David Saperstein (rabbi)

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This article is about the Rabbi. For the billionaire, see David I Saperstein.
David Saperstein
David Saperstein World Economic Forum 2013.jpg
Saperstein at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in 2013
Born (1947-08-05)August 5, 1947
New York, USA
Alma mater Cornell University
Occupation Rabbi, Lawyer, Teacher, Lobbyist,

David Saperstein is an American rabbi, lawyer, Jewish community leader,[1] He has served as the director and chief legal counsel at the Union for Reform Judaism's Religious Action Center for more than 30 years.[2] Saperstein succeeded Rabbi Richard G. Hirsch as leader of the Washington D.C.-based political lobbying arm of the North American Reform movement. There, he advocates on a broad range of social justice issues. He directs a staff who provide extensive legislative and programmatic materials to synagogues, federations and Jewish Community Relations Councils nationwide, coordinating social action education programs that train nearly 3,000 Jewish adults, youth, rabbinic and lay leaders each year.[2] He has been described as America’s most influential rabbi.[3]

He currently co-chairs the Coalition to Preserve Religious Liberty, and serves on the boards of the NAACP and People For the American Way. In 1999, Saperstein was elected as the first Chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.[4]

On August 28, 2008, Saperstein delivered the invocation at the Democratic National Convention's final session, before Senator Barack Obama accepted the party's nomination for president.[5] In February 2009, he was named to President Obama's Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.[6] Saperstein is also as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center.[7]

On July 28, 2014, President Obama nominated Saperstein to be the first non-Christian to hold the post of United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom.[8] In December 2014 Saperstein's appointment to the post won U.S. Senate confirmation.[9][10]

He is a graduate member in good standing of the Tau Epsilon Phi fraternity.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Top 50 Influential Rabbis in America, newsweek.com, 4/11/08
  2. ^ a b Official biography from rac.org.
  3. ^ Religious freedom: Rabbi to the rescue, economist.com.
  4. ^ http://www.interfaithalliance.org/site/pp.asp?c=8dJIIWMCE&b=120697#Saperstein
  5. ^ Democrats Pitch Big Tent in Bid To Draw in the Faithful, by Brett Lieberman, The Jewish Daily Forward, 8/28/08
  6. ^ "The Appointees". The Washington Post. 2009-02-06. Retrieved 2011-01-08. 
  7. ^ Georgetown Law Faculty Profile page. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
  8. ^ "Obama Names Rabbi David Saperstein As U.S. Ambassador For Religious Freedom, The Huffington Post, Lauren Markoe & Brian Pellot, 7/28/14
  9. ^ US Senate approves rabbi as freedom of faith envoy, Times of Israel, 15 December 2015. Retrieved 15 December 2014
  10. ^ Rabbi David Saperstein confirmed as U.S. Ambassador for Religious Freedom, AL.com, 17 December 2014, Retrieved 19 December 2014
  11. ^ Jeff Sondhelm, President Obama Nominates Brother David Saperstein as Ambassador! TEP.org website 18 December 2014, Retrieved 19 December 2014

External links[edit]