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Rabbi David Saperstein Biography

Rabbi David Saperstein

Director Emeritus, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism  

Senior Advisor to the URJ for Policy and Strategy 


Designated by Newsweek Magazine as the most influential rabbi in America and by the Washington Post as the “quintessential religious lobbyist on Capitol Hill,” David Saperstein, for decades, directed the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, representing the Reform Jewish Movement, the largest segment of American Jewry, to Congress and the Administration.

For over two years (through Jan. 2017), Rabbi Saperstein served our nation as the U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, carrying out his responsibilities as the country’s chief diplomat on religious freedom issues.  Also an attorney, he taught seminars on Church –State law and Jewish Law for 35 years at Georgetown University Law Center.

During his career, Rabbi Saperstein has served as the chair or co-chair of several national interreligious coalitions including the Coalition to Preserve Religious Liberty and served on the boards or executive committees of numerous national organizations including the NAACP, People for The American Way, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the National Religious Partnership on the Environment and the World Faith Development Dialogue. He currently serves as a Senior Fellow at both the Georgetown University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs and its School of Foreign Service's Center for Jewish Civilization as well as the Senior Advisor for Strategy and Policy for the Union for Reform Judaism.

Rabbi Saperstein is married to Ellen Weiss, an award-winning journalist and has two sons, Daniel and Ari.