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Reform Jewish Movement Joins Reverend Barber’s Poor People’s Campaign

Reform Jewish Movement Joins Reverend Barber’s Poor People’s Campaign

For Immediate Release
December 4, 2017

WASHINGTON – On Monday, December 4, Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religion Action Center for Reform Judaism, joined with Reverend Dr. William J. Barber II and other faith leaders to announce the Reform Jewish Movement’s commitment to join the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.

The Poor People’s Campaign emerged from more than a decade of work by grassroots community and religious leaders and movements fighting to end systemic racism and build a more just society for all. More information on the campaign can be found at www.poorpeoplescampaign.org

At the press conference, Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner issued the following remarks on behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism, Central Conference of American Rabbis, and wider Reform Movement: 

"I am Rabbi Jonah Pesner, the Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.

Hineni – we are here! Representing 900 congregations of the Union for Reform Judaism, 2,000 leaders of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and 2 million Reform Jews across our nation – Hineni, we are here to join the Poor People’s Campaign!

The challenges facing our country can feel exhausting. But we know what the prophet Isaiah taught: ‘God never grows faint or weary… God gives strength to the weary…!’

Reverend Barber, you taught us how find God’s strength in one another, and what happens when Muslim, Christian, and Jewish lay leaders and clergy come together to stand with the poor and marginalized and ‘unlock the fetters of wickedness… to let the oppressed go free!’

When you called us to North Carolina to stand up for voting rights, we answered Hineni – here we are! When access to health care was threatened here in Washington, together, we answered the call – Hineni! And this week, you’ll join 6,000 Reform Jews in Boston at our Biennial to join our call for justice as we mobilize the power of the Reform Jewish Movement.

We will not weary from answering the call – Hineni, we are here, together!

We are here, to end mass incarceration.

We are here, to defend voting rights.

Hineni, we are here, to protect immigrants who fear deportation, and transgender Americans whose rights are under siege.

Together, because we love this country, we are determined to bring about a world of wholeness, justice, and compassion for all people; in every city, in every state across this nation.

We are here, unrelenting in our pursuit of justice, inspired by God’s promise ‘Then shall your light burst through like the dawn… and when you cry out, God will say: Hineni!’"


The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose nearly 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 2,000 Reform rabbis. Visit www.rac.org for more.
Jenna Galper, jgalper@rac.org 202-387-2800

Published: 12/04/2017