Rabbi Jonah Pesner

Rabbi Jonah Pesner

Rabbi Jonah Pesner speaking from a podium

On Thursday, Reverend Hurmon Hamilton and Rabbi Jonah Pesner led a conversation in the Whitney Humanities Center about how people of faith can come together to advocate for justice.

Khue Tran (Yale Daily News)
Four individuals holding a sign that says PROTECT SAFE LEGAL ABORTION

Yesterday, a notorious far-right pundit, attacked me on Twitter for my support for reproductive rights, implying that supporting an individual’s right to make moral decisions about their own health care is antithetical to Jewish values.

Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner
Rabbi Jonah Pesner speaking at a dais at the Consultation of Conscience

I'm excited to build on the connections I made with other CSA members and share what I've learned with other WRJ members and members of my own congregation.

Karen Goldberg
For Immediate Release
November 1, 2017

Lighted faces of teenagers holding candles in the dark

It is in these moments of darkness that Jewish tradition compels us to be brave, to seek the light. We are, as we read in Zechariah 9:12, asirei hatikvah, prisoners of hope.  

Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner
President Trump on stage at the AIPAC Policy Conference with his face shown on large screens about the podium

When we disagree with this Administration, as we have with presidents from both parties over many decades, we do so as clearly and powerfully as we can.

Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner

From now through Election Day, the Reform Movement and our allies will be vigorously defending the right to vote and access to the polls, and we’ll be doing our part to encourage and ensure high voter turnout. Join us.

Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner

As the newly appointed director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, I am inspired by the storied history of our role in the critical social justice battles of our time. In fact, the RAC was founded at the height of the Civil Rights Movement to provide an outlet for Reform Jews to express their deep commitment to equality and justice in our society.

Next weekend marks the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, which was one in a series of Selma-to-Montgomery marches demanding voting rights for African-Americans. Like Reform Jews 50 years ago, my colleagues and I will be in Selma - alongside President Barack Obama, Rep. John Lewis, a number of congregational and community leaders and civil rights activists.

Earlier this month, I joined URJ president Rabbi Rick Jacobs, Director of Israel Engagement Rabbi Yehudit Werchow, and nearly 50 URJ leaders for an incredible four days in Israel on the URJ Board Leadership Mission. It was a working visit, and it's difficult to boil down such an intense trip into five highlights moments, but here goes:

  1. Spending Shabbat in Israel is always meaningful, but on this trip, we could truly feel the impact of the Reform Movement. Friday night we attended services at IMPJ communities across the country, and during a Shabbat lunch with HUC-JIR students. Meeting dynamic, indigenous leaders we experience the strength of the Reform Movement in Israel - and could see it is growing stronger.
  1. Throughout the trip, Israeli leaders affirmed the importance of Reform Judaism. It was clear through our meetings with Prime Minister Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, and Cabinet Secretary Avichai Mandelblit that the Reform Movement is taken seriously and greatly respected in the halls of government in Israel.