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New York, NY, March 23, 2017 - In response to the Senate’s vote confirming David Friedman as the next U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), issued the following statement:
The U.S.-Israel relationship is vital to the strength of both nations. Though we opposed the nomination of David Friedman as the new U.S. Ambassador to Israel, his leadership will now be essential to maintaining and enhancing this historic bilateral relationship. We hope that, as was the case with the recent visit to Israel of Trump Administration advisor Jason Greenblatt, Mr. Friedman will engage with a range of voices and commit to openness and transparency. We will also hold Ambassador Friedman to the testimony he offered during his confirmation hearing in which he affirmed that the two-state solution remains the best possibility for peace. We couldn’t agree more that two states for two peoples living side by side in peace and security must remain the ultimate goal. We also appreciate that Mr. Friedman expressed regret for past inflammatory comments and hope that he will carry out his new responsibilities with appreciation for the diversity of voices and views in the pro-Israel community. We are committed to working with him to find areas of alignment including peace process issues and religious pluralism, to the benefit of the U.S. and Israel alike.
About the Union for Reform Judaism
The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) builds community at every level—from the way we collaborate with congregations, organizations, and individuals to how we make connections across North America to advance contemporary and inclusive Jewish life. Providing vision and voice to transform the way people connect to Judaism, we help congregations stay relevant and innovative, motivate more young Jews to embrace Jewish living, agitate for a more progressive society, and foster meaningful connections to Israel.
Founded in 1873, URJ has grown into the largest and most powerful force in North American Jewish life, with nearly 900 member congregations and work that inspires, connects, and educates millions of people. Our legacy, reach, leadership, and vision mean that we can unite thousands of years of tradition with a modern, evolving Judaism to strengthen Jewish communities today and for future generations.
Visit us at www.URJ.org to learn about our social justice initiatives, camps and programs for young Jews, services for congregations and communities, and how you can work with us to create a more just, whole, and compassionate world. Enjoy related content at ReformJudaism.org and connect with URJ on Twitter and Facebook.