Rabbi Rick Jacobs

Rabbi Rick Jacobs

Inside Leadership
Peter Knobel headshot

With the death of Rabbi Peter S. Knobel, z”l, our Reform Movement has lost a giant. A brilliant, courageous, and visionary rabbi, he served in many leadership roles, including as the longtime rabbi of Beth Emet -The Free Synagogue in Evanston, IL, where his leadership and direction were transformative for the congregation.

During his term as the president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), Peter launched the reimagination of the organization, the professional association of North America’s Reform rabbis, as we know it today.

I was privileged to serve as an...

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Interfaith leaders holding hands and marching for immigrant justice

My name is Rabbi Rick Jacobs, and I lead the Reform Jewish Movement here in North America; more than two million strong, it’s the largest and most diverse Jewish denomination on the continent. I’m joined here by Rabbi Ron Segal, president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), our rabbinic arm, which numbers more than 2,000, and by dozens of rabbis, cantors, and lay leaders.

I’m here in El Paso this weekend because I worship a God who is impatient with injustice, a God who demands that migrants must not be wronged. But our obligation is so much greater. In the Book of...

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Protester holding a sign that says: Love thy Neighbor

Reports indicate that this weekend, ICE will snatch untold numbers of people from their homes, their workplaces, and their houses of worship. They will be held in detention, and eventually, face deportation. Families will be torn apart, children will be left without parents, and households will be stripped of their breadwinners. We cannot be silent in the face of these injustices.

The mass raids planned by the Trump administration are heartbreaking, heartless, immoral and simply bad public policy. They are also yet another element of the administration’s inhumane immigration...

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Memorial candle

For more than four decades, Rabbis Elyse Frishman and Dan Freelander’s lives and those of their family have been inextricably linked to the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ). It is with profound sadness that our entire URJ family mourns with the Frishmans and Freelanders on the tragic and untimely death of their daughter, Devra Freelander, on Monday, July 1.

Devra was an award-winning video and sculpture artist whose flourishing career took her to artists’ residencies and earned her fellowships around the world. Her exhibitions and public installations have appeared in galleries and...

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Selfie of Rick Jacobs with Camp Coleman teens headed to Israel

For many people, summer is a time of new adventures. At the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), it’s a busy and joyful season as thousands of young people fill our camps and travel programs, creating friendships and building and strengthening Jewish identities that last a lifetime.

I recently witnessed some of that magic.

Arriving at the gate for my flight to Tel Aviv, I was delighted to find 45 teen travelers from URJ Camp Coleman – their anticipation palpable – heading to their life-changing NFTY-in-Israel program. In fact, many of our URJ Camps offer this opportunity for...

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