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David Saperstein (rabbi)

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Title: David Saperstein (rabbi)  
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Subject: David Saperstein, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, J Street, Schedule for the 2008 Democratic National Convention, Modern liberalism in the United States
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David Saperstein (rabbi)

David Saperstein
Saperstein at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in 2013
Born (1947-08-05)August 5, 1947
New York, United States
Alma mater Cornell University
Occupation Rabbi, Lawyer, Teacher, Lobbyist
Spouse(s) Ellen Weiss

David Saperstein is an American rabbi, lawyer, and Jewish community leader.[1] He has served as the director and chief legal counsel at the Union for Reform Judaism's Religious Action Center for more than 30 years.[2] Saperstein succeeded Rabbi Richard G. Hirsch as leader of the Washington D.C.-based political lobbying arm of the North American Reform movement. There, he advocates on a broad range of social justice issues. He directs a staff who provide extensive legislative and programmatic materials to synagogues, federations and Jewish Community Relations Councils nationwide, coordinating social action education programs that train nearly 3,000 Jewish adults, youth, rabbinic and lay leaders each year.[2] He has been described as America’s most influential rabbi.[3]

He currently co-chairs the Coalition to Preserve Religious Liberty, and serves on the boards of the NAACP and People For the American Way. In 1999, Saperstein was elected as the first Chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.[4]

On August 28, 2008, Saperstein delivered the invocation at the [7]

On July 28, 2014, President Obama nominated Saperstein to be the first non-Christian to hold the post of United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. Saperstein must be confirmed by the United States Senate. [8]

Saperstein lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife, former National Public Radio vice president for news Ellen Weiss. [9]

See also


  1. ^ ,, 4/11/08Top 50 Influential Rabbis in America
  2. ^ a b Official biography from
  3. ^ Religious freedom: Rabbi to the rescue,
  4. ^
  5. ^ Democrats Pitch Big Tent in Bid To Draw in the Faithful, by Brett Lieberman, The Jewish Daily Forward, 8/28/08
  6. ^ "The Appointees".  
  7. ^ Georgetown Law Faculty Profile page. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
  8. ^ "Obama Names Rabbi David Saperstein As U.S. Ambassador For Religious Freedom, The Huffington Post, Lauren Markoe & Brian Pellot, 7/28/14
  9. ^ , by Karen Everhart, Current, 4/9/07Weiss makes v.p. with endorsement of NPR newsroom

External links

  • Text of Rabbi Saperstein's invocation at the 2008 Democratic National Convention
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