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Liberty University Speech

Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA  5/26/07 Thank you, Reverend Falwell, for your gracious invitation. I am honored to address the students of this great university. I stand before you as the leader of the largest Jewish religious movement in America, consisting of 920 congregations and 1.5 million Jews. While we have our differences to be sure, as religious Americans there is much that we share at this critical moment in our country’s history. First and foremost, we share a profound commitment to the security and well-being of the State of Israel. In recent months, Israelis have elected a...
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Barack Obama Introduction

URJ Biennial, National Harbor, MD 12/16/11 You may be wondering why I called you here today. I will not pretend to introduce President Barack Obama as if you do not know who he is. You do. The world does. And we know that across the panorama of American history, the sea-changes of our national journey are often marked by extraordinary people. This President, facing some of the most daunting economic and foreign policy challenges of our lifetimes, is just such a person. I am told that the President has arrived and is listening as he prepares to join us. Allow me, Mr. President, to introduce our Movement...
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On Fox News Contraception Debate

When Rabbi Eric Yoffie and Father John Morris appeared on Fox News’ Sean Hannity Show on Februray 2, 2012, to discuss the obligations of religious institutions regarding contraception under the new healthcare mandate.
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Million Mom March Gun-Control

Washington, DC  05/14/00 Is the need for sensible gun-control a religious issue? You bet it is. The indiscriminate distribution of guns is an offense against God and humanity. Controlling guns is not only a political matter, it is a solemn religious obligation. Our gun-flooded society has turned weapons into idols, and the worship of idols must be recognized for what it is-blasphemy. And the only appropriate religious response to blasphemy is sustained moral outrage. Our legislators and the gun lobby want to blame everyone but themselves. The problem, they say, is media violence: violent action films,...
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Future of our Jewish Children

URJ Biennial, National Harbor, MD  12/15/11 (This is the complete text. The video is an excerpt.) We gather again on this Shabbat as a Reform family – experiencing together these precious hours of sacred time, praying as only we know how. Shabbat, above all, is a time for celebration and praising God – and that is what we have done. As usual at these services, we do it mostly through music. We sing because we are commanded to sing; because music reaches deep down into the crevices of our souls and connects us to God; because music is God’s gift that summons our emotions and ties us...
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