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Initiative focuses on Jewish imperative to vote
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Initiative focuses on Jewish imperative to vote

Staff Writer, New Jersey Jewish News

IN A VIDEO, six young women, all recently turned 18, discuss the importance of voting — from “having the power to affect the future of our government” to having an impact “on everything from health care to
immigration.”

The clip is part of “New Year, New Voter,” an initiative launched in August by the Community Relations Committee (CRC) of Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ to encourage new voters to register.

“Looking toward the midterm elections, it was a nice way to combine the Jewish imperative to vote, new voters, and a new Jewish year,” said CRC director Linda Scherzer. The posting was available on the CRC website, on Facebook, and on other social media platforms.

The CRC chose to focus on social media “because that’s where everyone lives, especially young people, and we wanted to call attention to the Jewish imperative to make your voice count,” said Scherzer.

The CRC draws the Jewish imperative to vote from their interpretation of the principle from “Pirkei Avot” (“Ethics of the Fathers”) that teaches: “Do not separate yourself from the community.” The project offered links to information on registration and absentee ballots for students going to school out of state, as well as the relevant deadlines.

“Wherever you stand, I think young people, like all of us, are concerned about polarization, partisanship, and the angry discourse we’ve been seeing in Washington, and it’s spilling over into society,” said Scherzer. “If you want to have a voice, you need to do it at the ballot box.”

The CRC does not know how many people registered or asked for absentee ballots as a result of its effort, but, Scherzer said, even if it were just one or two, she would count that as a success.

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