URJ Prez Rabbi Rick Jacobs To Speak At Beth-El

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Rabbi Rick Jacobs
Rabbi Rick Jacobs

On Sunday, Dec. 6, Temple Beth-El of Great Neck will welcome Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) at 10 a.m. Rabbi Jacobs is a dynamic and compelling speaker whose views on issues affecting Reform Judaism, Israel and the future of Judaism in the United States are sought after and well-respected.

Rabbi Jacobs was installed as president of URJ on June 9, 2012 and is the fourth president of the congregational arm of the Reform Jewish Movement in North America. A longtime and devoted creative change agent, Rabbi Jacobs spent 20 years as a dynamic visionary spiritual leader at Westchester Reform Temple (WRT) in Scarsdale. During his tenure, he reshaped communal worship, transformed the congregation into a community of lifelong learners and strengthened the synagogue’s commitment to vibrancy and inclusion. Under Rabbi Jacobs’ leadership, WRT completed a new green sanctuary, one of only a handful of Jewish houses of worship in the nation to carry this designation.

Prior to his tenure at WRT, Rabbi Jacobs served the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue, where he founded and codirected the first synagogue-based homeless shelter in New York City. He was ordained in 1982 by Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC–JIR) in New York, where he received numerous excellence awards. Deeply committed to the State of Israel, Rabbi Jacobs has studied for two decades at Jerusalem’s Shalom Hartman Institute, where he is now a senior rabbinic fellow.

Rabbi Jacobs is a product of the Reform Movement and has held numerous leadership posts within the URJ, CCAR, ARZA and WUPJ. He has also served on the boards of Jewish organizations in the community-at-large, including American Jewish World Service, UJA-Federation of New York and, since its inception in 1996, Synagogue 2000 and its successor, Synagogue 3000.

Dedicated to global social justice issues, Rabbi Jacobs was part of a delegation that assessed disaster response following Haiti’s devastating earthquake in 2010. He also observed the plight of Darfur refugees as part of an international humanitarian mission to the Chad-Darfur border area in 2005, and in 2009, participated in an annual conference of Muslim and Christian leasers, held in Qatar, designed to build understanding between the West and the Muslim world.

This lecture is organized by the Brotherhood of Temple Beth-El, which will also offer a bagel and lox breakfast from the famous Bagel Brigade at 9 a.m. Breakfast costs $12 for all; the lecture is free to both temple and non-temple members.

For more information, contact Martin Einhorn at einhornmartin@gmail.com.

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