Letter: Who’s he? Let me tell you!
I enjoy reading Katy Burns’s column in the Monitor each Sunday. I’m no fan of the NRA and agree that we need sensible gun laws, yet something she wrote on Feb. 10 offended me. As she was naming people on the NRA’s enemy list, she wrote, “and Rabbi David Saperstein, whoever he is.”
A quick internet search would have told her much about Saperstein. Selected by Newsweek magazine in 2009 as the most influential rabbi in the country (and in the top 10 of that list every year before and since), Saperstein represents the Reform Jewish Movement to Congress and the administration as director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.
In addition to its advocating on a broad range of social justice issues (the RAC was intimately involved in the writing and passage of the Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, and Americans with Disabilities Act, just for starters), the RAC coordinates social-action education programs that train 3,000 Jewish adults and youth each year.
Temple Beth Jacob in Concord brought five teens last year and will bring seven more this year to a weekend of studying social justice issues, culminating with visits to the offices of our two U.S. senators and Rep. Annie Kuster, where the teens will advocate on issues of importance to them.
Saperstein has been with the RAC for over 30 years, during which time he has headed several national religious coalitions. He serves on the board of the NAACP, People for the American Way, National Religious Partnership on the Environment and the World Bank’s “World Faith Development Dialogue.”
In 2004 and 2006, the Wall Street Journal and the Religion News Service respectively described him as among the country’s most influential shapers of religious issues in national elections.
Saperstein spoke to the greater Concord community at Temple Beth Jacob last May.
Rabbi ROBIN NAFSHI