Contact: Annette Powers
December 12, 2014, Washington, D.C. – In response to today’s Senate vote to confirm Rabbi David Saperstein as Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism released the following statement:
“David’s clear and powerful voice has been the voice of our Movement for 40 years. More than that, it has been the voice of the all-too-many among us who are often voiceless. Today the Senate has – wisely! – confirmed David’s nomination to serve as U.S. Ambassador for International Religious Freedom. As he prepares to leave the Religious Action Center he has done so much to build, we know that the work of David’s life will not change. He will continue to agitate for justice. He will continue to be a rodef shalom (a pursuer of peace). He will continue to defend the widow and the orphan and the stranger. David simply does not know another way.
There is no more lasting a legacy than what David has built: the Religious Action Center is a firmly established leader in Washington, D.C. pursuing justice, in our prophetic tradition, on a range of crucial public policies. It is the centerpiece of our Movement’s commitment to tikkun olam, and our dedication to moral advocacy and activism. As a Reform Jew and as a citizen: David, b’hatzlacha (good luck) and while we will miss your devotion, intelligence and passion – we know you will bring these same qualities to your government service.”
Rabbi Steve Fox, CEO of the Central Conference of American Rabbis concurred, saying:
“Rabbi David Saperstein’s appointment is a tribute to him as a person and as a leading Reform Rabbi in the United States and throughout the world. In this new role, Rabbi Saperstein can be expected to amplify America’s voice forcefully on behalf of men, women, and children across the globe who face discrimination, degradation, and violence because of their religious beliefs and practices. While he will be sorely missed in our own institutional leadership, we are delighted that Rabbi Saperstein is Reform Judaism’s gift to those around the world who need him most.”