November 9, 2016
We join with millions of Americans, President Obama, and Secretary Clinton in congratulating President-Elect Donald Trump upon his election yesterday.
As Civil Rights activist and Congressman John Lewis has stated, “The right to vote is precious, almost sacred” and confidence in the electoral process is a bedrock principle for our constitutional democracy. As our nation prepares for the peaceful transition of executive power, we hope that our new President will lead with wisdom and a commitment to the welfare of all who live in our great nation. We affirm our commitment to working with the elected and appointed officials of our government to advance and protect the values we cherish and that define our nation.
Now we are called to begin the difficult work of healing the wounds that threaten to pull our nation asunder, and to remain vigilant in promoting our nation’s commitment to civil liberties, equality under the law, and social justice, the mighty pillars on which our nation stands.
We are reminded of the words of President Abraham Lincoln in his first inaugural address:
“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
The organized Jewish community of Boston echoes those words and affirms our commitment to stand together with those who feel vulnerable and frightened, ignored and oppressed, powerless and speechless. It is essential that we recognize our common humanity and resist the urge to turn away from each other so that we can move forward together.
Since its founding, the United States has aspired to be a force for stability and good throughout the world, even while struggling against contradictory forces within our own borders. It is imperative that we continue to be a beacon of hope for people around the globe; for those seeking a better life for their families or to be a welcoming sanctuary from oppression and bigotry. These values have allowed the Jewish community to live and thrive in the United States, to make a home, to raise families, and to dream of a better future. That dream and our commitment to it is an essential element of the social contract that binds our nation together.
We will continue to work to welcome the immigrant, to defend the civil liberties of every American, and to protect the poor, the defenseless and the needy. We will continue to work for a nation that is steadfast with its allies and resolute in its responsibilities around the world.
We must not ignore Anti-Semitism, racism, Islamophobia and other forms of bigotry that have been on display throughout the course of the election and its immediate aftermath. We call upon President-elect Trump and all of our leaders to disavow this rhetoric and strongly reject the nationalistic sentiments that have been unleashed.
Finally, at a time when so many in our community here in Boston feel great despair, we are reminded of the words of our late great Senator Edward Kennedy at a moment of his own personal loss:
“The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die.”
Jeremy Burton Adam Suttin
Executive Director President