Our Next Step

By Nancy B. Greer
President & CEO

In the wake of tragedy, our collective impulse is to do something – to come together, to grieve, to pray, to speak out. To not feel helpless. As I looked around Temple De Hirsch Sinai at the community vigil Monday night for Pittsburgh – inside and out, I was deeply moved by the thousands of Jews and non-Jews who came together. It was truly a light in these dark days.

But our individual and collective action cannot stop with this past Monday.

The journey to healing and understanding will be long. And yet, Judaism teaches us the importance of lech lecha – taking the next step, even when we do not yet see the path or know the destination, only that we must keep moving forward.

One tangible, impactful way to take the next step is to vote.

Voting is a way to continue the action and it bears repeating as we get ready for Election Day on Tuesday: elections have consequences — for our families, our Jewish community, and the broader society. Your vote matters. Casting a ballot is the single most important tool that each of us has for making our voice heard and telling the elected officials who represent us in Olympia and Washington, DC about the issues that are most important to our community.

If you haven’t mailed or dropped off your completed ballot already, please take advantage of resources that are available for making informed choices, including responses from Washington State legislative candidates to the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle’s candidate questionnaire.

The actions of each of us add up to create a collective impact. And through this impact, each of us can help build a better world. As Rabbi Jonathan Sacks teaches us, “The world we build tomorrow is born in the stories we tell our children today. Politics moves the pieces. Education changes the game.” Set aside the time to learn about the candidates and the issues on your ballot, and take a step forward — vote.