Reform Jews in Ohio and Across US Lead Efforts to Successfully Reject Ohio Referendum

Led by the Religious Action Center- Ohio, hundreds of community members connected with over 140,000 local voters to vote no on Issue One

August 9, 2023 - Reform Jews in Ohio and across the United States, working in tandem to protect religious freedom and reproductive rights, played a pivotal role in successful efforts to defeat Issue One in this week’s special election. Issue One would have raised the voter threshold for approving state constitutional amendments to a 60 percent supermajority, making it nearly impossible for future citizen-led initiatives to pass. As Reform Jews across Ohio mobilize in support of a November ballot referendum preserving reproductive freedom in the state constitution, the defeat of Issue One guarantees that this measure (and future constitutional amendments) can pass with a simple majority of the popular vote. Led by Rabbi Lindsey Danziger of the Religious Action Center (RAC) , Reform Jewish congregations across Ohio were involved in the effort to defeat Issue One by sending out over two thousand handwritten postcards, hosting Jewish text studies, texting and calling voters and conducting door-to-door voter engagement.    

On August 3rd, the RAC hosted a national text bank effort to contact Ohio voters, in partnership with Ohio Voice. Hundreds of Reform Jews across the country joined the event, contacting over 140,000 voters. Driven by Reform Judaism’s belief in the protection of reproductive rights and religious freedom, communities and congregations across the nation, including the Leo Beck Temple in Los Angeles and Reform congregations in Florida who are preparing for a similar effort next year, stepped up to offer support.

“For the past several months, individuals, congregations and communities across Ohio have played an extraordinary role to put reproductive freedom on the ballot in Ohio,” said Rabbi Danziger. “We are enormously grateful for the support from Reform Jews across the US who helped us successfully beat back this referendum that would have paved the way for abortion access and reproductive healthcare to be denied to Ohio families. While we celebrate this victory, our work must continue to ensure every voice is heard and every vote is counted in the November election. We at RAC-Ohio are energized and ready to fight alongside our coalition, Ohioans United for Reproductive Freedom, for our belief in equality and human dignity. Lives are on the line, and our religious freedom is on the line.”

Following yesterday’s victory, the RAC and Ohio’s Reform Jewish congregations will continue to work with their partners to drive voter engagement and turnout for the November election. This past summer, the RAC collected more than 10,000 signatures to help put reproductive freedom on the ballot, as part of the coalition that collected more than 700,000 signatures statewide. This ballot measure would amend the state constitution to preserve an individual’s right to access abortion care, birth control, and fertility treatments. 

Reproductive freedom in Ohio is tenuous, as the injunction blocking the state’s six-week abortion ban could be overturned at any moment. Special thank you to the RAC’s Leo & Libby Nevas Center for Democracy for supporting this work.


The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose 850 congregations across North America encompass 1.8 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 2,000 Reform rabbis. Visit for more. The Religious Action Center's work on democracy and voting rights is made possible in part by the Leo and Libby Nevas Family Foundation.