– January 5, 2012 — Rabbi Ronald B.B. Symons of Temple Sinai, Pitts¬burgh PA, has been elected President of the Gamaliel National Clergy Caucus. Rabbi Symons’ election was celebrated at the December 2011 International Leadership As¬sembly and 25th Anniversary Gala of the Gamaliel Foundation in the presence of the Reverend Dr. James Forbes of Riverside Church, NY, and Benjamin Jealous of the NAACP.
The Gamaliel Foundation (www.gamaliel.org
) is an international congregation-based organizing network with affiliates in eighteen U.S. states as well as South Africa and Great Britain. Gamaliel’s organizing work draws on struggles for justice by people of faith spanning many nations, creeds, and cultures. Their work draws on the Hebrew Scriptures, the Christian Scriptures, the Qu’ran, the founding principles of American democracy, the U.S. civil rights movement, and many other sources. Above all, their work begins and ends in an expression of the personal faith and values of its members.
The Gamaliel National Clergy Caucus unites local groups of clergy in each of the affili¬ates who are in on-going discussion about the theological underpinnings of their social justice work. As president, Rabbi Symons hopes to strengthen each of those groups by providing them and their leaders with the tools to engage with other clergy caucuses around the country. Rabbi Symons is the first rabbi to serve in this role.
In Pittsburgh, Rabbi Symons represents Temple Sinai on the executive committee of the Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network (www.piin.org
). Temple Sinai is the longest standing Jewish member of the more than forty local congregations of PIIN, the local Gamaliel affiliate. PIIN is currently focusing its energy on fighting for good jobs in Pitts¬burgh, improving education efforts for all students in the Pittsburgh Public Schools, ensuring civil rights for immigrants and a more responsive public transportation system in southwestern Pennsylvania. In particular, Rabbi Symons has been instrumentally in¬volved with Mayor Ravenstahl and Police Chief Harper to diversify the Pittsburgh Police force and train the force to better work with the diverse population of Pittsburgh.
At Temple Sinai (www.templesinaipgh.org), Rabbi Symons works with lay leaders to ensure that Temple Sinai is a Just Congregation as designated by the Union for Reform Judaism (http://urj.org/socialaction/training/justcongregations/). After a thor-ough listening campaign, the congregation has committed its efforts to improving care for senior citizens in the local Charles Morris Nursing Home, safeguarding the environ¬ment, improving public transportation and providing quality education for all students in Pittsburgh Public Schools. Rabbi Symons serves as the Director of the Tikkun Olam Cen¬ter for Jewish Social Justice at Temple Sinai.
Temple Sinai is a Reform Jewish congregation in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pitts¬burgh, affiliated with the Union for Reform Judaism. Our mission is to provide a welcom¬ing and caring spiritual community where we gather, study and worship as Reform Jews. We welcome interfaith families and those with diverse lifestyles.
Contact: Linda Raden, Marketing and Communications Manager
Phone: 412.421.9715, x 21 Fax: 412.421.8430
Rabbi Symons GNCC.pdf