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The following letter, on behalf of the Jewish community of Nashville & Middle Tennessee, was published in the Tennessean on 8/26/19:

Don’t use Israel as political fodder

As members of the Nashville Jewish community, we are sharing our views on recent commentary of “how Jews should vote.”

Like all U.S. citizens, we always have the right and responsibility to vote our conscience. Being JewishAmericans does not alter this right.

We are Democrats, Republicans and Independents. We frequently disagree with each other on politics, social issues, and even on issues related to Israel. But we are united in our strong objection to any individual or group that tells us how we should vote because we are Jewish.

As Jews, we are committed to the state of Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people. We do not blindly support all the policies of the current Israeli government just as we do not blindly support all the policies of each American administration. We believe that this makes us thoughtful and responsible as opposed to “lacking knowledge” or being “disloyal.”

It is unfortunate to see our religious beliefs or our support for Israel being used as political fodder by either party at the local or national level. In the meantime, be assured that we, just like other Americans, will continue to vote as we think best and will not be bullied in exercising our rights as American citizens.

The Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee Steven Hirsch, President Eric Stillman, Executive Director Deborah Oleshansky, Community Relations Director Leslie Kirby, Chair, Community Relations Council


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