Dual Honors for Rabbi David Saperstein Salute His Public Service

Contact: Max Rosenblum or Barbara Weinstein
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Washington, D.C., September 16, 2014 — This week, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, will receive two honors in recognition of his more than 40 years of work on behalf of social justice. On Wednesday, Rabbi Saperstein will receive the inaugural Anne Frank Award for Human Dignity and Tolerance by the Royal Netherlands Embassy, and on Thursday, he will be one of 50 honorees to receive The NonProfit Times Power & Influence Top 50 award along with Bill Gates, Chad Griffin and other distinguished leaders.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism; Rabbi Steve Fox, Chief Executive Officer of the Central Conference of American Rabbis; Rabbi Richard A. Block, President of the Central Conference of American Rabbis; and Stephen M. Sacks, Chairman of Board of Trustees of the Union for Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

On behalf of the entire Reform Movement family, we offer a "mazal tov" to Rabbi David Saperstein, who this week is being justly recognized and honored for his lifetime of work for social justice.

It is no wonder why Rabbi Saperstein, our "man in Washington" for four decades and the longest-serving faith leader representing a national denomination in D.C., is receiving two prestigious honors within the same week. David is a courageous advocate on behalf of human rights and dignity whether in the realms of religious liberty, LGBT equality, gender equality, economic equality, and more. As a faith leader, he has compellingly demonstrated the power of the religious community to lift up marginalized individuals and communities around the world.

We offer our appreciation to the Embassy of the Netherlands for establishing this annual Award bearing the name of Anne Frank, whose diary has been an inspiration to three generations of people of conscience since her tragic death. We extend our congratulations as well to Canon Andrew White, the Anglican Bishop of Baghdad, who is being recognized at this event and who has so courageously forged interfaith cooperation, comity and bridges among Iraq's varied faith leaders and communities during these violent and troubled years.

In his tireless work in pursuit of tikkun olam (repairing the world), Rabbi Saperstein has cemented the reputation of the Religious Action Center as an institution that engages our Reform Movement with impact on the range of domestic and international issues that challenge our collective moral conscience. David Saperstein is a treasure to the Reform Jewish Movement and an inspiration to all who recognize the power each of us has to change the world for the better. Mazal tov, Rabbi Saperstein.