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Reform Movement Mourns Loss of Great Social Justice Advocate Kobacker

Saperstein: He was an extraordinary presence who was deeply committed to social justice

Contact: Sean Thibault
202.387.2800 or

Washington, DC | July 13, 2007 – In response to the passing of Arthur Kobacker, the philanthropic leader whose generous gift made possible the renovation of the Religious Action Center building in Washington, DC,  Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Center, issued the following statement:

Arthur Kobacker was a visionary philanthropist deeply dedicated to social justice and the Jewish values that define our work. He was powerful presence, whose insight and generosity improved the lives of people around the globe. 

Arthur knew, as our tradition teaches, that our world is a broken place.  His life was dedicated to being one of the repairers, and to inspiring others to that work as well.  His social justice passion and philanthropy covered a wide range of interests: civil rights, Middle East peace, hospice care, education and the United Way.

The Religious Action Center, and the Reform Jewish Movement, consider ourselves blessed to have been honored by his genuine devotion and formidable work in pursuit of a better world.  His memory will live on in the hearts of countless friends and those he aided, and on our home here in Washington – the Arthur and Sara Jo Kobacker Building. 

As people from all across the nation come to this remarkable building which bears his name (together, as always with that of his remarkable wife and partner, Sara Jo), we hope and pray that they will be inspired by Arthur’s powerful spirit, by his fierce commitment to civil rights, by his impatience with injustice.

We join with so many others in offering our deepest condolences to Sara Jo, and the entire Kobacker family.  



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

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