Scarsdale’s Rabbi Jacobs to move to the national stage

Rabbi Richard Jacobs, the well-known and well-liked leader of Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, has been named the next president of the Union for Reform Judaism.

As soon as I saw the announcement a few minutes ago, I thought “Well, this makes sense.”

Jacobs is an impressive guy, erudite and yet approachable. Many people have told me over the years how much he has inspired them.

Let’s face it: Running Westchester Reform for close to 20 years requires a special guy. It is a very large and influential congregation that is home to many successful, influential and vocal people.

Hey, it might be easier to head the URJ!

The URJ has about 900 member congregations, including a couple of dozen in the Lower Hudson Valley.

Jacobs’ nomination has to be approved by the URJ’s trustees in June. Then he’ll take over for retiring Rabbi Eric Yoffie, one of American Judaism’s most interesting and outspoken leaders, in 2012.

Reform Judaism is doing pretty well these days. It will be mighty interesting to see what Jacobs has to say and where he tries to take the movement.

Jacobs would become only the movement’s fourth president in the last 68 years. Until a few years ago, the URJ was known as the Union of American Hebrew Congregations.