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Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner

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Teens lobby in Tallahassee, Fl for gun violence prevention

This post is adapted from a sermon given by Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner at the NFTY Southern Tropical Region (NFTY-STR) Kallah at Temple Kol Ami Emanuel in Plantation, Florida on March 16, 2018. Since Rabbi Pesner offered these remarks, another school shooting has occurred in Maryland, a tragic reminder of just how important the work of gun violence prevention is. 

It is hard to imagine that shloshim, the 30 day period of mourning, is over. It has been over a month since 17 people were murdered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. It feels like it was yesterday – and it feels like a...

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Rabbi Jonah Pesner wearing a Jews 4 Dreamers sign while being arrested by Capitol Police

A couple of months ago I was arrested in the grand rotunda of the Russell Building of the United States Senate. Nearly one hundred Jewish clergy and leaders joined in song and prayer, demanding that the United States Congress pass the DREAM Act, which would grant citizenship to the nearly 800,000 Dreamers who came to the United States as children and are every bit American as my own daughters. As we sang “Olam Chesed Yibaneh” (“We will build this world with love”) over and over again, hundreds of Dreamers stood cheering us on from the balcony, ringing us like a human halo. In an...

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120 clergy and activists sitting on the floor of a Senate office building while Capitol police look on

This blog post is adapted from remarks as prepared for delivery ahead of the January 17th Jewish Action for the Dream Act, in which 85 rabbis and other Jewish leaders and activists were arrested while singing 'Olam Chesed Yibaneh' and demanding a clean Dream Act. Find more information about the protest and take action in support of the Dream Act.

Hinei mah tov, how good is it to be here together? Representing so many different North American Jewish organizations. A broad array of pluralistic Jewish life. How good is it to be together, at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation,...

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This blog post is adapted from remarks as prepared for delivery ahead of the January 17, 2018 Jewish Action for the Dream Act, in which 85 rabbis and other Jewish leaders and activists were arrested while singing 'Olam Chesed Yibaneh' and demanding a clean Dream Act. The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism joined Bend the Arc Jewish Action, the Anti-Defamation League, T'ruah and other Jewish organizations in an act of civil disobedience support of the Dreamers at the Russell Senate Office Building. More information on the protest can be found here.

Hinei Mah Tov - How good is...

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Rabbi Jonah Pesner delivers a prayer at the National Cathedrals interfaith vigil for victims of the Las Vegas shootings

Today, the Washington National Cathedral hosted an interfaith prayer service to mourn the victims of the mass shooting that took place Sunday night in Las Vegas. As, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, I offered the following words of comfort and prayer.

Just days ago, Jews across the world observed Yom Kippur, our Day of Atonement, the holiest day of the year. On this holiday, we memorialize those whom we have loved and are no longer with us. Just as today we remember and pray for the souls of the 59 men and women taken from us so violently on Sunday night,...

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