(JTA) — The NAACP named the director of the Reform movement’s Religion Action Center, Rabbi Jonah Pesner, to its board.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People announced on Tuesday that it was appointing Pesner, who has led the RAC since 2015 and served as senior vice president of the Union for Reform Judaism since 2011, along with the appointments of five other new board members, including three Christian pastors.
“Eliminating racism and expanding civil rights are intrinsic Jewish values,” Pesner said in a statement. “I could not be more proud to join the board of the NAACP to help advance those goals.”
Rabbi David Saperstein, Pesner’s predecessor at the RAC — the Reform movement’s legislative advocacy arm — also served on the NAACP board.
NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks praised the new appointments.
“These new board members bring an amazing wealth of achievement, accomplishment and influence on issues from civil rights to religion to community-building and leadership,” he said Tuesday in a statement. “We are honored by their presence and welcome them into the inner family of the nation’s oldest, largest and boldest civil rights organization.”
Josefin Dolsten is a news fellow at the Forward. She writes about politics and culture, and edits the Sisterhood blog. She received an MA in Jewish Studies and Comparative Religion from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a BA in Government from Cornell University. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter at @josefindolsten.