JCRC Column: Lincoln, Unity and Community

BY: Daniel “Doni” Fogel

In 1858, an Illinois lawyer and candidate for the U.S. Senate, Abraham Lincoln, referenced the Christian Gospel in a political debate series. He said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” He was referring to the split-stance of the nation and he was correct. What was true then remains true now.

According to one account, William Herndon, Lincoln’s law partner, believed the speech, “morally courageous but politically incorrect.” Certainly, this election season involved repeated reports of immoral behaviors and mind boggling politically incorrect statements. The election is behind us. Our nation has a President Elect and we must unify. We must ensure our house is not divided.

According to the polls, many Americans are dismayed with the state of our government. We must now catalyze our feelings (whatever they may be) into positive action. As a non-profit organization, the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond and its Jewish Community Relations Committee are strictly non-partisan. During the campaign, we did not endorse any candidates nor did we comment on the election. As always, we focus on community building.

                The strength of community relations lies in fostering unity in the Jewish community and in representing that unity to the broader Richmond community. To that end, since 1935, the JCFR has been the central address of the organized Jewish community in Richmond. As a voluntary association of social service agencies, organizations and synagogues, we work to ensure the well-being, continuity and strength of Richmond's vibrant Jewish community. Our JCRC is the central public affairs arm of the organized Jewish community. The JCRC handles government affairs and represents the Jewish community on many critical issues.

                In a few days, on November 30, at 5:30 p.m., the JCRC will host our annual Legislative Reception at the Virginia Holocaust Museum, in downtown Richmond. Attended by our local officials, it is a phenomenal opportunity to display our unity and strength on matters of consensus to the Jewish community. This is one way we represent the Jewish community in the greater Richmond area.

An often heard refrain of election seasons states, “If one doesn’t vote, they ought not to complain about the outcome.” Our JCRC proudly presents our points of consensus to officials and develop relationships with them. We warmly invite you to join us.

To RSVP to the Legislative Reception at the Virginia Holocaust Museum, please contact Diane Munsey at dmunsey@jewishrichmond.org or at (804) 545-8654.

Reach, Daniel “Doni” Fogel, director of Jewish community relations and Israel & Overseas programming at DFogel@JewishRichmond.org or at (804) 545-8626.


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