Rabbi Rick Jacobs

Rabbi Rick Jacobs

Inside Leadership
Row of Israeli flags on flagpoles, blowing in the breeze

This week, even as Israel celebrates its Independence Day, Yom HaAtzmaut, with barbecues and beach parties, we are alarmed about the newest round of violence in the south, and pray for a lasting peaceful solution for all. Here in North America, the day offers an opportunity to recommit ourselves to joining with our Israeli Reform Jewish community to fight for and build the Israel we desire – a Jewish homeland in which all Jews can worship in ways that are meaningful to them and where all Israeli citizens – Jews, Arabs, Muslims, and Christians – enjoy rights and protections as equals within...

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Three Israeli wedding couples under the chuppahs at Washington Hebrew Congregation on March 26, 2019

This past week, I spent a significant amount of time thinking about love.

My week began at the annual AIPAC Policy Conference, where I joined with many of my rabbinic and cantorial colleagues and members of all ages from our Reform Jewish community alongside 18,000 other activists who also love Israel deeply. That love was on display each time we cheered, for the Israeli scientists who launched the Beresheet lunar lander on its way to the moon, for the inspiring music of Koolulam, and for the range of Israeli, American, Canadian, and international political leaders at all levels of...

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Rabbi Rick Jacobs visits with Heller High students in Israel

Last week, during a brief trip to Israel, I met with Israeli leaders from across a wide spectrum of the political landscape, including some of whom are running for seats in the new Knesset. Joining me in these meetings were Rabbi Josh Weinberg, the Union for Reform Judaism’s (URJ) vice president for Israel and Progressive Zionism, along with several leaders of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ), including Rabbi Gilad Kariv, Anat Hoffman, and Rabbi Noa Sattath.

In recent years, I've met with many of Israel’s leaders before – in an effort to build stronger...

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Rabbi Rick Jacobs poses with three smiling teens in NFTY Convention badges

This d'var Torah for Parashat T'tzaveh was presented to NFTY Convention 2019 on Saturday, February 16, 2019. Video of the address will be made available online this week.

Shabbat Shalom, NFTY! There has never, ever, in the history of the Jewish people, been a Shabbat morning service just like this one. 

NFTYites, once again you are blazing a trail of spirituality, community, purpose, and holiness. Too often, in religious life we get stuck in that trap of, “We've always done it this way.” For 80 years, NFTY has been and remains our Reform Movement's most consistent spiritual...

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Compass with the arrow pointing at the word "Leadership"

February is a month of fostering leadership at the Union for Reform Judaism. It’s something we do here all the time, of course, but this month, especially, with the Scheidt Seminar and NFTY Convention, we shine a spotlight on the extraordinary role that individuals of all ages play in strengthening our sacred community.

This month of leadership reminds me of a saying from the Babylonian Talmud that offers us two important and interwoven lessons: 1) The character of a generation is determined by its leader, and 2) The character of a leader is determined by the generation.  

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