Reform Rabbis Stand with Ruth
Rabbis Organizing Rabbis (ROR) is a project of the social justice initiatives of the Reform Movement, the largest denomination in American Jewry, with 1.5 million members and more than 900 congregations. The Rabbis Organizing Rabbis Campaign seeks to build a powerful network of Reform Jews praying with our feet through effective grassroots and legislative action on vital justice issues of our time.
This week we celebrate the Temple holiday of Shavuot, when we read and study the Book of Ruth. Ruth, a widow, a Moabite, and a stranger among the Israelites, is at a disadvantage from the start. Even though she is an outsider in a foreign land, remarkably, she finds kindness and compassion when she meets Boaz, who becomes her husband. Ruth’s story calls us to reach out to those on the margins of society, and ensure, as Boaz did, that they are brought out of the shadows.
This Shavuot, join the Reform Movement and stand with Ruth:
- If you are moved by the story of Ruth and want to support immigration reform, urge your Representatives to support immigration reform that is truly comprehensive, and that reflects our values as Americans and as Reform Jews. Click HERE and enter your zip/postal code to write an email directly to your legislator.
- If you are a Reform rabbi, sign the pledge and commit to sharing the Shavuot liturgy and/or the Shavuot text study.
Why Rabbi Greg Litcofsky stands with Ruth:
My name is Rabbi Greg Litcofsky. I’m a rabbi in Livingston, NJ. This picture was taken in January, when I met Renata, who is an undocumented immigrant involved in Wind of the Spirit, a New Jersey-based interfaith immigrant resource center. As we talked, I imagined my daughter Noa, now seven, as a college student working hard to fulfill her potential in life and making a difference in this world, just like Renata.
Recently, Renata’s life was transformed when New Jersey passed our own version of the DREAM Act. She is an impressive, ambitious young woman who now has the ability to finish her degree without having to work three jobs. Yet, because Congress has failed to pass common-sense immigration reform, she and her family live in constant fear of being torn apart because of their undocumented status.
Meeting Renata and hearing her story made me realize that our families and our stories aren’t so different. However, my daughter doesn’t have to live in the shadows, nor fear losing her parents at the hands of our country’s broken immigration system. Renata reminded me that all parents have the same hopes and dreams for their children – to fulfill their life’s potential. Renata’s mother had the same dream my immigrant great-grandparents had three generations ago.
This Shavuot, I stand with Ruth because I am the great-grandson of immigrants, because I am a father of three, and because Renata’s story is also the American Jewish story. On this Shavuot, as we read from the Book of Ruth, may we be reminded of our own people’s journey from the darkness of the shadows into the light of freedom. Let us proudly say together: We Stand with Ruth!
Click on the links below to see why Reform Rabbis are standing with Ruth this Shavuot:
- Announcing “We Stand with Ruth,” by Rabbis Wendi Geffen (North Shore Congregation Israel of Glencoe, IL), Elana Perry (Temple Sinia of Sandy Springs, GA), and Erica Asch (Temple Beth El of Augusta, ME);
- Omer: Recalling the Value of Gevurah, by Rabbi Samuel Gordon, Rabbi at Congregation Sukkat Shalom in
- We Stand with Ruth of Moab, by Richard Levy, Rabbi of Campus Synagogue and Director of Spiritual Growth at Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles, CA;
- We Stand with the Ruths of Today, by Rabbi Shoshanah Conover, Rabbi at Temple Sholom of Chicago;
- We Stand With Ruth: Love the Stranger in Our Midst by Rabbi Karyn Kedar, Senior Rabbi at B’nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim in Deerfield, IL;
- Tiferet: Between Chesed and Gevurah, We Stand With Ruth, by Rabbi Jonathan Stein, Rabbi at Congregation Shaaray Tefilah in New York City;
- We All Need a Little Netzach: We Stand with Ruth, by Rabbi Esther Lederman, Rabbi at Temple Micah in Washington, DC;
- We Stand with Our Brothers and Sisters: We Stand with Ruth, by Rabbi Joel Simonds, Rabbi at University Synagogue of Los Angeles, CA.