Saperstein speaks at interfaith health-care rally

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A top Reform Jewish leader was among the speakers at an interfaith rally and prayer service for health-care reform in the United States.

Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, joined a cross-section of religious leaders, Obama administration representatives and others at the Interfaith Service of Witness and Prayer for Health Care for All in Washington on Wednesday afternoon.

Saperstein told the hundreds in attendance that the religious community "will make health care a reality, and we will be the powerful prophetic voice that makes it so."

"Our role as the religious community is clear: To remain a goad to the conscience of America, as compromises are being made for short-term fiscal expediency, to ensure that we do not abandon the goals of universality, equality, prevention and cost containment. Let us never give up on that," he said.

Among the more than 40 groups endorsing the event were B’nai B’rith International, the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation, the National Association of Jewish Chaplains, the National Council of Jewish Women, Tikkun magazine, the Union of Reform Judaism and Women of Reform Judaism.

The coalition believes any health-care proposal should guarantee care for all Americans, eliminate any barriers to care, be affordable and create a system that relies on "shared individual and institutional responsibility."

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