A Reform Jewish Look at the Impact of Tuesday's Election
With a few days’ distance from the 2014 midterm elections, we are beginning to put the results of this election in context — including what it means for Congress, state legislatures, state laws and, of course, our work to advance social justice in the United States. The day after the election, Rachel Laser, deputy director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC), released a statement welcoming the resounding success of three key state ballot initiatives and noting the Reform Jewish community's long history of working successfully with members on both sides of the aisle to advance shared priorities. We look forward to another exciting chapter in Washington, D.C., and in the states.
On Thursday, Laser moderated a conversation between Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the RAC; Nancy Zirkin, executive vice president and director of policy of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; an Michael Horowitz, senior RAC advisor. To watch the exciting conversation, visit the RAC's Election Day resources page, or watch it here:
The Religion and Public Life Project at the Pew Research Center released a preliminary report on the breakdown of how religious groups voted in the midterm elections. The religious composition of the 2014 electorate has changed slightly over the past three midterm elections (since 2006). Jews make up 3% of the general electorate, whereas Catholics make up 24% and Mainline Protestants make up 53% — people of other faiths (Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist) together made up 8%. Interestingly, in 2006, 45% of the electorate went to church weekly, whereas in 2014, it had dropped down to 40%.To learn more about the Reform Jewish community's work on economic justice issues (including paid sick days and minimum wage) and the Jewish values that underpin such advocacy and programming, learn more from the RAC.
The Reform Movement has a long and storied history of advocating for civil rights, from our engagement in the civil rights movement to the fact that we are intimately acquainted with the effects of bigotry. Our ancestors knew both the continuing indignities of second-class citizenship and the constant fear of xenophobic violence. Our history teaches us that discrimination against any members of a community threatens the security of the entire community. Learn more about our work on civil rights, including election reform and voting rights.