Blog Post

Becket Fund Congratulates Rabbi Saperstein on Nomination

Media Contact

Ryan Colby 202-349-7219

Today President Obama announced his intent to nominate Rabbi David Nathan Saperstein to the position of Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, a position within the U.S. State Department.The Becket Fund congratulates Rabbi Saperstein on his pending nomination. In his role as Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Rabbi Saperstein has frequently supported religious liberty in general and clients of the Becket Fund in particular, both through amicus briefs and public statements. For example, Rabbi Saperstein and the Religious Action Center supported the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, a Becket Fund client in Tennessee, in its struggle to build a new mosque in the face of opposition from neighbors. At the time Rabbi Saperstein explained, “An attack on one religion is an attack on all religions.”

Saperstein also supported another Becket Fund client, Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church, in its landmark Supreme Court case. In that case the Supreme Court unanimously upheld the right of religious institutions to choose their own ministers free from undue government interference. After the decision was handed down, Saperstein released a statement in support of the Church. He wrote, “We are encouraged by the Supreme Court’s robust interpretation of the ‘ministerial exception’ and the recognition of the right of religious institutions to determine who can act as their clergy.”

While the Becket Fund has not agreed with Rabbi Saperstein on every issue, his commitment—and Reform Judaism’s commitment—to the quintessentially American idea of religious liberty for all should be welcomed by all people of good faith.

We congratulate Rabbi Saperstein on his nomination, and should he be confirmed, we look forward to working with him in his role as Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom.