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Those of us in the U.S. have just celebrated Presidents Day, which honors the birthdays of President Washington and President Lincoln. In thinking about our country’s history, it's also important to consider our future leadership, as 2016 is a Presidential election year. A crucial election day - "Super Tuesday" - is only months away. At stake are vital political, economic, and moral issues of concern to all Americans, in addition to issues of special concern to American Jews and women.
Legislation on significant issues such as healthcare (including reproductive healthcare), workplace fairness and job creation, climate change, immigration reform, and support for Israel will likely be considered by the next Congress and Administration. In addition, over the next four years, the president and Senate will make Supreme Court and other judicial appointments that will affect our lives for generations.
“Social justice is an essential component of Reform Judaism. To be a Reform Jew is to hear the voice of the prophets in our head; to be engaged in the ongoing work of tikkun olam; to strive to improve the world in which we live; to be God’s partners in standing up for the voiceless and fixing what is broken in our society.”
One way that we can engage in the ongoing work of tikkun olam, the repair of our world, is to involve ourselves in our country’s election process; it is through our elected officials that we affect the changes we wish to see in our country’s policies.
As Jews and American citizens we have an obligation to participate in the election process to ensure that our country's policies at the local, state and national levels reflect our commitment to social justice. Every vote counts and plays a defining role in setting policy agendas. It is our civic duty to register promptly, to educate ourselves and others about the critical issues, and to vote!
There are many ways that your congregation, sisterhood, or brotherhood can engage around elections from now until Election Day this November. Here are two ideas:
Program with your sisterhood around election issues using the Religious Action Center’s 2016 Get Out the Vote Guide.