President, URJ

Rabbi Rick Jacobs (he/him) is president of the Union for Reform Judaism, the most powerful force in North American Jewish life. The URJ leads the largest and most diverse Jewish movement in North America, reaching more than 2 million people through 825 congregations, 14 overnight camps, the Reform teen youth Movement NFTY, and the Religious Action Center in Washington DC. For more than 150 years, the URJ has been at the forefront in promoting an open, progressive Judaism.

The URJ’s programs and communities inspire more and more people—from children to seniors—to explore what it means to be Jewish, pursue justice around the world, and forge stronger ties to Israel.

A longtime and devoted creative change agent, Rabbi Jacobs spent 20 years as a visionary spiritual leader at Westchester Reform Temple (WRT) in Scarsdale, New York. Before that, during his tenure as the rabbi of the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue, he created the first homeless shelter in a New York City synagogue. 

He’s a tireless advocate for an Israel that is secure, Jewish, democratic, and pluralistic, with a vibrant Reform Jewish community. Rabbi Jacobs has studied for two decades at Jerusalem's Shalom Hartman Institute, where he is a senior rabbinic fellow.

Rabbi Jacobs is regularly featured in media outlets such as the New York Times, The Washington Post, Ha’aretz, The Forward, NPR, and CNN, among others.

Rabbi Jacobs and his wife Susan K. Freedman have three children Aaron, David, and Sarah.

Latest by Rabbi Rick Jacobs

A Message of Support

Rabbi Rick Jacobs
While we recognize that the deep conflict between Israelis and Palestinians will not be resolved over the summer, we believe that come the fall, college campuses must once again be safe for all students - and this includes Jewish students living their Jewish commitments openly and proudly.

URJ Ethics Accountability: Sharing Our Progress - March 2024

Rabbi Rick Jacobs
Jennifer Brodkey Kaufman
The URJ is deeply committed to living our values – values that were renewed and affirmed in 2022 as part of our strategic direction work. These values guide us as we seek to create a world in which Judaism enables all people to experience peace and wholeness (shalom), justice and equity (tzedek), and belonging and joy (shayachut and simcha).