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David Nathan Saperstein Edit Profile

educator , Lawyer , rabbi

David Nathan Saperstein, American rabbi, lawyer, educator. Named one of The Top 50 Rabbis in America, Newsweek Magazine, 2007. Board directors National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, since 1987, People for American Way, since 1990, Common Cause, 1988-1989, also others; chairman United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, since 1999.

Background

Saperstein, David Nathan was born on August 5, 1947 in New York City. Son of Harold Irving and Marcia Belle Saperstein.

Education

Bachelor, Cornell University, 1969. MHL, Hebrew Union College, 1972. Juris Doctor, American University, 1978.

Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), Lafayette College, 1997. Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), Hebrew Union College, 1998.

Career

There, he advocated on a broad range of social justice issues. He directed a staff who provided 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. He has been described as America’s most influential rabbi.

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. 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.

In February 2009, he was named to President Obama's Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Saperstein is also as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center. He is a graduate member in good standing of the Tau Epsilon Phi fraternity.

Achievements

  • In December 2014 Saperstein's appointment to the post won U.S. Senate confirmation.

Works

Religion

He served as the director and chief legal counsel at the Union for Reform Judaism's Religious Action Center for more than 30 years.

Politics

Saperstein succeeded Rabbi Richard G. Hirsch as leader of the Washington D.C.-based political lobbying arm of the North American Reform movement. 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.

Membership

Board directors National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, since 1987, People for American Way, since 1990, Common Cause, 1988-1989, also others. Chairman United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, since 1999.

Connections

Married Ellen Robin Weiss. Children: Daniel, Ari.

father:
Harold Irving

mother:
Marcia Belle Saperstein

spouse:
Ellen Robin Weiss

child:
Daniel Saperstein

child:
Ari Saperstein