Rabbi Rick Jacobs

URJ Head Warns Of Limits Of Tikkun Olam

Rabbi Rick Jacobs wades into debate over Jewish values at 5,000-strong Biennial.

11/10/2015 - 19:00
Staff Writer

He hit them right at their strongest — and weakest — point.

All the social justice issues of the day were there on the agenda at last week’s Reform Biennial — the post-Ferguson race wars, climate change, immigration reform, gender equality. Tikkun olam was everywhere at the Orlando World Center Marriott in Orlando, Fla., as 5,000 Reform Jews gathered in a spirit of repairing the world; it is the glue that cements the faith of many Reform Jews.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs during his keynote address at URJ Biennial last week in Orlando. Courtesy of URJ

The Greatest Threat To Israel Is Not Iran

The key danger to Israel is internal: The growth of the charedi minority will lead to economic collapse and emigration.

08/03/2015 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

While a segment of the Jewish community is organizing to oppose the nuclear deal with Iran, it is missing the main threat to Israel’s existence and ignoring the self-centered actions of Israel’s prime minister.

Joseph R. Rackman

May 12: Is God A Threat To Religion?

Join Dr. Micah Goodman, Rabbi Rick Jacobs and Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove.

04/13/2015 - 20:00

Who:       Dr. Micah Goodman, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove

What:      A conversation about whether God is a threat to religion.

Where:    Park Avenue Synagogue, 50 East 87th Street, at Madison Avenue

When:     Tuesday, May 12 at 7 p.m.

Why:       Rabbis and a theologian open up about the deity.

Dr. Micah Goodman and Rabbi Rick Jacobs

Reform Movement Mulls Leaving Presidents Conf. In Wake Of J Street Rejection

05/01/2014 - 20:00

WASHINGTON — Saying the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations needs an overhaul, the Union for Reform Judaism said leaving the umbrella body could be an option.

Why -- And How -- I Officiate

A Reform rabbi explains her decision to begin uniting interfaith couples under the chuppah.

02/09/2014 - 19:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist

There has been a great deal of press lately about interfaith marriages within the Jewish community, including an article by Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism in which he proclaimed that young people “must hear from their Jewish leaders that interfaith couples can be and are supported in their effort to raise deeply committed Jewish families.”

Cheryl Silvers and Eric Doades sign the ketubah at their interfaith wedding. Courtesy of Cheryl Silvers and Eric Doades

A Brand New Day For The Reform Movement

06/12/2012 - 20:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist

Hundreds of us – Jews of all ages, nationalities, sexual orientations, and backgrounds – moved in unison. Our right arms reached backwards towards the past, then we each moved both hand, reaching forward toward the future, grasping at it, and bringing it close to our hearts. Choreographer Liz Lerman led the group in a symbolic dance that expressed many of the feelings of the group as we celebrated the installation of incoming URJ President, Rabbi Rick Jacobs.

Rabbi Marci N. Bellows.

Jacobs Takes Reins As URJ President

06/11/2012 - 20:00

Rabbi Rick Jacobs in his formal installation as president of the Union for Reform Judaism called on the movement to “chart a new course.”

Saturday’s installation took place at Congregation Beth Elohim in Brooklyn.

Scenes from Rabbi Rick Jacobs’ installation last week at Brooklyn’s Congregation Beth Elohim. Clark Jones/URJ

Reform Umbrella Restructures

In switch to ‘networked’ approach, new head fires 30 employees and announces plans for specialists and consultants.
03/26/2012 - 20:00
Staff Writer

The umbrella group serving Reform movement congregations is making organizational changes including firing and hiring in order to bring its structure in line with the priorities of its new leader, Rabbi Rick Jacobs.

Rabbi Jacobs assumed the position at the movement’s 2011 Biennial meeting in December, when he also announced a new emphasis on both outreach to those unaffiliated with a synagogue and connection with teens. Within a year of a child’s bar or bat mitzvah, 50 percent of Reform families withdraw from synagogue life, Rabbi Jacobs said then.

Under Rabbi Rick Jacobs, its new president, the URJ will restructure in order to focus on his primary priority: outreach.

URJ To Restructure Movement

03/25/2012 - 20:00
Staff Writer


Faced with a member dropout problem and internal dissent from prominent leaders, the Union of Reform Judaism is undergoing another round of restructuring, its second since 2008.

The country’s largest Jewish denomination, the URJ is both hiring and firing staff in order to bring its structure more in line with the priorities of its new leader, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, who assumed the position at the movement’s 2011 Biennial meeting.

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