FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 14, 2022
Manisha Sunil, West End Strategy Team
[email protected]; Phone: 202-417-0171
The Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush Named President and CEO of Interfaith Alliance
A prominent leader in the interfaith sphere, Rev. Raushenbush will take the helm at a critical moment for religious freedom and democracy
WASHINGTON—As the future of true religious freedom and democracy in America hangs in the balance, Interfaith Alliance announced today that The Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush has been named President and CEO of the organization. He will take up his position in September.
An ordained Baptist minister, Rev. Raushenbush has been a leader in the interfaith movement to protect freedom and preserve democracy. His leadership comes at a critical moment in this country as the recognized norms of our democracy are being challenged. With Rev. Raushenbush’s leadership, Interfaith Alliance will mobilize the moral power of millions of Americans of all faiths and none who refuse to let democracy and religious freedom in America die.
“America is at a crossroads. As the Religious Right works to tear down the boundary between religion and government, American democracy and the rights of individuals to control their own destiny are under attack,” said Rev. Raushenbush. “The rise of Christian nationalism, decisions handed down by a radical Supreme Court that demolish reproductive choice and church-state separation, the systemic restriction of voting rights, and the reverberations of the January 6th insurrection are stark reminders of how essential Interfaith Alliance and its mission are to our current moment.”
As the great-grandson of the first Jewish Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis and great-grandson of Baptist theologian Walter Rauschenbusch, a key figure in the Social Gospel movement, Rev. Raushenbush’s commitment to interfaith advocacy comes in part from his own interfaith background.
“Partnering with religious, civic, artistic, and political organizations and leaders, we will fight every day to advance policies that affirm our shared humanity, protect our individual freedoms, and preserve our democracy. Now is the moment to repair our moral commitment to one another and build a better, more inclusive future.”
“Paul has long been a leader in the field of interfaith collaboration and community-building, and he has always brought with him a zest for life, learning, and sincere relationships,” said Simran Jeet Singh, executive director of the Aspen Institute’s Religion & Society Program. “In so many ways, he is the best of what the world of interfaith engagement has to offer our world today: compassionate, hopeful, smart, and selfless. His leadership has touched thousands of lives in this country, and I look forward to seeing what he cultivates at Interfaith Alliance. Knowing Paul, it’s going to be something special.”
Interfaith Alliance is the only national interfaith organization dedicated to protecting the integrity of both religion and democracy in America. Founded in 1994 in the midst of growing entanglement between religion and politics, its founders sought to show that the Religious Right was not the only authentic voice of faith in this country, and that the Constitution protects the right of each individual to believe as they choose but not to impose those beliefs on others.
Prior to coming to Interfaith Alliance, Rev. Raushenbush has served as senior vice president of the Auburn Seminary, the founding and executive editor of HuffPost Religion, and associate dean of religious life and the chapel at Princeton University. Most recently, he was the senior advisor for public affairs and innovation at Interfaith America.
“Paul Raushenbush is a stellar leader with a moral vision committed to advancing the spiritual democratic project of the beloved community,” said Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III, senior pastor at Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ. “Our nation yearns for the type of public witness offered by Paul to guide us as a country to re-imagine our future and reckon with our past.”
“Rev. Paul Raushenbush is the kind of religious leader that the country needs right now,” added Reshma Saujani, Founder of Girls Who Code and The Marshall Plan for Moms. “He is deeply grounded in his own spirituality, he’s committed to an America in which people of all faith and no faith are respected and treated equally under the law. As a Hindu, an activist, and as a citizen, I look forward to working with Paul to ensure that women have the right to follow their conscience when it comes to matters of reproductive justice, establishing gender equality, and protecting our fragile democracy.”
Rev. Raushenbush succeeds Rabbi Jack Moline, who retired in June 2022 after serving as President and CEO for seven and a half years. The Rev. Dr. Katharine Henderson is currently serving as Interim President and CEO.
Rev. Raushenbush lives in New York City with his husband, author Brad Gooch, and their two children.
“American democracy and our commitment to an inclusive future face unparalleled challenges not seen in generations, and there is no doubt in my mind that Paul will lead our movement forward with fierce devotion, integrity, and vision,” said Jacob Worenklein, board chair for Interfaith Alliance. “For the millions of Americans who hold fast to the idea that inclusive religious freedom is the cornerstone of our democracy, we don’t have a moment to spare. Our organization is thrilled to have Paul at the helm at this decisive moment.”
If you are interested in speaking further with Interfaith Alliance, please contact Manisha Sunil at (202) 417-0171 or [email protected].
Interfaith Alliance celebrates religious freedom by championing individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy, and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism. Founded in 1994, Interfaith Alliance brings together members from 75 faith traditions as well as those without a faith tradition to protect faith and freedom. For more information visit www.interfaithalliance.org.