On behalf of the organized Jewish community of Greater Boston, we join with millions of Americans in congratulating former Vice-President Joseph Biden upon his election as the next President of the United States.
We also congratulate Senator Kamala Harris on her historic election as our next Vice-President. This is a moment that has been generations in the making and is one that will inspire generations to come. This is cause for celebration and recognition by all Americans.
As our nation prepares for a new President, we urge public officials and civic leaders to cooperate to ensure a peaceful and orderly transition of executive power. We pray that our next President will lead with wisdom and empathy as well as a commitment to the welfare of everyone in our great nation. We affirm our continued commitment to work with our elected and appointed officials to advance and protect the values we cherish and that define our nation.
Even as we congratulate our President-Elect and Vice President-Elect and all of our newly elected public servants, we acknowledge that this is a time of great pain and challenge for our nation. A pandemic continues to rage in our midst; more than 230,000 Americans are dead; millions are infected with COVID; and millions of Americans are out of work. These losses and hardships are profound and touch every corner of America—leaving a grief and pain that will not be easily overcome. We at JCRC affirm our commitment to work with our civic and government partners to help end the pandemic and build a recovery that is equitable and just for all Americans.
We will continue to defend and strengthen our democracy by supporting efforts to safeguard voting for all Americans including working for the passage of a new Voting Rights Act. We urge the next Congress to take immediate action to restore and strengthen the guardrails for the ethical behavior of all officials and to restore proper oversight of the Executive Branch.
We must continue to be vigilant in the face of enduring hatreds and bigotries that remain a threat and will not easily fade. We urge all public leaders to use their platform, voice and power to combat antisemitism in all its forms without regard for partisan interests, and to finally and comprehensively address the racial inequities that plague our society. Now is also the time for comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for our neighbors who are already here. We must restore our nation’s commitment to welcoming refugees fleeing hardship and persecution.
We will continue working with the Massachusetts Congressional delegation in support of a foreign policy that restores the bipartisan principle that the United States is resolute in its historical international commitments and responsibilities around the world. As a world leader, America must continue to be steadfast in our support for the enduring US-Israel alliance and we must reaffirm our support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to be negotiated between the parties. In support of achieving such a peace, the United States must expand our efforts to invest in the building of a healthy civil society and expanding peace and reconciliation work in the region.
We are now called to begin the difficult work of healing the wounds that have pulled our nation asunder. We are called to continue promoting and strengthening our nation’s commitment to civil liberties and equality for all people. We are called to be the beacon of democracy and justice that this moment demands and all Americans deserve.
We lift up, take heed of, and are inspired by the words of President-Elect Biden a few weeks ago:
“We must free ourselves from the forces of darkness, from the forces of division, and the forces of yesterday, and the forces that pull us apart, hold us down, and hold us back. And if we do so, we’ll once more become one nation under God, indivisible, a nation united, a nation strengthened, a nation healed. That is my goal. That is why I’m running. That is what we must do.”
In this moment, the words of President Lincoln, in his first inaugural address, still resonate:
“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 these words and affirms our commitment to stand together with our neighbors to meet the challenges ahead. We must come together as a nation in a spirit of reconciliation and reaffirmation of our common destiny so we can move forward together.
Jeremy Burton, Executive Director
Stacey Bloom, President