Letter: 3 Questions for Rabbi Rick Jacobs
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Letter: 3 Questions for Rabbi Rick Jacobs

The head of the Union for Reform Judaism will be in Atlanta to help Temple Sinai mark its 50th anniversary.

URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs speaks at the biennial in Boston in December 2017.
URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs speaks at the biennial in Boston in December 2017.

Temple Sinai will have a Friday night service Jan. 19 ushering in the 50th anniversary of its establishment. Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the head of the Union for Reform Judaism, will be the keystone speaker at this wonderful event.

Over 500 attendees are expected, and with so many things affecting Israel and the Jewish community the past two months, I and others in the Jewish Atlanta hope that Rabbi Jacobs will address the following issues:

  • Iran protests — The Iranian people are rising against the Islamic leadership that has positioned Iran as the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world. Rather than use the loosening of sanctions for their citizens, Iran spends billions funding terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas, causing havoc in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, North Africa, Yemen and elsewhere. It still endorses the destruction of Israel.

U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and President Donald Trump have spoken out and supported the Iranian people. Does the URJ back the State Department and Trump in supporting the Iranian people’s movement, especially affecting women and the LGBTQ community, or does it follow the Obama wait-and-see policy?

  • United Nations — Haley recently condemned the United Nations’ anti-Zionist/anti-Semitic actions and has vowed to cut U.S. financial support, currently 22 percent of the U.N. budget, unless changes are made. Of the 97 human rights resolutions passed by the General Assembly from 2012 to 2015, 83 targeted Israel. No resolutions cited Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Russia or China. The Obama administration in its waning days refused to veto a U.N. Security Council resolution unbelievably asserting Palestinian rights to Jerusalem’s Old City, including the Western Wall, ignoring Israel’s rights. What is the URJ’s position on U.N. abuse of Israel and all Jews and a cut of U.S. support to bring change and positive action?
  • Taylor Force Act — Congress is trying to pass the Taylor Force Act, which would cut U.S. aid to the Palestinians unless they halt subsidies to the families of Palestinian terrorists who kill or maim Israelis. Also, the State Department is reducing funding of the Palestinian Authority if it doesn’t engage in peace negotiations. Does the URJ support the threat of U.S. aid cuts to reduce attacks against Israel and to bring about a negotiated settlement?

I hope Rabbi Jacobs has a safe trip to Atlanta and a Shabbat shalom when he comes to Sinai. I hope he will find time to discuss these questions Jan. 19 or in the near future.

— Jeffrey Kunkes, Sandy Springs

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