Scholar-in Residence Weekend: Rabbi Eric Yoffie

Temple Sinai is pleased to welcome Rabbi Eric Yoffie, President Emeritus of the Union for Reform Judaism, as our Scholar-in Residence.

All are invited to join us for the following learning opportunites with Rabbi Yoffie:

 Friday November 16 at 8 p.m.

  • Rabbi Yoffie will speak at Shabbat evening services on “Why Reform Judaism,” discussing what Reform Judaism is today and why it is so vital to us and the world.

 Saturday, November 17 at 9 a.m.

  • Discussion to be led by Rabbi Yoffie on “Justice and Reform Judiasm: A Reform Jew’s Obligation to Change the World”

Sunday, November 18 at 9:30 a.m.

  • Special Brotherhood breakfast with Rabbi Yoffie addressing “Israel and Reform Judaism: Creating a Progressive Judaism in the Jewish State.”

About Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie 

Rabbi Eric YoffieRabbi Eric H. Yoffie is the President Emeritus of the Union for Reform Judaism, the congregational arm of the Reform Jewish Movement in North America. The URJ represents 1.5 million Reform Jews in more than 900 synagogues across the United States and Canada. 

Installed as president in June 1996, Rabbi Yoffie led the Reform Movement in exciting new directions, moving congregational life toward greater attention to Torah study and adult literacy. He spearheaded a major expansion of the URJ’s summer camping program. In 2005 he introduced the Sacred Choices curriculum to teach sexual ethics to teens in camps and congregations.

Rabbi Yoffie announced two worship initiatives. The first, in 1999, was designed to help congregations become “houses in which we pray with joy.” The second, eight years later, encouraged congregations to rethink their Shabbat morning worship and fostered Shabbat observance among individual Reform Jews.

Rabbi Yoffie has been a pioneer in interfaith relations and launched Movement-wide dialogue programs with both Christians and Muslims. In 2005, he was the first Jew to address the Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. In 2006, he accepted the invitation of the Rev. Jerry Falwell to address the students and faculty of Liberty University, where he spoke frankly of areas of agreement and disagreement. In 2007, Rabbi Yoffie was the first leader of a major Jewish organization to speak at the convention of the Islamic Society of North America.

Rabbi Yoffie has also been deeply involved in issues of social justice and community concern. A prominent spokesperson for sensible gun control, he was the only religious leader to speak at the Million Mom March in Washington, DC. He has also worked tirelessly on behalf of the Jewish state and the rights of Reform Jews in Israel, and meets frequently with Israel’s elected officials.

Raised in Worcester, MA, Rabbi Yoffie was ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York in 1974, and served congregations in Lynbrook, NY, and Durham, NC, before joining the Union in 1980. He and his wife Amy Jacobson Yoffie reside in Westfield, NJ, and have two children, Adina and Adam.

Rabbi Yoffie is a regular blogger for the Huffington Post and the Jerusalem Post.