(JTA) — The Board of Trustees of the Union for Reform Judaism unanimously elected Rabbi Richard Jacobs to serve as its next president.
Jacob’s election on Sunday makes him the fourth person to hold the office since its creation in 1943. Previous presidents were Rabbis Maurice Eisendrath, Alexander Schindler and Eric Yoffie.
Jacobs currently serves as Senior Rabbi at Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, NY, and will assume the presidency of the Union for Reform Judaism in 2012.He was nominated earlier this year.
"As I prepare to leave the congregational rabbinate, I believe more than ever that vibrant synagogues are the key to the Jewish future. I will be the first URJ President who has spent decades as a congregational rabbi; synagogues are what I know and love," Jacobs told the board.
Jacobs has been attacked for not being sufficiently "pro-Israel;" he currently serves on the boards of the rabbinic cabinet of J Street and the board of the New Israel Fund, both left-leaning organizations.