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Supporting Rabbi Richard Jacobs

To the Editor:

We are past presidents and leaders of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the largest and oldest rabbinical organization in the world. We are ardent Zionists, deeply committed to a Jewish democratic State of Israel in secure and recognized borders. 

Some of us identify ourselves with J Street, others with AIPAC and others with neither.  However, one should not doubt the firm commitment of each of us to the welfare of the Jewish state and Jewish people. In that respect, we are typical of the broad spectrum of pro-Israel involvements that characterize the Reform movement.

We enthusiastically support the choice of Rabbi Richard Jacobs to succeed Rabbi Eric Yoffie as president of the Union for Reform Judaism and are deeply dismayed at the unwarranted attacks that have been leveled against him. Like Rabbis Yoffie and Schindler before him, Rabbi Jacobs has made the welfare, security and democratic character of Israel a prime focus of his rabbinate. He is an ohev Yisrael, a lover of Israel, of the first order.

What we need today are Jewish leaders in Israel and North America who will not hesitate to struggle with the difficult questions of peacemaking and human rights while being firmly committed to the security of Israel. Rick Jacobs is such a leader. Rabbi Jacobs speaks his mind independently and with unswerving integrity.

Rabbi Jacobs has had an incredibly successful career as a congregational rabbi, national leader and innovator.  At this challenging moment in Jewish history, we look forward to his transformational leadership. We fully support him and congratulate the leadership of the Union for Reform Judaism who selected him.

Rabbi Steven A. Fox, CCAR Chief Executive

Rabbi Jonathan Stein, CCAR President, 2011-13

Rabbi Ellen Weinberg Dreyfus, CCAR President, 2009-11

Rabbi Peter Knobel, CCAR President, 2007-09

Rabbi Harry Danziger, CCAR President, 2005-07

Rabbi Janet Marder, CCAR President, 2003-05

Rabbi Martin Weiner, CCAR President, 2001-03

Rabbi Charles A. Kroloff, CCAR President, 1999-2001

Rabbi Richard N. Levy, CCAR President, 1997-99

Rabbi Simeon J. Maslin, CCAR President, 1995-97

Rabbi Walter Jacob, CCAR President, 1991-93

Rabbi Samuel E. Karff, CCAR President, 1989-91

Rabbi Herman E. Schaalman, CCAR President, 1981-83

Rabbi Donald Berlin, Past Chair, CCAR/URJ/HUC Joint Commission on Rabbinical Placement

Rabbi Deborah Prinz, CCAR Director of Program and Member Services

Rabbi Hara Person, CCAR Publisher and Director of Press

Rabbi Lennard R. Thal, CCAR Interim Director of Rabbinic Placement

Rabbi Sheldon Zimmerman

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