Our Covenant with Democracy

More than ever, we need Shabbat this week to take time to absorb the results of this historic election. As we reflect on the transition of leadership in our country, we must also take account of what is most important to each of us as American Jews.

This week's Torah portion, Lech L'cha, translated "Go Forth," recounts the covenant G-d establishes with Abram - the solemn agreement that binds them together and gives Abram the new name of Abraham.

A covenant is built on mutual respect, love, and commitment. It is a promise that both parties will be there for one another. A covenant recognizes that although relationships may grow and change, the underlying commitment remains.

As Americans, we have such a covenant with democracy. We have committed ourselves as a nation to the concept of government by and for the people. We hold these democratic values dear, and they define how we relate to one another.

This Shabbat, I hope we will all take the opportunity to reflect on the sacred covenant we have made to advance the founding principles of liberty and justice for all. For our democracy to succeed, we must appreciate the diverse views and experiences of our fellow Americans.

For American Jews, it is a time to recommit ourselves to our core Jewish values and to be vigilant in protecting those values. We should be proud that we live in a country that protects the right to voice our opinion and the freedom to advocate for what we believe in and to stand up for those less fortunate.

It is time for us to Lech L'cha: to go forth and strengthen our commitment to the solemn agreement we have with democracy and with each other. We have a new President-elect; there will be changes; and it is our duty as Americans and as Jews to participate actively in civil conversations and the political process. 

Throughout these changes, Federation will continue to support our American democracy and we will remain a welcoming home for all Jews. In the spirit of Shalom Bayit, a peaceful household, we will continue to seek ways to unite our community as a strong voice for charity and good deeds. We will direct our energies to not only repairing the world but making it a more equitable, safe, and respectful world for all. 

Shabbat Shalom.


Howard Sovronsky
President and CEO


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