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:

Why Rabbi Greg Litcofsky stands with Ruth:


Rabbi Greg Litcofsky and Renata

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:


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