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David Saperstein

Center for Jewish Civilization


This individual is not a direct affiliate of the Berkley Center. They previously worked with one or more of our core projects or programs. Please contact the individual at their home institution.

David Saperstein was the U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom from January 2015 to January 2017. He is currently is an adjunct professor with the Center for Jewish Civilization in the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and previously was a senior research fellow of the Religious Freedom Research Project at the Berkley Center. An ordained rabbi, he served for several decades as the director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism representing the public policy positions of the Reform Jewish Movement, the largest segment of American Jewry, to the government and leading the movement’s efforts to strengthen social justice programming in synagogues across North America. Over the years, he headed several national religious coalitions, including co-chairing the Coalition to Preserve Religious Liberty, and served on various national boards, among them the NAACP, People for the American Way, and the World Faiths Development Dialogue. In 1999 and 2000, Saperstein served as the first chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. He was a crucial part of the faith-based movement that supported passage of the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act. A frequent media commentator on religion and public life, Saperstein is also an attorney and taught, for over 30 years, seminars on First Amendment law and Jewish law at Georgetown University Law Center.

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