Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner

Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner

Inside Leadership
Four individuals holding a sign that says PROTECT SAFE LEGAL ABORTION

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

How did this happen?

On Tuesday, the RAC held an event as part of our Machon Kaplan Summer Event Series for college students where we discussed Judaism, abortion, and the future of Roe v. Wade. During the event, I emphasized that I don’t support reproductive rights and access to abortion despite my...

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Four individuals holding a sign that says PROTECT SAFE LEGAL ABORTION

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

How did this happen?

On Tuesday, the RAC held an event as part of our Machon Kaplan Summer Event Series for college students where we discussed Judaism, abortion, and the future of Roe v. Wade. During the event, I emphasized that I don’t support reproductive rights and access to abortion despite my...

Read More

June 19, 2019

Dear Members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives:

I write on behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 2,000 Reform rabbis, to urge you to support refugee resettlement and help the United States return to its historic commitments to refugees.

We are facing the worst refugee crisis in global history: over 68.5 million people are forcibly displaced, including 25.4 million...

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Rabbi Jonah Pesner addresses a crowd

  The Book of Numbers tells us that God told the Children of Israel to “take a census of the whole community, every family according to its ancestral household, listing every single name…”

All the families. Every single name. Each one with a unique story.

We know the power of the census. It says we count. We have a name and a story. We are part of the community and we are seen. We exist.

And we matter.

But this administration has approved the addition of an untested, dangerous question about citizenship on the 2020 Census, a question that will drive down...

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Rabbi Jonah Pesner at the 2019 Consultation on Conscience

“If you will obey me faithfully and keep My covenant, you shall be My treasured possession among all the peoples…you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” -- Exodus 19:5-6

Two years ago, on the heels of an election campaign full of unprecedented levels of bigoted rhetoric, demonization of immigrants and refugees, vilification of Muslims, and blatant anti-Semitic tropes and tweets, thousands of us from across the Reform Jewish Movement assembled in person and online, committed to confront what we understood was the fierce “urgency of now,” the moral crisis of our...

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