Rabbi David Saperstein, HUC-JIR '1973, Urges U.S. Senate Leaders to Remove Anonymous Hold on Sudan Sanctions Bill, From JTA

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

A Reform leader urged U.S. Senate leaders to remove an anonymous hold on a Sudan sanctions bill. The appeal Tuesday from Rabbi David Saperstein, the director of Reform's Religious Action Center, came the day that the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that prohibits U.S. government dealings with Sudan and protects state pensions choosing to divest from the African nation. An anonymous senator has exercised his or her right to put a "hold" on parallel legislation, keeping it from advancing to the floor for a vote. Saperstein called the hold an "inexcusable disgrace" that "brings disrepute" to Senate rules. "Nothing can excuse the use of a Senate courtesy rule to prevent Senate action on the most catastrophic genocidal activity of this generation," Saperstein wrote to Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the majority leader, and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the minority leader. "It thwarts the will of our nation." U.S. Jewish groups have taken the lead in targeting massacres in the Darfur region of Sudan carried out by government-allied militias that have killed hundreds of thousands of people. 

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's first institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu