Rabbi Rick Jacobs takes helm of Reform Judaism

June 11, 2012

WASHINGTON

Rabbi Rick Jacobs was installed as president of the Union for Reform Judaism, the largest movement of Jews in North America, on June 9.

Jacobs, 56, succeeds Rabbi Eric Yoffie, who held the post for 16 years.      

“I see an equal measure of challenge and excitement and possibility,” said Jacobs, who enjoys widespread support among Reform Jews as a rabbi who is eager for change.

The Reform movement, which includes more than 900 American and Canadian synagogues and takes a less traditional approach than Conservative or Orthodox Judaism, has had trouble retaining younger members.

The installation ceremony was steeped in music and dance, reflecting Jacob’s former career and continued interest in modern dance.

Choreographer Liz Lerman participated in the ceremony, as well as the gospel choir from Greater Centennial AME Zion Church ― a Mt. Vernon, N.Y., congregation that has close ties to Westchester Reform Temple in nearby Scarsdale, N.Y., where Jacobs was senior rabbi.

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