freedman, to bring exhilarating public art to NYC, like the “NYC Waterfalls” and this year’s “Discovering Columbus.” Mayor Bloomberg has been an extraordinary supporter of the arts, especially the public kind that all New Yorkers and visitors can experience.

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A Note From Rabbi Jacobs: What I’ve Been Up To



At the RAC’s recent Consultation on Conscience, I met an incredible faith leader, Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of NETWORK, a national Catholic social justice lobby. Last week, I joined Sister Simone and others for the kick-off of Nuns on the Bus, a coast-to-coast immigration reform campaign that will land them in San Francisco after […]

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Big News Out of Israel!



Israel’s Religious Services Ministry announced today that state-employed neighborhood rabbis may be phased out and funds would be given to communities for rabbis of their own choice, including non-Orthodox rabbis. The ministry plan also calls for the designation of the term “rabbi” to be used by the government to refer to non-Orthodox and female religious […]

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