Building on the success of our 2018 civic engagement campaign

June 7, 2020

The U.S. 2018 Midterm Elections were historic in many ways.

We saw more women, minority, and Jewish candidates than ever before run for office, and we can now celebrate the diversity of our newly elected Congress. This 116th Congress will include more than 30 Jewish members, including newly elected representatives Andy Levin from Michigan, Dean Phillips from Minnesota, Max Rose from New York, Susan Wild from Pennsylvania, and Elaine Luria from Virginia. The new Congress includes the first Muslim women elected to Congress (Rashida Tlaib from Michigan and Ilhan Omar from Minnesota) and the first Native American women (Sharice Davids from Kansas and Deb Halaand from New Mexico). At age 29, Abby Finkenauer from Iowa and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York will be the youngest women ever elected to Congress.

Civic Engagement Header with three blocks featuring icons for a ballot, ballot box, and podium

Having diverse voices in leadership matters. Representation matters.

Reform Jews across the United States showed up in full force this election. Guided by the Talmudic injunction that “a ruler is not to be appointed unless the community is first consulted,” our community organized and mobilized to ensure that Jewish voices and values were present in the public square (Talmud, Brakhot 55a).

Reform Jews from nearly 1,000 communities in 43 states participated in the campaign, and together we engaged over 158,000 Americans in the democratic process. We registered 4,117 people to vote and organized 17 candidate forums. Reform Jewish youth stepped up and joined the campaign in full force: More than 8,000 college students participated, and civic engagement programming took place at seven NFTY events and at nine URJ camps, engaging hundreds of teens and young adults.

Read Rabbi Pesner's reflection on the 2018 U.S. midterm election and the successes of the Civic Engagement campaign.

This year, we're aiming even higher. Learn more about Every Voice, Every Vote: The Reform Movement's 2020 Civic Engagement Campaign and sign-up to participate.


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