340 U.S. rabbis sign letter supporting Iran deal


In a letter to Congress, 340 American rabbis from the major streams of Judaism expressed support for the Iran nuclear deal.

The letter sent Monday urges the House of Representatives and Senate to endorse the agreement, in which sanctions are lifted in exchange for restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program.

Noting that “we are deeply concerned with the impression that the leadership of the American Jewish community is united in opposition to the agreement,” the letter states, “We, along with many other Jewish leaders, fully support this historic nuclear accord.”

In a news release issued by Ameinu, a liberal Zionist organization, one of the letter’s signatories, Rabbi Steven Bob of Glen Ellyn, Ill., said, “We commend the U.S. and the other negotiating teams for their dedication to reaching an agreement to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.  This deal is good for the United States and our allies in the region, and is the best arrangement possible given current international realities.”


Rabbi Samuel Gordon of Wilmette, Ill., said in the news release that if Congress rejects the deal, “the consequences for the United States, Israel, the Jewish community and the world will be significant.”

“We fear that the outcome will be the collapse of the international sanctions regime, an Iranian race for nuclear weapons and an associated arms race in the Middle East and isolation of Israel and the United States from international partners,” Gordon said.

Numerous American Jewish organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League and American Jewish Committee, have publicly opposed the Iran deal negotiated between Iran and six major powers. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee is lobbying the Congress to reject the deal and has spent millions of dollars in its campaign.

Congress has until mid-September to decide whether to reject the deal. President Barack Obama is campaigning for the deal, while the Republicans mostly oppose the deal.

Among local rabbis signing the letter are Nina Beth Cardin of Pikesville, an author and Jewish environmental activist; Susan Grossman of Beth Shalom Congregation in Columbia; Leila Gal Berner of Kol Ami The Northern Virginia Reconstructionist Community; Lynne F. Landsberg of Staunton, Va., the senior adviser on disability rights at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism; and Gerald Serotta, executive director of the InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington.

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  1. Far more of us have signed a letter in opposition to the “Deal.” What’s the best way to get 500 rabbis to come out in opposition? Get 340 to come out in support!


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