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Letter to Rev. Cornell William Brooks

Letter to Rev. Cornell William Brooks

June 12, 2017

Rev. Cornell William Brooks
President, NAACP
4805 Mt. Hope Drive
Baltimore, MD 21215

Dear President Brooks:

As the NAACP enters a moment of transition in its storied history, we write to thank you for your steadfast friendship and prophetic leadership during your tenure as the President of the NAACP. For generations, the Reform Jewish Movement in North America has worked closely with the NAACP. During your Presidency, that work was typified by meaningful action and deep partnership.

As the United States faces a range of challenges, some new, some longstanding, you have been a fierce and vital voice for social justice. In 2015, more than 200 Reform Movement rabbis and congregants were honored to march with you from Selma, AL to Washington, DC on America’s Journey for Justice. Together, we commemorated 50 years since Bloody Sunday at the Edmund Pettus Bridge, and organized and inspired the continued pursuit of racial equality that remains tragically far from a reality. We have been honored to welcome you at our gatherings, most recently the 2017 Central Conference of American Rabbis Convention and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism’s 2017 Consultation on Conscience. On every occasion, you have championed the need to address the challenges before us, from criminal justice reform to voting rights and beyond, as allies united in the holy work of repairing what is broken in our nation and our world.

We know that whatever calling you next hear will benefit from your wisdom and your leadership. We are also confident that we will continue to find opportunities to work together as we seek to create a country and world filled with wholeness, justice, and compassion.

We also look forward to the ongoing, vibrant partnership between the Reform Movement and the NAACP. Kivie Kaplan, the Reform Jewish philanthropist who in the early 1960s donated the building that continues to be the RAC’s home today, served as the President of the NAACP from 1966 until his death in 1975. The RAC’s current Director, Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, serves proudly on the National Board of Directors of the NAACP, as did the RAC’s Director Emeritus, Rabbi David Saperstein, as well as Rabbi Micah Greenstein of Temple Israel of Memphis. We are committed to continuing our partnership and, together, advocating and organizing for values that we share.

We wholeheartedly thank you for your partnership and friendship and wish that you and the NAACP will continue to go from strength to strength.


Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner
Rabbi David Saperstein
Rabbi M. Bruce Lustig
Rabbi Rick Jacobs
Rabbi Denise Eger
Rabbi Seth Limmer
Rabbi Micah Greenstein
Rabbi Steven A. Fox
Rabbi David Stern

For a PDF version of the letter, click here.

Published: 06/12/2017