Saperstein: We stand with a grateful nation in remembering a President whose life and career were marked by a deep sense of integrity, humility, and kindness.
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In response to today’s funeral of former President Gerald Ford, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
On this day of national mourning during the funeral of President Gerald R. Ford, the Union for Reform Judaism, representing 900 Reform synagogues throughout the nation, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, representing 1800 Reform Rabbis, stand with a grateful nation in remembering a President whose life and career were marked by a deep sense of integrity, humility, and kindness. We extend our deepest sympathies to former First Lady Betty Ford and the President’s family.
President Ford rose to the presidency at a troubled time in our nation. He devoted himself to healing the wounds and divisions exacerbated by both an unpopular war and the resignation in disgrace of President Nixon as a result of the Watergate scandal.
For the Jewish people, he holds a place of deep appreciation – for his support of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment and the Helsinki Process, both so vital to preserving the human rights and freedoms of 3 million Soviet Jews, and for his abiding support for Israel.
May his memory forever be a blessing.
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the
Washington office 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 1800 Reform rabbis.