Press Releases and Statements

Press Releases and Statements

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NEW YORK, March 20, 2019 — 

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Following the attacks on the Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Union for Reform Judaism President Rabbi Rick Jacobs issued the following statement: Yet again the world is shaken by extremist violence against innocent people at prayer, targeted in deadly acts of hatred. Too often we have been sickened that sacred places of worship have become sites of slaughter. A few months ago the massacre happened in a synagogue on a Saturday in Pittsburgh, this time in mosques on a Friday in New Zealand.

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Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement on behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and the wider Reform Movement institutions:

“We welcome today’s House resolution condemning anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim bigotry and other forms of hate. Importantly, the resolution makes clear that these hatreds, though centuries old, feed on and legitimize each other, inflamed in our time by forces on the left and right. There is no place for these, or any form of hate in our society, no matter the source.

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The Reform Movement strongly condemns the recent initiative of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to bring loyalists of racist Rabbi Meir Kahane into the Knesset. Those who espouse an ideology of hate, intolerance, and incite violence have no place in the Jewish State let alone in her government. 

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The Wholly Jewish podcast from ReformJudaism.org explores what we all have in common as we live and balance complex and nuanced identities. It’s these varied identities that, when braided together, make us wholly ourselves – and “Wholly Jewish.”

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Rabbi David Saperstein, senior advisor, Union for Reform Judaism and director emeritus, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, on behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism, issued the following statement: “Today, we mourn the passing of Al Vorspan, former senior vice president of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) and director emeritus of the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism, who died on Sunday, February 17, at age 95. Vorspan, who worked tirelessly to found and strengthen the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington, D.C., was one of the g’dolei hador, “great ones” of Jewish social justice work

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In response to President Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency at the southern border of the U.S., Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement on behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and the wider Reform Movement institutions: “We believe that the President’s decision to declare a national emergency to build a border wall is ill-advised and should be revoked. We have consistently stated that the wall is a misguided response to the very real problems in our immigration system, including the real challenges of border security, which warrant comprehensive reform. Whether implemented through congressional or executive action, regular order or emergency declaration, the wall remains an irresponsible plan."

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Representing the next generation of congregational and community leaders, NFTY – the North American Reform Jewish Youth Movement - will hold its biennial Convention Friday, February 15 through 18, 2019, in Dallas, TX. NFTY Convention brings together the creativity, energy and passion of teen leaders with the strength of the North American Reform Movement to build a community filled will song, dance, and learning that is primed to enact change.

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Following today's announcement that Rabbi Hara Person will become the next Chief Executive of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), stated: "I could not be more excited to welcome my friend and colleague Rabbi Hara Person to her new, and richly deserved, position as Chief Executive of the Central Conference of American Rabbis."