Where We're Going in 2023: Our Work is Still not Finished

January 25, 2023Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner

In 2022, we built a movement and a campaign where everyone could make sure their voice was heard and counted. I remain in awe of the determination and passion from the individuals and communities across the Reform movement: nearly 9,000 members contacted over 730,000 voters during the 2022 U.S. midterm and runoff elections.

While we can and should celebrate our success, we are reminded of the famous phrase from Pirkei Avot (Ethics of our Fathers), 2:16; "It is not up to you to finish the task, but you are not free to avoid it." With 2023 in full swing, leaders and officials at every level are setting their agendas and priorities for the coming year. We continue to be proud of the power we built and mobilized in 2022 as a Reform Movement as we gather to set the agenda for our work in 2023.

We are reminded every day that our tasks are not finished. Last year, our communities helped drive change on issues that are important to the Reform Jewish community: combatting antisemitism, upholding reproductive rights, engaging voters, and advocating for criminal justice reform, LGBTQ+ rights, and climate justice. Today, I ask you to join me in taking our next steps on a path to power.

Please join us in one of two town halls on February 1 at 4:00 PM ET or February 7 at 8:00 PM ET to shape our Movement-wide campaign. These town halls will help decide the issue we will focus on in 2023. The same program will take place during each town hall, so feel free to choose the date and time that works best for you.

The town halls, and the campaign, will be focused on where we can act powerfully when we bring members of the Reform Movement together. All are welcome, regardless of experience or geography.

On February 1 and 7, you will hear about potential issues we can focus on and actions we can take to move leaders nationally and locally. You will also have the chance to share what would motivate your community to participate in our campaign.

The town halls will kick off a year of education and action opportunities that you can participate in, culminating in a D.C. Day of Action in May.

I thank each and every one of you for your continued support, and I look forward to working with each of you as we continue to build our power for purpose.

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