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About Rabbi Eric Yoffie

Rabbi Eric Yoffie is a writer, lecturer, internationally-known religious leader and President Emeritus of the Union for Reform Judaism.  He has presented at the World Economic Forum in Davos, and has appeared on Fox News, CNN, and many other news outlets. He writes regularly for TimeThe Huffington PostThe Jerusalem Post and the Israeli daily Haaretz and is quoted frequently in the general and Jewish press.

A bold, compelling, and inspiring speaker, Rabbi Yoffie lectures at Eric at NFTYuniversities and congregations on Israel and the Middle East, interfaith relations, social justice, American Religious Life and American Jewish Life.

In his writings, Rabbi Yoffie has addressed matters of belief and spirituality as they impact Americans of all faiths and of no faith. He has been an articulate advocate for a modern and thoughtful approach to American religious life. He has applied his progressive religious point of view, rooted in Biblical text and religious teaching, to issues of sin, atheism, and community as well as contemporary matters such as immigration and healthcare.

Rabbi Yoffie has devoted much of his career to promoting understanding among religious groups. An expert in interfaith relations, he is known for his many “firsts.”  He was the first rabbi to address the students and faculty of the Rev. Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University; the first major Jewish leader to speak at the convention of the Islamic Society of North America; and the first Jew ever to address the Church-wide Assembly of the Evangelical Church of America. He holds an honorary degree from Assumption College in Worcester, MA, where he delivered a groundbreaking address on Catholic-Jewish relations.

Rabbi Yoffie also has been deeply involved in issues of social justice. A prominent spokesperson for sensible gun control, he was the only religious leader to speak at the Million Mom March in Washington, DC.

Rabbi Yoffie is an expert on Modern Israel, and has written widely on issues of peace and security in Israel and on relations between Israel and America and between Israelis and American Jews.  He has been a major force in formulating American Jewish attitudes on issues of religious freedom and was instrumental in the founding of the Israel Religious Action Center, the primary advocacy group for religious pluralism in the Jewish State. For 30 years he has met regularly with Israel’s top leaders.

SPEAKING TOPICS

Rabbi Eric Yoffie speaks on a number of topics. If you do not see the topic you are considering, please fill out the Contact Form and Rabbi Yoffie will be in touch with you.

Interfaith Relations

  • Why interfaith relations don’t work—and what we can do about it
  • When people of faith discuss Israel: The problems and possibilities of dealing with Israel in interfaith dialogue
  • Divisions on divestment: Jews and Protestants struggle over Israel
  • The complexities of dialogue and doing: Jews and Catholics, Jews and Protestants, Jews and Evangelicals
Israel and the Middle East
  • How to talk about Israel on campus: Making the case for Israel, two states, and the possibility of peace
  • How Israel deals with danger: the threat of Iran, the Syrian civil war, and the Arab Spring
  • Revolution in the making: The changing face of religion and religious freedom in the Jewish State
  • There is no Judaism without Israel: Understanding the role of Israel in Jewish life
  • Getting it right: how Americans and Israelis and American Jews and Israeli Jews can finally understand each other

Leadership and Religion

  • Righteousness vs. Self-righteousness: Examining political and religious leadership
  • Leadership matters: Principles of leadership for political, business, and organizational leaders
  • Approaches to leadership for people of faith

American Jewish Life

  • The bizarre story of American Jews: demographically complicated, religiously diverse, stronger than ever and still at risk
  • The American Jewish Revolution:  Making the case for a Jewish Golden Age
  • Liberal Judaism in America: The distinct beliefs, commitments, and challenges of American Jewry’s largest religious group
  • Social justice and American Jews: Are Jews still passionate about social justice and can it sustain them?
American Religious Life

  • What it means to be a liberal person of faith
  • Religion is divisive and conservative—and a very good thing
  • Spirituality is fine—but religion is better