New Initiative Helps the Jewish Community Ensure Free and Fair Elections
Free&Fair: Our Duty to Democracy, a new initiative powered by Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah in partnership with ignite: action, has launched a campaign that will empower the Jewish American community to navigate this extraordinary election cycle.
In the midst of a pandemic and other threats to American democracy, Jewish Americans, together with the rest of the country, are anxiously considering numerous scenarios, including widespread confusion over voting rules and procedures, a contested election, a tumultuous transfer or continuation of power, and potential upticks in political violence. As a result, many segments of the Jewish community are preparing their constituents with the resources necessary to understand this ambiguous and rapidly evolving situation, respond to potential challenges, and contribute to the health of American democracy.
The Free&Fair website will serve as a clearinghouse of trusted resources that the Jewish community can turn to when addressing these issues. These resources are dedicated to:
- Educating the community about rules and procedures uniquely relevant to this election cycle due to the increase in mail-in voting and challenges to the usual norms of American elections.
- Promoting trainings that will prepare communal leaders to help their communities address these challenges in ways that put democracy before partisanship.
- Encouraging Jewish organizations to close and offer paid time off on Election Day so that their employees have time to stand in line to vote, volunteer or work at the polls, participate in poll watching or election protection, help nonpartisan GOTV efforts, and support American democracy in other ways.
The goal of Free&Fair is to preserve and strengthen American democracy, not to support any particular candidate or party. All resources are non-partisan and grounded in the following commitments:
- Commitment to the rule of law.
- Commitment to nonviolence between citizens and by the state.
- Commitment to a free and fair election in which everyone can vote, and every vote is counted.
“These commitments are the bedrock of American democracy as well as essential pillars of the American Jewish community’s ability to thrive in this country,” said Aaron Dorfman, President of Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah. “In past years, most of these commitments were taken for granted by all Americans. Unfortunately, this year requires making them explicit. And we’re encouraging the American Jewish community to do exactly that in ensuring a free and fair election.”
Leading up to the launch of this initiative, Free&Fair has been organizing and sending resources to leaders of the American Jewish community. Many have already begun using the resources in their communities and more than 15 have signed on the list of those closing on Election Day.
The Free&Fair website will be updated regularly throughout the election season. To stay up-to-date on the latest developments, you can sign up for the campaign’s mailing list here.