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Rabbis join Obama support group

by Tom Tugend

August 22, 2012 | 3:02 pm

President Barack Obama in Reno, Nev., on Aug. 21. Photo by REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

President Barack Obama in Reno, Nev., on Aug. 21. Photo by REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Some 613 American rabbis, ranging across all denominations, have signed up as supporters of Rabbis for Obama, it was announced Tuesday by the Obama for America campaign.

The new figure represents more than twice the number of supporters than when the organization was launched in 2008, said Ira Forman, Jewish Outreach director for the Obama campaign.

California leads the list of states with 116 signatories, or 18.9 percent of the total, followed by New York state with 97 rabbis.

The organization is led by Rabbis Steven Bob and Sam Gordon, both of Illinois, and Burt Visotzky of New York City.

Among the organization’s co-chairs are Los Angeles scholars Rabbi Elliot Dorff of the American Jewish University and Rabbi Richard N. Levy of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

The Los Angeles area is represented by 46 signatories.

In his online announcement, Forman said, “The list of rabbis represents a broad group of respected Jewish leaders from all parts of the country. These rabbis mirror the diversity of American Jewry. Their ringing endorsement of President Obama speaks volumes about the president’s deep commitment to the security of the State of Israel and his dedication to a policy agenda that represents the values of the overwhelming majority of the American Jewish community.”

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