Press Release

Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, issued the statement below in response to the Polish government's approval of a new law barring discussion of Polish responsibility during the Holocaust:

We were deeply disheartened by the Polish government’s approval of a new law that not only bars reference to “Polish death camps” but to discussion of the responsibility of Polish citizens during the Holocaust.

“If I survived, it must be for some reason.” Elie Wiesel spoke those words in a New York Times interview in 1981. Throughout his life, Wiesel lived with purpose and lent meaning to his survival. As a witness to the most extreme atrocities and in his lifetime as an activist, he changed the way we think about human rights and the way we understand our responsibility to each other.

Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner

During a crisis, we collaborated with Reform leadership on aspects of our response from diplomacy and communications to social media and public relations. Every one of the 900 North American Reform congregations should recognize and value the range of expertise and resources available within the URJ’s congregational network.

Rabbi Mona Alfi

A less well-known part of the Holocaust is that the Nazis also rounded up gays and lesbians, forcing them to wear pink triangles on their clothes so they could be easily recognized and further humiliated inside the concentration camps.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs

I truly believe in the joy of Judaism. I love Jewish holidays (with Shabbat, Sukkot, and Purim at the top of the list), Jewish humor, and Jewish culture. I also find it joyful to teach Hebrew, cook and eat Jewish food, and do mitzvah projects.

Susan S. Ringel
Rocks and water in Western Galilee

In the Western Galilee where I live in northern Israel, the population is diverse – about half is Jewish with the other half a combination of Muslim, Christian, and Druze. Although many of us live in different cities and villages according to faith or culture, some of our communities are mixed, so we share many of the same entertainment venues, businesses, and institutions. We live and work together and must afford one another respect and understanding.

Sharon Mann

Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), sent a letter to President Obama about the u