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Chicago rabbis organize nationwide Rabbis for Obama group, 300 sign on [VIDEO]

Rabbis: We feel it is our duty as Jewish leaders to fight for the truth and against Lashon Hara

By Eric Fingerhut

September 10, 2008 | 1:58 am

Rabbi Sam Gordon spoke out against anti-Obama smears last January



More than 300 rabbis from across the country and across the denominations are publicly backing Barack Obama for president.

According to a press release, Rabbis for Obama is a “grassroots effort” founded by two rabbis from Obama’s home state of Illinois, Rabbi Sam Gordon of Wilmette, and Rabbi Steven Bob of Glen Ellyn, and includes prominent figures such as American Jewish University rector Rabbi Elliot Dorf, former Central Conference of American Rabbis president Rabbi Janet Marder and Rabbi Burton Visotzky, professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Also on the list, named as one of the organization’s vice chairs, is Rabbi Ethan Tucker — stepson of the head of the honorary Senate rabbis for McCain, Joe Lieberman.

The rabbis write that Obama “has been inspired by Jewish values such as Tikkun Olam and the pursuit of justice, and he is deeply committed as well to a civil discourse between opposing arguments.” They also note the smear campaign against the Democrat and say “we feel it is our duty as Jewish leaders to fight for the truth and against Lashon Hara.”



The full letter and list of signatories is here (area rabbis denoted by *):

Dear Friends:

As rabbis who believe that Barack Obama is the best candidate to be President of the United States, we have formed “Rabbis for Obama” as a grassroots organization of rabbis from all movements and backgrounds.

We join together to support Senator Obama for President, and we do so in the belief that he will best support the issues important to us in the Jewish community.

Some of us know Senator Obama personally, and we recognize that he has been inspired by Jewish values such as Tikkun Olam and the pursuit of justice, and he is deeply committed as well to a civil discourse between opposing arguments. We also know that Senator Obama will inspire young people, both in the Jewish community and the wider American community, to become more involved in improving this country and repairing the world.

We know that Barack Obama’s longstanding, stalwart support for Israel is a testament to his own principles as well as the strong bi-partisan pro-Israel movement in America, and we fear that the attempts by some to use Israel as a wedge issue against him - unjustifiably - is dangerous in that it politicizes the pro-Israel position. Most importantly it has completely distorted Senator Obama’s record. With his tough but pragmatic approach to Iran, Senator Obama is in the best position to restore faith in America as a leader in the fight against serious threats to Israel, our allies, and the United States.

Senator Barack Obama inspires in us the hope for an America once more called to its best values. We know him to be a man of incredible integrity, born of a deep and abiding spiritual faith based on the teachings of the Hebrew Prophets, and committed to achieving a world of peace with justice for all people.

We are fully aware that a smear campaign against Senator Obama has been waged in the Jewish community, and we feel it is our duty as Jewish leaders to fight for the truth and against Lashon Hara.

Senator Obama has been viciously attacked using innuendoes, rumors, and guilt by association, and we urge our fellow American Jews to judge Senator Obama based on his own record and the clear statements he has made about his personal beliefs and principles. Continuing efforts to defame him and distort his record help perpetuate a deeply disturbing political process in our country.

We hope that the members of the American Jewish community will seek to learn more about the Senator, his story, and his positions on issues. Senator Obama’s record and background clearly demonstrate that he shares our commitment to change the direction of this country, both at home and around the globe. Thank you,

Rabbi Sam Gordon, National Co-Chair, Rabbis for Obama
Rabbi Steve Bob, National Co-Chair, Rabbis for Obama

Vice-Chairs:
Rabbi Rachel Cowan, New York, NY
Rabbi Ellen Weinberg Dreyfus, Homewood, IL
* Rabbi Elliot Dorff, Los Angeles, CA
Rabbi Steve Foster, Denver, CO
Rabbi Dayle Friedman, Philadelphia, PA
* Rabbi Laura Geller, Los Angeles, CA
Rabbi Don Gluckman, Pikesville, MD
Rabbi Nancy Fuchs Kreimer, Wyncote, PA
Rabbi Charles Kroloff, Westfield, NJ
* Rabbi Richard N. Levy, Encino, CA
Rabbi Brian Lurie, San Francisco, CA
Rabbi Rachel Mikva, Rye Brook, NY
Rabbi Jack Moline, Alexandria, VA
Rabbi Charles Simon, New York, NY
Rabbi David Teutsch, Philadelphia, PA
Rabbi Burt Visotzky, New York, NY
Rabbi Ethan Tucker, New York, NY

Members:
* Rabbi Jonathan Aaron, Los Angeles, CA
Rabbi Bruce Abrams, Cleveland Heights, OH
Rabbi David Adelson, New York, NY
Rabbi Adam M. Allenberg, Mountain View, CA
Rabbi Victor Appell, New York, NY
Rabbi Stephen A. Arnold, S. Easton, MA
Rabbi Aryeh Azriel, Omaha, NE
Rabbi Larry Bach, El Paso, TX
Rabbi Andy Bachman, Brooklyn, NY
Rabbi Chava Bahle, Suttons Bay, MI
Rabbi Andrew Baker, Washington, D.C.
Rabbi Michael Barenbaum, Marin, CA
Rabbi Benjy Bar-Lev, Cincinnati, OH
Rabbi Lewis Barth, Encino, CA
Rabbi Morris Barzilai, New Rochelle, NY
Rabbi Elliot Baskin, Greenwood Village, CO
Rabbi Renee Bauer, Madison, WI
Rabbi Pamela Frydman Baugh, San Francisco, CA
* Rabbi Leonard I. Beerman, Los Angeles, CA
Rabbi Annie Belford, St. Louis, MO
* Rabbi Karen Bender, Tarzana, CA
Rabbi Donald R. Berlin, St. Michaels, MD
* Rabbi Linda Bertenthal, Los Angeles, CA
Rabbi Marjorie Berman, Philadelphia PA
Rabbi Phyllis Berman, Philadelphia, PA
Rabbi Jonathan Biatch, Madison, WI
Rabbi Michael Birnholz, Vero Beach, FL
Rabbi Aaron B. Bisno, Pittsburgh, PA
Rabbi Joshua Boettiger, Bennington, VA
Rabbi Terry Bookman, Miami, Fl
Rabbi Jill Borodin, Seattle, WA
Rabbi Neal Borovitz, River Edge, NJ
* Rabbi Sara Brandes, Los Angeles, CA
Rabbi Herbert Bronstein, Glencoe, IL
Rabbi Lester Bronstein, White Plains, NY
Rabbi Angela Buchdahl, New York, NY
Rabbi Gustav Buchdahl, Baltimore, MD
Rabbi Caryn Broitman, W. Tisbury, MA
Rabbi Daniel M. Bronstein, Brooklyn, NY
Rabbi Carol Caine Berkeley, CA
Rabbi Debra S. Cantor Newington, CT
* Rabbi Kenneth Chasen, Los Angeles, CA
Rabbi Steven Chester, Oakland, CA
Rabbi Hillel Cohn, San Bernardino, CA
Rabbi David J. Cooper, Piedmont, CA
Rabbi Julian I. Cook, Denver, CO
Rabbi Mychal Copeland, Stanford, CA
Rabbi Laurie Coskey, Poway, CA
Rabbi Meryl M. Crean, Media, PA
Rabbi Menachem Creditor, Berkeley, CA
* Rabbi William Cutter, Los Angeles, CO
Rabbi Eric Cytryn, Harrisburg, PA
Rabbi Harry K Danziger, Germantown, TN
Rabbi Andrew Davids, Croton On Hudson, NY
* Rabbi Stanley Davids, Santa Monica, CA
Rabbi Jerome Davidson, Kings Point, NY
Rabbi Eliezer Diamond, Teaneck, NJ
Rabbi Fred Dobb, Bethesda, MD
Rabbi William Dreskin, Greenburgh, NY
Rabbi Renee Edelman, South Orange, NJ
Rabbi Amy Eilberg, St. Paul, MN
Rabbi Bruce Elder, Highland Park, IL
Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell, Philadelphia, PA
Rabbi Shira Koch Epstein, Brooklyn, NY
Rabbi Daniel Fellman, East Brunswick, NJ
Rabbi Brian Field, Denver CO
Rabbi Daniel Fink, Boise, ID
* Rabbi Reuven Firestone, Los Angeles, CA
Rabbi Alan Flam, Barrington, RI
Rabbi Nancy Flam, Northampton, MA
Rabbi Ellen Flax, New York, NY
Rabbi Michael Friedland, South Bend, IN
Rabbi Joan S. Friedman, Wooster, OH
Rabbi Marsha Friedman, Elkins Park, PA
Rabbi Ronne Friedman, Brookline, MA
Rabbi Stacy Friedman, San Rafael, CA
Rabbi Randy Fleisher St. Louis, MO
Rabbi Serena Fujita, Lewisburg, PA
Rabbi Jack S. Gabriel, Sonoma, CA
Rabbi Ruth Gais, Summit, NJ
Rabbi Hillel Gamoran, Seattle, WA
* Rabbi Robert T. Gan, Los Angeles, CA
Rabbi Rachel Gartner, Montclair, NJ
Rabbi Ruth Gelfarb, New York, NY
Rabbi Jonathan Gerard, Easton, PA
Rabbi Gary Gerson, Oak Park, IL
Rabbi Gordon Gladstone, Bayonne NJ
* Rabbi Miriyam Glazer, Los Angeles, CA
Rabbi Steve Glazer, Herndon, VA
Rabbi Mark Glickman, Woodinville, WA
Rabbi Arnie Gluck, Skillman, NJ
Rabbi Shai Gluskin, Philadelphia, PA
Rabbi Rosalind Gold, Reston, VA
Rabbi Gerald A. Goldman, Holyoke, MA
Rabbi James Stone Goodman, St. Louis, MO
Rabbi Joseph Goldman, Denver, CO
Rabbi Andrea Goldstein, St. Louis, MO
* Rabbi Jerrold Goldstein, Sherman Oaks, CA
Rabbi Jeffrey W. Goldwasser, Williamstown, MA
Rabbi Stephen Goodman, Garden City, NY
Rabbi Donald Goor, Tarzana, CA
Rabbi Seth William Goren, Washington, DC
* Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater, Pasadena, CA
Rabbi Alan Greenbaum, Grass Valley, CA
Rabbi C. Michelle Greenberg, Northfield, IL
Rabbi David Greenspoon, Baltimore, MD
Rabbi Suzanne Griffel, Chicago, IL
Rabbi Daniel Gropper, Rye, NY
Rabbi Susan Grossman, Columbia, MD
Rabbi Joshua Gutoff, Brooklyn, NY
Rabbi Debra Hachen, Demarest, NJ
Rabbi Shoshana Hantman, Katonah, NY
Rabbi Maurice Harris, Eugene, OR
Rabbi Robert Harris, White Plains, NY
* Rabbi Alan Henkin, Northridge, CA
Rabbi Jeffrey Hoffman, White Plains, NY
Rabbi Elliot Holin, Elkins Park, PA
Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt, New Haven, CT
Rabbi Linda Holtzman, Philadelphia, PA
Rabbi Margaret Holub, Mendecino, CA
Rabbi Abie Ingber, Cincinnati, OH
* Rabbi Steven B. Jacobs, Woodland Hills, CA
Rabbi Devorah Jacobson, Amherst, MA
Rabbi Howard L. Jaffe, Lexington, MA
Rabbi Jennifer Jaech, Peekskill NY
Rabbi Rebecca Joseph, New York, NY
Rabbi Bruce Kadden, Tacoma, WA
Rabbi Amy Kalmanofsky, New York, NY
Rabbi Jeremy Kalmanofsky, New York, NY
* Rabbi Ben Kamin, Del Mar, CA
Rabbi Debra Newman Kamin, Highland Park, IL
Rabbi Susan Kanoff, Philadelphia, PA
Rabbi Ken Kanter, Cincinnati, OH
Rabbi Patricia Karlin-Neumann, Palo Alto, CA
Rabbi Henry Jay Karp, Davenport, IA
Rabbi Mario Karpuj, Sandy Springs, GA
Rabbi Nancy Kasten, Dallas, TX
* Rabbi Jim Kaufman, Valley Village, CA
Rabbi David Kay, Orlando, Florida
Rabbi Benjamin G. Kelsen, Teaneck, NJ
Rabbi Jimmy Kessler, Galveston, TX
Rabbi Ralph P. Kingsley, Aventura, FL
Rabbi Andrew Klein, Barrington, RI
Rabbi Jason Klein, Baltimore, MD
* Rabbi Jonathan Klein, Los Angeles, CA
Rabbi Lori Klein, Capitola, CA
Rabbi Myriam Klotz, Bala Cynwyd, PA
Rabbi Norman Koch, New Milford, CT
Rabbi Debora Kohn, Berkeley, CA
Rabbi Stephanie D. Kolin, Boston, MA
Rabbi Neil E Kominsky, Brookline, MA
Rabbi Sandford Kopnick, Cincinnati, OH
Rabbi Ira Korinow, Haverhill, MA
Rabbi Allen Krause, Mission Viejo, CA
Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, San Francisco, CA
Rabbi Noa Kushner, San Anselmo, CA
Rabbi Steven Kushner, Montclair, NJ
Rabbi Harold Kudan, Glencoe, IL
Rabbi Judith Kummer, Roslindale, MA
* Rabbi Gail Labovitz, Los Angeles, CA
* Rabbi Susan Laemmle, Los Angeles, CA
Rabbi Lynne Landsberg, Washington, D.C.
Rabbi Shira Lander, Baltimore, MD
Rabbi Michael Adam Latz, Seattle, WA
Rabbi Alan LaPayover, Philadelphia, PA
Rabbi William Lebeau, New York, NY
Rabbi Morton Leifman, New York, NY
Rabbi Michael Lerner, San Francisco, CA
Rabbi Carol Levithan, New York, NY
Rabbi Charles S. Levi, Deerfield, IL
Rabbi Yael Levy, Philadelphia, PA
Rabbi Joel Levine, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Rabbi Valerie Lieber, Brooklyn, NY
Rabbi Rebecca Lillian, Chicago, IL
Rabbi John A. Linder, Phoenix, AZ
Rabbi Steven Lowenstein, Glencoe, IL
Rabbi Jonathan Malamy, White Plains, NY
Rabbi Jonathan Z. Maltzman, North Bethesda, MD
Rabbi Howard Mandell, Virginia Beach, VA
Rabbi Janet Marder, Palo Alto, CA
Rabbi Susan Marks, Sarasota, FL
Rabbi Simeon Maslin, Philadelphia, PA
Rabbi J. Rolando Matalon, New York, NY
Rabbi Dennis N. Math, New York, NY
Rabbi Gary Mazo, Marstons Mills, MA
Rabbi Bernard Mehlman, Brookline, MA
Rabbi Shira Milgrom, White Plains, NY
Rabbi Bennett Miller, Monroe Township, NJ
Rabbi Joshua Minkin, Brooklyn, NY
Rabbi Victor Mirelman, River Forest, IL
Rabbi Michael A. Monson, West Orange, NJ
Rabbi Leon A. Morris, New York, NY
Rabbi Jay Henry Moses, New York, NY
* Rabbi Dan Moskovitz, Tarzana, CA
Rabbi Anat Moskowitz, Denver, CO
Rabbi Shelly Moss, Sun City, AZ
* Rabbi Perry Netter, Los Angeles, CA
Rabbi Avi S. Olitzky, St. Louis Park, MN
Rabbi Kerry M. Olitzky, New York, NY
Rabbi Shaul Osadchey, Houston, TX
Rabbi Melinda Panken, Manalapan, NJ
* Rabbi Julie Pelc, Venice, CA
Rabbi Daniel Plotkin, St. Louis, MO
Rabbi Dan Polish, Poughkeepsie, NY
Rabbi Jeffrey Portman, Iowa City, IA
Rabbi Linda Potemken, Wynnewood, PA
Rabbi Amber Powers, Philadelphia, PA
Rabbi Dan Rabishaw, Northbrook, IL
* Rabbi Bruce Raff, Woodland Hills, CA
Rabbi Avram I. Reisner, Baltimore, MD
Rabbi Michael Remson, Kenosha, WI
Rabbi Dorothy A. Richman, Berkeley, CA
Rabbi Yair Robinson, Holland, PA
Rabbi Liz Rolle, Stamford, CT
Rabbi Norman Roman, West Bloomfield, MI
Rabbi Jack Romberg, Tallahassee, FL
Rabbi Carnie Shalom Rose, Creve Coeur, MO
Rabbi David Rosenn, New York, NY
Rabbi Jennie Rosenn, New York, NY
Rabbi Donald B. Rossoff, Morristown, NJ
Rabbi Dennis S. Ross, Worcester, MA
Rabbi Gloria Rubin, Oakland, NJ
Rabbi Sarah Niebuhr Rubin, Keene, NH
* Rabbi JB Sacks-Rosen, Los Angeles, CA
Rabbi Selig Salkowitz, Fair Lawn, NJ
Rabbi Joanna Samuels, New York, NY
Rabbi David Sandmel, Chicago, IL
Rabbi Marty Scharf, Scottsdale, AZ
Rabbi Phil Schechter, Stamford CT
Rabbi Leonard A. Schoolman, New York, NY
Rabbi Bob Schreibman, Lincolnshire, IL
Rabbi Barry Schwartz, Cherry Hill, NJ
Rabbi Allen Secher, Whitefish, MA
Rabbi Ron Segal, Atlanta, GA
Rabbi Gerry Serotta, Chevy Chase, MD
Rabbi Ike Serotta, Deerfield, IL
Rabbi Mark Dov Shapiro, Longmeadow, MA
Rabbi Mark S. Shapiro, Glenview, IL
Rabbi Richard J. Shapiro, Port Washington, NY
Rabbi Roxanne Shapiro, Milwaukee, WI
Rabbi Leonard Sharzer, New York, NY
* Rabbi John Sherwood, Oxnard, CA
Rabbi Howard Siegel, Houston, TX
Rabbi Howard Singer, Hinsdale, MA
Rabbi Jonathan Singer, Seattle, WA
* Rabbi Suzanne Singer, Los Angeles, CA
Rabbi Eric J. Siroka, South Bend, IN
Rabbi Eleanor Smith, Evanston, IL
Rabbi David Sofian, Dayton, OH
* Rabbi Ruth Sohn, Los Angeles, CA
Rabbi Myra Soifer, Reno, NV
Rabbi Felicia L. Sol, New York, NY
Rabbi Rav Soloff, Lansdale, PA
Rabbi Eric M. Solomon, Raleigh, NC
Rabbi Jennifer R. Solomon, Raleigh, NC
Rabbi Marla Spanjer, Fort Wayne, IN
Rabbi Bernard Spielman, Boynton Beach, FL
Rabbi Judy Spicehandler, Glencoe, IL
Rabbi Reena Spicehandler, Philadelphia, PA
Rabbi David Spitz, Vernon Hills, IL
Rabbi Moishe Steigmann, Mamaroneck, NY
Rabbi Margot Stein, Philadelphia, PA
* Rabbi Ron Stern, Los Angeles, CA
Rabbi Jeffrey Stiffman, St. Louis, MO
Rabbi Kurt Stone, Coral Springs, FL
Rabbi Elliot Strom, Yardley, PA
Rabbi Joshua Strom, Brooklyn, NY
Rabbi Shira Stutman, Philadelphia, PA
Rabbi Alvin M. Sugarman, Atlanta, GA
Rabbi Brooks Susman, Freehold, NJ
Rabbi Karen Sussan
Rabbi Susan Talve, St. Louis, MO
Rabbi Laurie Hahn Tapper, Redwood City, CA
Rabbi Joshua S. Taub, St. Louis, MO
Rabbi Michael Tayvah, Portland, OR
Rabbi Jeffrey M. Marker, Brooklyn, NY
Rabbi Abby Treu, New York, NY
Rabbi Leonard B. Troupp, Melville, NY
Rabbi Annie Tucker, Princeton, NJ
Rabbi Brian Walt, West Tisbury, MA
Rabbi Gerry Walter, Cincinnati, OH
Rabbi Andrew Warmflash, Hewlett, NY
Rabbi Pamela Wax, Hartsdale, NY
Rabbi Joshua Waxman, Fort Washington, PA
Rabbi Michael Weinberg, Evanston, IL
Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg, Amherst, MA
Rabbi Martin Weiner, San Francisco, CA
Rabbi David M. Weis, Northfield, NJ
Rabbi Simkha Y. Weintraub, Brooklyn, NY
Rabbi Binah Wing Rockford, IL
Rabbi Arnold Jacob Wolf, Chicago, IL
Rabbi Leo R. Wolkow, Homewood, IL
Rabbi Stanley Yedwab, Redmond, WA
Rabbi Ira Youdovin, Chicago, IL
Rabbi Sara Zacharia, Newton Centre, MA
Rabbi Joel H Zaiman, Baltimore, MD
Rabbi Mary L. Zamore, Westfield, NJ
Rabbi Deborah Zecher, Great Barrington, MA
Rabbi Elaine Zecher, Newton, MA
Rabbi Michael Zedek, Chicago, IL
Rabbi Daniel G. Zemel, Washington, DC
Rabbi Brian Zimmerman, Dallas, TX
Rabbi David Zucker, Aurora, CO
Rabbi Josh Zweiback, Los Altos, CA

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