June 19, 2012, New York -- Rabbi Rick
Jacobs, the newly installed President of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ)
will be in Israel from June 19 July 3, 2012, for
a series of events and meetings. He will be available for
press interviews throughout his visit.
While in Israel, Rabbi Jacobs will meet with
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres and a host
of other influential leaders. He will also spend time with members
from the Israel Movement for Reform & Progressive Judaism
(IMPJ), the umbrella organization of all the Reform communities and
institutions in Israel.
Rabbi Jacobs will speak on a panel at The Israeli
Presidential Conference (Peres Conference)on June
20 at 4:30 PM entitled, The Challenge of Being Jewish in
the Diaspora. Visit the conference
website for more information including live
broadcasts. Rabbi Jacobs will meet with Prime
Minister Netanyahu on Tuesday morning, June 26.
Rabbi Jacobs will also attend the Jewish Agency for
Israels Assembly and will visit the Reform Movements
Tikkun Olam program for college graduates in Jaffa,
a Kesher Birthright Israel group and NFTY
in Israel staff. He will also visit several Reform
Rabbi Rick Jacobs
is the fourth president of the Union for Reform Judaism.
Previously he served as a visionary spiritual leader at Westchester
Reform Temple in Scarsdale, NY, where, during his 20-year tenure, he
reshaped communal worship, transformed the congregation into a
community of learners, and strengthened WRTs commitment to
inclusion. Prior to his service at WRT, Rabbi Jacobs served the
Brooklyn Heights Synagogue, where he founded the first
synagogue-based homeless shelter in New York City.
in 1982 by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
(HUC-JIR) in New York, Rabbi Jacobs received an honorary Doctorate
of Divinity, also from HUC-JIR, in 2007. Deeply committed to
Israel, Rabbi Jacobs is a senior rabbinic fellow at Jerusalem's
Shalom Hartman Institute, where he has studied for two
decades. A product of the Reform Movement, he has held
numerous leadership posts within its institutions, as well as in
Jewish communal organizations, including AJWS, UJA-Federation of New
York, and Synagogue 3000.
Devoted to global social
justice, Rabbi Jacobs visited Haiti following the devastating 2010
earthquake. He also has observed the plight of refugees in the
Chad-Darfur border area, and has participated in an annual
conference of Muslim and Christian leaders to build understanding
between the West and the Muslim world.
Rabbi Jacobs lives in
Scarsdale, NY with his wife, Susan K. Freedman, and their three
The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) is a dynamic network of
congregations, institutions, lay leaders, clergy and professionals
across North America that impacts the lives of millions of
individuals every day. Our progressive, inclusive approach unites
thousands of years of Jewish tradition and values with modern Jewish
experience to strengthen Judaism today and for future generations.
Through programs, information and networking opportunities
provided by the URJ, our nearly 900 member congregations enhance
their capacity to build and expand community, deepen Jewish
learning, energize worship, pursue social justice and develop
The Israel Movement for Reform & Progressive Judaism (IMPJ)
is the umbrella organization of all the Reform communities and
institutions in Israel. We seek to integrate Jewish tradition with
the realities of modern life, and believe in the right of each
individual to shape their own Jewish way of life through a process
of study and reflection. The Reform movement emphasizes the
commandments concerning relations between humans, religious
tolerance, and full equality between women and men in the synagogue
and in all walks of life.