What's on Our Mind 9-3-2021

What's On Our Mind ...
This Jewish New Year looks different from last year’s. For now, many of us will be able to gather with families and friends in person, in a safe manner. But our worries are not over. As we usher in the Jewish New Year, our Jewish community and nation still face many challenges.
Our ability to make our own health care decisions, live in communities free from gun violence, be free from pervasive antisemitism and hate crimes, and easily access the ballot box are still not guaranteed. We must continue our efforts to elect JAC candidates so we have an effective Congress who can implement these vital changes.
The future of Roe v. Wade is in doubt. A new law in Texas prohibits abortion after 6 weeks, AND implements a $10,000 bounty for anyone across the country who reports someone who aids and abets an abortion - a doctor, a rape counselor, an office administrator, someone who drives the patient to their appointment - literally anyone who helps ‘facilitate’ an abortion. The six anti-choice justices on SCOTUS who refused to put a stay on the Texas law are preparing to take up a Mississippi case that could do more damage to women’s health care. Other states across the country are working actively trying to further restrict a woman’s right to have an abortion.
Voter suppression is challenging the core of our democracy. Last week the House passed the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to try and counter the GOP’s actions to keep Democratic voters home. But it may unfortunately get stalled in the Senate. 
Antisemitism and hate crimes continue across the nation. Law enforcemect documented a 59% increase in hate crimes in 2020. Hate has no place in our democracy. President Biden appointed Holocaust historian and JAC-friend Deborah Lipstadt as the Special Envoy to Monitor & Combat Antisemitism - together we must work towards a day when antisemitism and hate crimes are a footnote in history books.
Gun violence has reached every community in this country claiming 106 lives each day. The House has also tried to address this problem with a bill to expand background checks to those purchasing weapons over the internet, at gun shows, and through certain private transactions. Eight GOP members joined that effort. But again, it is stalled in the Senate. 
This year let us all find the strength and determination to continue to work towards our common goals of building a better country. Let us hold in our thoughts and prayers those fleeing persecution and those who are prevented from living in freedom.
Thank you for all that you do for JAC.
Wishing you and your family a Shanah Tovah.