JCRC Update | November 18, 2016

A Time for Healing

The election last week is likely to result in a fundamental shift in the governance of our country. On all the issues that we hold dear as a Jewish community, we can expect significant policy changes. Immigration, helping the poor, the environment, LGBT rights, and Israel are all areas where dramatic change is likely to occur. For some in our community, this represents a welcome change.

For many others this represents an abandonment of policies for which we have long advocated. Many people are vehemently disturbed about this new direction … rallies of people with signs like, “Not My President,” Facebook posts with similar thoughts, a general depression across the twitterverse. I cannot remember an election having such an effect on the psyche of so many in our community.

But I believe now is a time for healing and uniting as a country and a community. Abraham Lincoln, at his first inaugural address, said of a fractured country, “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.” Our election was fair and democratic, and we will have a peaceful transfer of power. We should all be proud of that.

What unites us as a community is much stronger than what divides us (this is not a cliché), and we must heal the wounds of an often vicious and brutal campaign. We all want a safer America. We all want to see our country prosper. We all want to see those less fortunate rise from their situations. And we all want to see Israel flourish as the homeland of the Jewish people worldwide. Our tactics differ considerably, but we cannot go ahead and retreat into our respective ideological caves.

This certainly does not mean we should abandon those values that are central to our communal outlook. We will fight for justice for all the vulnerable populations we care about. We will demand that our new President enact laws to protect our environment. We will insist that President Trump disavow any support he has received from racist, Anti-Semitic, Islamophobic and xenophobic elements.

Let’s all hope, no matter whom we supported in this recent election, that campaign rhetoric gives way to common sense governance and respect for all Americans.

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