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Reform Jewish Movement Welcomes Immediate Presidential Engagement in Middle East Peace Process

Saperstein: “We are hopeful that this early action reflects President Obama’s recognition of the urgency of this challenge.”

Contact: Kate Bigam or Jeff Oakley
202.387.2800 | news@rac.org

WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 21, 2009 – Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, today welcomed President Obama’s outreach to Middle East leaders, including Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. The full text of Rabbi Saperstein’s statement follows:

We are greatly heartened that on his first full day as President, Barack Obama made it a top priority to engage with the Middle East peace process by calling regional leaders, including Prime Minister Olmert, President Mubarak, President Abbas and King Abdullah. We are hopeful that this early action reflects President Obama’s recognition of the urgency of this challenge.

History has consistently demonstrated the importance of active United States leadership and engagement in efforts to move the peace process forward. President Obama’s actions today give us hope that his Presidency will be characterized by such leadership, and by ongoing, consistent and personal engagement.

The past month has made clear that without the involvement of each of these leaders it will be impossible to achieve a permanent and lasting state of peace and security for all. We look forward to working with the new Administration to achieve this shared – and urgent – goal.

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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 1,800 Reform rabbis.



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