Dear Members of the HUC-JIR Community:
It is with a heart overflowing with joy that I transmit this announcement to you from Peter Weidhorn, Chairman of the Union for Reform Judaism and a member of the Board of Governors at the College-Institute, regarding the election of Rabbi Richard Jacobs as President-Elect of the Union for Reform Judaism. Rabbi Jacobs is an outstanding individual and leader, and I am confident he will prove a most worthy successor to Rabbi Eric Yoffie as the leader of our Movement. Rabbi Jacobs has had a distinguished career as a pulpit rabbi. In addition, he is scholarly, charismatic, creative, warm, and a lover of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. He will surely guide and inspire our Movement and the Jewish people with integrity, wisdom, and love.
On a personal note, I would observe that I have known Rabbi Jacobs for thirty-two years. He was my student in the very first class I ever taught on our HUC-JIR Los Angeles campus when I joined our faculty in 1979, and our relationship has blossomed in so many ways for more than three decades. Initially my student, he has become my friend and my teacher. We are all blessed to have him assume the position of President of the URJ.
My wife Jackie, a classmate of Rabbi Jacobs, joins me in sending Rabbi Jacobs, his wife Susan Freedman, and their lovely children Aaron, David, and Sarah, our warmest best wishes as together he and his family move onto this new chapter in their lives.