Lew Meets With Reform, Reconstructionist Leaders

By JTA

Published July 23, 2012.
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President Obama’s chief of staff, Jack Lew, met with leaders of the Reform and Reconstructionist movements.

Lew’s meeting last week follows on similar meetings he has had in recent months with leaders of the Conservative and Orthodox movements.

“Particular emphasis was placed on efforts to enhance Israel’s security, and expand sanctions and other forms of economic and political pressure on Iran to curtail its development of nuclear weapons,” said a statement issued by the Reform movement leaders in attendance. “Much of the discussion addressed the Movement’s concerns about protecting the civil rights of women and minorities and economic plight of the poor and vulnerable.”

Also discussed were health care, food assistance for the poor, immigration law and gay rights.

Among the 17 leaders attending were Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the president of the Union for Reform Judaism; Rabbi Steve Fox, the chief executive of the Central Conference of American Rabbis; Lynn Lazar, the president of Women of Reform Judaism; Rabbi David Saperstein, the director of the Reform’s Religious Action Center; and Carol Feder, a member of the Board of Governors of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.

The meetings with Conservative and Orthodox leaders featured “drop-ins” by Obama. Such a drop-in was not seen as necessary in this case, insiders said, because the president had addressed the URJ biennial last December.

Lew’s meeting last week follows on similar meetings he has had in recent months with leaders of the Conservative and Orthodox movements.

“Particular emphasis was placed on efforts to enhance Israel’s security, and expand sanctions and other forms of economic and political pressure on Iran to curtail its development of nuclear weapons,” said a statement issued by the Reform movement leaders in attendance. “Much of the discussion addressed the Movement’s concerns about protecting the civil rights of women and minorities and economic plight of the poor and vulnerable.”

Also discussed were health care, food assistance for the poor, immigration law and gay rights.

Among the 17 leaders attending were Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the president of the Union for Reform Judaism; Rabbi Steve Fox, the chief executive of the Central Conference of American Rabbis; Lynn Lazar, the president of Women of Reform Judaism; Rabbi David Saperstein, the director of the Reform’s Religious Action Center; and Carol Feder, a member of the Board of Governors of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.

The meetings with Conservative and Orthodox leaders featured “drop-ins” by Obama. Such a drop-in was not seen as necessary in this case, insiders said, because the president had addressed the URJ biennial last December.


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