Rabbi Rick Jacobs 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 1.5 million people through nearly 850 congregations, 15 overnight camps, the Reform teen youth Movement NFTY, and the Religious Action Center in Washington DC. For nearly 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

URJ Ethics Accountability Update: May 2022

Rabbi Rick Jacobs
Jennifer Brodkey Kaufman
May 19, 2022
We are sharing this update on our ethics accountability work as part of our ongoing commitment to transparency, protection of every member of our community, and to the implementation of recommendations from the Debevoise & Plimpton investigation report. 

Update on Ethical Accountability Plan

Rabbi Rick Jacobs
Jennifer Brodkey Kaufman
When the URJ released the Ethics Report following the independent investigation into sexual misconduct in URJ workplaces and programs in February, we committed to implementing the recommendations and keeping our community apprised of our progress.

The Path to Accountability: Next Steps in Implementing the Ethics Report Recommendations

Rabbi Rick Jacobs
Jennifer Brodkey Kaufman
March 10, 2022
Last month, we shared the full report of an independent investigation into sexual harassment, abuse, and misconduct at URJ workplaces, summer camps, and programming. We remain profoundly grateful to the survivors who came forward to share their experiences and we will honor their courage as we continue our efforts to ensure that our communities are safe environments for everyone.