Time to Choose:
Letter to Senators
John McCain and Barack
We have just launched "Time to Choose," a new rabbinic
sign-on letter directed to the Presidential candidates, calling
on them to pledge to make resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict a top priority of their Administration. Read text of the letter.
Please help Brit Tzedek solidify and expand
our base among American Jews with the most trusted members of
our community: Ask rabbis, cantors, and clerical
students in your community to sign on to Brit Tzedek's
new rabbinic letter at mccainobamaletter.org.
America's leaders have traditionally turned to our community
for guidance regarding Israel. Imagine the impact
hundreds of rabbinic signers would have in shifting the
landscape of discourse within the Jewish community.
Imagine the leverage broad rabbinic support would give
us with Congress and the next Administration.
See a sample message
asking rabbis, cantors, and clerical students to sign
on. We have 15 days until the letter closes for signatures
on September 19. Act now!
See the letter, FAQs and signers to date at mccainobamaletter.org
Selected rabbinic letter
M. Barth, Encino, CA
*Former Dean of Hebrew Union
College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Los Angeles and Professor
Emeritus of Midrash and Related Literature
Rabbi Rachel B. Cowan, New York,
*Executive Director of the Institute for Jewish
Rabbi Elliot Dorff, Bel-Air,
*Rector and Professor of Philosophy at American
Jewish University, Vice-Chair of the Conservative Movement's
Committee on Jewish Law and Standards
Rabbi Rosalind A. Gold, Reston,
*Coordinator, Brickner Fellows Program of Reform
Judaism's Religious Action Center
Rabbi Arthur Green, Newton,
*Rector of Hebrew College's Rabbinical School and
Professor of Philosophy and Religion
Rabbi Miriam Jerris, Farmington Hills,
*President, Association of Humanistic
Rabbi Peter Knobel, Evanston,
*Immediate Past President of the Central
Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) and Rabbi of Beth Emet The
Rabbi Jack L. Moline, Alexandria,
*Rabbi of Agudas Achim Congregation and
Vice-Chair of The Interfaith Alliance, named one of Newsweek's
Top 25 Pulpit Rabbis in America
Rabbi Toba Spitzer, West Newton,
*President of Reconstructionist Rabbinical
Association and Rabbi of Congregation Dorshei Tzedek, named one
of Newsweek's 50 Most Influential Rabbis in America and included
in the Forward 50 list of America's most influential
Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Philadelphia,
*Director of the Shalom Center and Co-founder of
ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal
*For identification purposes only.
A Rabbinic Letter to Senators
John McCain and Barack Obama
We, the undersigned, call on you, the Republican and
Democratic nominees for the office of the President, to pledge
to make resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a top
priority of your Administration.
While you come into office with a long list of problems
before you, the long-simmering conflict between Israel and the
Palestinians is among the most urgent. After eight years of
half-hearted diplomacy, there is no time left to walk softly and
hope for the best.
The consequences of failing to establish a durable peace are
grim. The influence of Iran and Hezbollah would surely grow
among an increasingly bitter Palestinian population, and Muslim
extremists would have further excuse to do vicious battle with
the West. It is difficult to calculate the damage that a
downward spiral into fresh waves of violence could hold.
American Presidents traditionally look to the Jewish
community for insight on Israel-related policy. As Jewish
clergy, we pledge to mobilize our people behind your leadership
for a mutually-acceptable, two-state solution. We pledge to
support you through difficult, trying times, and to celebrate
with you when the job is done. We pledge to let the American
public know: An American President who dedicates himself to the
establishment of a durable Israeli-Palestinian peace acts in the
best interests of Israel and the United States.
* We call on you to dedicate yourself to the establishment of
a viable Palestinian state living in peace alongside Israel
early in your first term.
* We call on you to appoint, within your first 100 days in
office, a high-level, highly-regarded envoy to the region, an
individual who has the ear of both Israelis and Palestinians,
the respect of the American people, and ready access to your
* We call on you to establish mechanisms of enforcement and
follow-through, so that decisions made and agreements signed
will be respected and brought to fruition.
The Jewish High Holy Days are a time of reflection, renewal,
and action. In keeping with the message of this season, we urge
you to reflect on the diplomatic negligence of the recent past
and to commit yourself to effective American leadership for
Sample message to ask
Rabbis, Cantors, and Jewish clerical students to sign on:
I am writing to you today to make a personal request for your
involvement on an issue that I feel is critical. We have an
historic opportunity to bring peace to Israel with a new
president coming into office soon -- but there are many worrying
signs that the opportunity to achieve a two-state solution may
be fading away.
The American Jewish community has to make clear to both
Presidential candidates that we stand firmly behind
negotiations, and will support the new Administration fully if
it takes concrete steps to achieve a mutually-acceptable
resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
I urge you to sign on to a new rabbinic letter urging the
presidential candidates to make resolution of the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict a top priority of the next
administration. Support from Jewish leaders like you is crucial;
please join Rabbis Rachel Cowan, Peter Knobel, Jack Moline, Toba
Spitzer, and Arthur Waskow in signing on to "A Time to Choose"
Read and sign the letter at: mccainobamaletter.org.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or
concerns. Thank you for your consideration.
Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, The Jewish Alliance for Justice and
11 E. Adams Street, Suite 707
Phone: (312) 341-1205
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