JEWISH COMMUNITY RELATIONS COUNCIL

PUBLIC STATEMENT

JEWISH COMMUNITY RELATIONS COUNCIL OF THE JEWISH FEDERATION OF GREATER EL PASO

“A Message from JCPA: a Reminder to Vote”

In the last few years, the Greater El Paso community, including the Greater El Paso Jewish Community, has not been spared exposure to unthinkable acts of violence against people and property and bias based rhetoric.  From the 2019 murder of 23 of our fellow brethren to the most recent destruction of the Sacred Heart of Jesus sculpture at St. Patrick Cathedral, our local tradition of peaceful coexistence with individuals of all genders, races, religions and national origins has been tested. 

Within the next month, we will have the privilege of voting in a free society, a right secured by our Constitution. Unfortunately, the current political environment is marked by polarization and inflammatory rhetoric. In 2016, the Jewish Center for Public Affairs issued a Statement on Civility Around Elections, and in 2018, created a Resolution on White Supremacy. Using the guidance of these sage writings, we, the members of the Jewish Community of Greater El Paso should encourage all candidates for all offices to clearly and publicly reject and condemn white supremacy, and to ensure the safety and security of everyone in the United States, in both speech and in deed.

The Jewish Federation of Greater El Paso encourages all eligible voters of El Paso, La Cruces and our surrounding area to VOTE.  Further, the JFED of GEP supports the JCPA 2016 Civility Statement Around Elections and the 2018 Resolution on White Supremacy as reprinted below:

JCPA Civility Statement Around Elections (2016)

We, as Americans, enjoy a rich tradition of political discourse, ideological diversity, and debate. This diversity can be a durable source of strength. A vigorous exchange of ideas featuring different perspectives allows us to experiment with varied approaches and arrive at effective public policy solutions that help improve the lives of us all. Held in a spirit of respect, this exchange can allow us to find common ground when warranted and foster a more united America. 

However, at times, particularly during elections, political discourse can become needlessly acrimonious and undermine the spirit of engagement and citizenship among Americans. Such discord can pull us apart and make it more, not less, difficult to find common ground or even maintain neighborly relations. Moreover, shrill political discussion can cross the line, and spread intolerance and bigotry. Especially during elections, when divisions are most pronounced, we must be vigilant in preventing political discourse from drawing on deep-seated resentment and intolerance. 

We call upon all candidates running for elected office, as well as all Americans, to engage during this election season in a thoughtful, respectful, and civil discussion over the future direction of this country. We strive to make our politics represent the best of our American values -- free thought, mutual respect, and civic engagement. 

JCPA Resolution on White Supremacy (2018)

Along with communities of color, many Jewish communities are main targets of white nationalist rhetoric and activity...The Jewish Council for Public Affairs:  

  • Rejects white supremacy and all other forms of bigotry, in consonance with the traditional Jewish belief that people of all ethnicities and creeds are created be-tzelem Elohim, in the Image of God;
  • Affirms the importance of exposing and rejecting the hateful message of white supremacists, including the alt-right, whenever they appear in our communities;
  •  Affirms its obligation to protect and support all targets of white supremacist harassment and attacks; and
  • Recognizes that all persons must be afforded the rights guaranteed to all residents of the United States under the law, while also affirming our obligation to oppose white supremacists’ hateful messages and deny them platforms to the extent consistent with the law."

    

Monika R. Kimball, President         

Jewish Federation of Greater El Paso              

 

Debra Kanof, Chair

Jewish Community Relations Council