Mid-term elections in the U.S. are next week. Folks have congressional seats, senate seats, governorships, and various state and local elections including some school board seats on their ballots. I encourage you all to be alert to who and what is on your ballot and carefully consider the positions of the folks you want to vote for. I encourage you to think about what a candidate’s platform is (and you can view their websites, social media pages and other publications either online or what you got in your mailbox). I encourage you to choose the candidates who best align with the type of policies, governing and world you want to live with and in. You won’t like everything about the platform, or even about the person. But we are not electing church pastors, folks to bring to Thanksgiving dinner or someone to marry your first born. This is about who can do the work that you believe needs to be done.
In this spirit, I ask you to examine each candidate’s platform (local, state level or federal level) and consider how that person will help or hinder the local, regional, or international efforts to combat antisemitism and support our only ally in the Middle East, Israel.
You can enter your address and see who is on your ballot, and then you can read about each. Of course, do additional research using Google OR by talking to your community members whom you agree with on issues or at least whose opinions you respect.
What else can you do to help?
We have talked frequently about the issues that plague college campuses. Antisemitism runs amuck, even sanctioned, by university professors, staff, and sponsored clubs and groups. You can keep tabs on your local universities and colleges as well as your alma mater. Voice your opposition to any antisemitism and hostility you see or hear about on campus that is targeted at Jews or Israel, or that targets speakers, students, and professors who may be considered Zionist, supporters of Israel, or even just Jewish. Write, call, fax, and post to a school’s social media opposition to antisemitism and praise when you see it addressed justly.
Moreover, you can contribute to our Hebrew University Scholarship Fund, a fund designed to send at least one U.S. university student each year to a full semester of study abroad at Hebrew University. The recipient need only to have completed at least one full year of college so far, be a U.S. student, and complete our application (you can find on our website). The student can have any major and will work with the study abroad office to ensure he or she enrolls in classes that align with the intended major. Living and studying in Israel for a full semester will bring a true knowledge and love of Israel, its diverse and rich culture, the reality of conditions in the region and make a life-long advocate, no matter what career or community the students engage in after graduation.
Please check our other projects on our Projects tab to see where else you can help.
As well, the gift-giving season is fast-approaching. Consider shopping on our online store to purchase a variety of books, some authored by our founders, Jim and Pat Hutchens. Others authored by Shelley Neese our President or even yours truly! The art prints make beautiful, meaningful gifts as well (nearly 75 by Pat Mercer Hutchens, our late co-founder). The prints come un-framed, so you have time to frame them to match your recipients’ taste and décor.
Continue supporting The Jerusalem Connection by following us online on YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn. By liking, commenting on, and sharing our posts, you also help us gain exposure to new friends who can benefit from our information and education efforts. If you have any ideas about exhibiting our art as part of an educational event, please email us or call our office (703-707-0014). We would love to hear from you.
Exposing antisemitism, and combating it, also includes education and awareness on the topic. So much of it is subtle and seeps into our entertainment, politics, and lifestyles; we often overlook it. Changing this perspective starts with each one of us.
Shavua Tov; have a great week.