September 15th, Washington, DC: Rabbi David Saperstein, Director Emeritus of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC), will be honored as a “Uniter” at today’s historic United We Stand Summit, hosted by President Biden at the White House. Rabbi Saperstein will be recognized for his work with the Multi-Faith Neighbors Network as one of the preeminent heroes from across America doing extraordinary work to stand together against hate, build bridges and heal divides in their communities.
“Over a career, and indeed, a lifetime, Rabbi Saperstein has brought to bear his deep wisdom, expansive Jewish knowledge, and passion for justice in the work of making the nation and world a more just place for all people,” said Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism. “Today’s honor is only the latest in the accolades David has justly received, and there will no doubt be more in the future. May he continue to transform our world for the better, going from strength to strength.”
“As the Religious Action Center’s director for 40 years, David shaped our Movement’s social justice work, building the RAC into the nation’s largest Jewish hub of advocacy,” added RAC Director Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner. “From the fight to free Prisoners of Zion, to ending the genocide in Darfur; from the struggle to uphold the separation of church and state to the expansion of health care access; from championing climate change legislation to advancing gun control; there is hardly an issue of consequence over the last six decades on which his voice has not been heard and has influence has not been felt.“
Designated by Newsweek Magazine as the most influential rabbi in America and by The Washington Post as the “quintessential religious lobbyist on Capitol Hill,” for 40 years as Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Rabbi Saperstein represented to Congress and the Administration the Reform Jewish Movement, the largest segment of American Jewry.
During the second term of the Obama administration, Rabbi Saperstein served as the United States Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, carrying out his responsibilities as the country’s chief diplomat on religious freedom issues. In 2019-20, Rabbi Saperstein served as the President of the World Union for Progressive Judaism, the international arm of the Reform Jewish Movement.
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose 850 congregations across North America encompass 1.8 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 2,000 Reform rabbis.
The Union for Reform Judaism represents a vibrant network of nearly 850 Reform synagogues across North America, which foster serious Jewish learning, sacred community, and prophetic justice. As the central address for this congregational network, the URJ speaks on behalf of the entire Reform Movement on a wide range of topics ranging from Jewish observance and ritual, community relations, social justice and much more.