Tag Archives: RAC
Protesters sitting together from the Selma to Montgomery marches

Wandering in the Desert (Airport), Searching for the Promised Land (Selma)

On March 7, 1965, civil rights leaders led 600 peaceful marchers from Selma towards Montgomery, AL in pursuit of voting rights, but were stopped after just six blocks. The marchers were brutally attacked by police as they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Images of the confrontation were televised across the country and the world, horrifying citizens and rousing much-needed, broad public support for voting rights. The day became known as “Bloody Sunday” and helped lead to the passage of the landmark Voting Rights Act later that year.

As longtime advocates of voting rights and civil rights, this is an important moment for the Reform Movement not only to commemorate this incredible milestone in our nation’s journey for justice, but also to recognize the work that remains to be done. For the current RAC LAs, we feel like inheritors of this tradition and believe firmly in the need for all people, of all backgrounds, to join together in the fight for justice. Read more…

Rabbi Jonah Pesner

Greetings from the New RAC Director

Dear Friends,

I write to you today from the Arthur & Sara Jo Kobacker building in Washington D.C., the home of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. I received the honor of a lifetime when Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, announced my appointment as the new Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. For fifty years, the RAC has been the hub of Jewish social justice and legislative activity in Washington, D.C.

I have the great honor of succeeding my mentor and friend, Rabbi David Saperstein, who, for forty years, has built the RAC into a powerful force grounded in ancient Jewish values of social justice for North America and across the world. The rabbis taught that in every age we see ourselves as if we ourselves were liberated from bondage. Our work for justice is bound up in the thousands year old essence of what it means to be a Jew. Read more…

Welcome Rabbi Jonah Pesner

The RAC Welcomes New Director Rabbi Jonah Pesner

Today, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism welcomes our new director, Rabbi Jonah Pesner. Rabbi Pesner succeeds long-time director Rabbi David Saperstein, who stepped down following his confirmation as the Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. Rabbi Pesner is an accomplished advocate with broad experience leading social justice campaigns, and comes to the RAC with a mandate to deepen its advocacy work while mobilizing the Reform Jewish community and its allies. Read further, including from Rabbi Pesner and words of congratulation from Rabbi Saperstein, URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs, CCAR Chief Executive Rabbi Steve Fox, and from Commission on Social Action Chair Jennifer Kaufman, in this press release from the Union for Reform Judaism. Read more…

Sarah Greenberg and David Saperstein

A Tribute and a Thank You to Rabbi David Saperstein

To be honest, before I started as a legislative assistant, I didn’t know much about the RAC or David Saperstein. I knew that David was a sort of Washington macher and that the RAC was an institution that united both my desire to live and work by Jewish values and my passion for politics and social justice. So, when I found out I got the job in March 2013, I was pretty sure my dreams of becoming the next Josh Lyman were coming true. Read more…

Rabbi David Saperstein

A Note of Farewell

Today I will assume my responsibilities as the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. It is a great honor. It is linked with the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism with what has been the abiding passion of my heart: to make real the Jewish prophetic ideals of justice, peace, freedom, equality and compassion, in America, in Israel, in the lives of human beings everywhere.

The greatest blessing of my life was to do so for 40 years at the RAC. Imagine: someone giving you a job to do what you love doing more than anything in the world, day in and day out. Of course, by this point in his journey, Moses had approached the Promised Land and we have a bit longer to go, but… Read more…

Mazal Tov to Rabbi Saperstein

As you may have heard, the United States Senate voted to confirm Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center to the post of United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom at the State Department.

We are incredibly proud of the legacy Rabbi Saperstein has built at the Religious Action Center over these last 40 years. The RAC is a cornerstone of the identity of the Reform Jewish Movement. Its engagement with and support for and by synagogues, rabbis, lay leaders, and the broader Jewish community, has situated social justice at the heart of expression of Jewish values and Jewish living across North America. Thousands come to the RAC to learn about how our Movement seeks to apply our moral values to shaping the policy decisions of our government; our online resources have impacted countless more.

Read more…

Rabbi David Saperstein confirmed as Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom

Today, the Senate voted to confirm Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center to the post of Ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom. Since his nomination in late July, Rabbi Saperstein has continued to represent the Reform Jewish community, and celebrated 40 years of service in September.

Read more…

Giving Tuesday 2014

Gratitude Wednesday: An Open-Ended Post-Giving Tuesday Thank You

Dear Friends,

Today is #GratitudeWednesday.  Ok.  Maybe I just made that up.  But what else should I call the day that comes after #GivingTuesday? There is so much to be grateful for.

When our friends at the 92nd Street Y invited the RAC to partner with them on #GivingTuesday, we had little idea about what we were getting ourselves into. Nonetheless, we jumped in feet first.  And I am so glad that we did.

For all of us at the RAC, this #GivingTuesday was so much more than a simple fundraising effort.  It provided an opportunity to good and to encourage others to do the same.

Read more…