URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs Asks President-Elect Trump About Comments By David Friedman

Inside Leadership

URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs Asks President-Elect Trump About Comments By David Friedman

Press Release

Contact: Lauren Theodore at 212-650-4154

New York, NY; December 20, 2016 -- Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), sent the following letter to President-Elect Donald Trump today about David Friedman, the nominee to be U.S. Ambassador to Israel:


Dear President-Elect Trump:

I write to get your reaction to comments attributed to your nominee to be America’s Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, most recently in the Jewish Insider on December 19, 2016.

We recognize, of course, that the key role of an Ambassador is not to advance his own views but rather to represent the views of the U.S. government. That is why we are eager to hear your response to a number of comments from Mr. Friedman. 

  • The Jewish Insider article cited above notes that Mr. Friedman indicated that while your Administration would seek to develop a working relationship with AIPAC and mainstream Jewish American organizations, ADL would not be welcome at a Trump White House. Mr. President-Elect, is it your intention that those who take issue with you will not be welcome at the White House? Will your doors only be open to those who agree with you? How do you square Mr. Friedman’s approach with your pledge to every citizen of our land that [you] will be "president for all Americans?”
  • Mr. Friedman has called the pro-Israel/pro-peace advocacy organization J Street “worse than Kapos.” Do you agree with this assessment? Have you spoken to Mr. Friedman about it? Are you comfortable with that characterization?
  • Mr. Friedman referred to the leaders of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) as “morons.” Do you agree with this assessment? Have you spoken to Mr. Friedman about it? Are you comfortable with that characterization? With that language?

We have not been quiet about our concerns about Mr. Friedman’s nomination. From everything we know about his views on fundamental issues such as the importance of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—including the letter Mr. Friedman wrote to me during your campaign—he  is unlikely to play a constructive role. We have not opposed Mr. Friedman’s nomination, although it is possible that we might do so. We look forward to learning more about his viewsand, even more so, yoursin the weeks ahead.

We look forward to hearing from you, and to your responses to these questions.

Sincerely,

Rabbi Rick Jacobs
President
Union for Reform Judaism

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About the Union for Reform Judaism

The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) builds community at every level—from the way we collaborate with congregations, organizations, and individuals to how we make connections across North America to advance contemporary and inclusive Jewish life. Providing vision and voice to transform the way people connect to Judaism, we help congregations stay relevant and innovative, motivate more young Jews to embrace Jewish living, agitate for a more progressive society, and foster meaningful connections to Israel.

Founded in 1873, URJ has grown into the largest and most powerful force in North American Jewish life, with nearly 900 member congregations and work that inspires, connects, and educates millions of people. Our legacy, reach, leadership, and vision mean that we can unite thousands of years of tradition with a modern, evolving Judaism to strengthen Jewish communities today and for future generations.

Visit us at www.URJ.org to learn about our social justice initiatives, camps and programs for young Jews, services for congregations and communities, and how you can work with us to create a more just, whole, and compassionate world. Enjoy related content at ReformJudaism.org and connect with URJ on Twitter and Facebook.

 

Published: 12/20/2016

Categories: Press Releases

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