FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 7, 2018
Reform Jewish Leader Reacts to 2018 U.S. Midterm Elections
WASHINGTON - In response to the outcomes of the 2018 midterm elections, Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, released the following statement on behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and the wider Reform Movement institutions:
“Over the past six months as part of the Reform Jewish Movement’s Civic Engagement Campaign, Reform Jews from nearly 1,000 communities in 43 states, including thousands of high school and college students, came together to engage voters, host and attend candidate forums, and advocate for policy change through ballot initiatives. Today, we proudly celebrate the work of Reform Jews who contributed to ballot initiative victories in Florida, to restore voting rights to 1.4 million citizens; in Massachusetts, to protect transgender rights; in Washington State, to establish new gun violence prevention measures; and in California, to secure affordable housing.
“This election saw historic numbers of women, minority, and Jewish candidates. We celebrate this robust engagement and the increased diversity of our newly elected Congress.
"We look forward to working together with both incumbent and newly elected leaders at the local, state and federal levels to advance legislation on immigrant justice, criminal justice and sentencing reform, LGBTQ rights, gun violence prevention, reproductive rights, climate change, and more. As a Zionist organization, we also look forward to working with the new Congress to strengthen the US-Israel relationship to the benefit of both nations.
"At the same time, we are deeply concerned by the rise of anti-Semitic rhetoric in this election. We urge all elected officials to prioritize combatting this and all forms of hate. This election only strengthens our commitment to the sacred work of strengthening democracy and fulfilling Judaism’s mandate of tikkun olam, to repair the world.”
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 2,000 Reform rabbis. Visit www.rac.org for more.