Prior to the 2008 Elections there was a lot of public concern over the fact that young adults (people aged 18-30) were seemingly become progressively less connected to the political process. Study after study indicated that a general sense of civic apathy had descended upon the youth of America. 2008 however saw an upsurge in the participation of young people in electoral politics with record numbers of young people turning out to vote. Even before this happened however, the Moishe Kavod House (Moishe House International’s Boston house) has been at the forefront of young adult civic engagement in Boston. Founded in 2006 with the mission of engaging Jewish young adults in meaningful grassroots social justice work, Moishe Kavod House has been enthusiastically taking the spirit of youth civic engagement into this year’s election.
In the weeks leading up to Nov 6th, MKH has partnered with two organizations to help get progressive voters out to the polls in Massachusetts. Last week, on October 28th, a small but spirited group of MKH volunteers partnered with Mothers for Justice and Equality, a community based organization dedicated to eliminating violence from the lives of Boston’s youth, to remind the residents of Dorchester to get out and vote on Election Day. Despite the impending Hurricane Sandy, MKH volunteers braved wind and rain to knock on nearly 50 doors in low-income neighborhoods in Dorchester.
Yesterday another enthusiastic group of MKH volunteers got together to phone bank for MassVote, a voter mobilization non-profit headed by Avi Green, an alum of JOIN for Justice's Jewish Organizing Fellowship. These young men and women (pictured above) called over 100 Brookline, MA voters to remind them to get out and vote on November 6th.
The organizers at MKH see this work as not only a valuable part of engaging young people in the political but intrinsic to living Jewishly. While pondering the connection between Judaism and voting, Marjorie Corbman had this to say in last week’s MKH blog post. “What Rabbi Heschel...saw as “sacred” was the struggle to make it possible for those facing violence and oppression to have equal say in determining who had power over them. Voting is only one piece of a larger struggle for justice, peace, and equality, but recognizing that everyone should have access to decision-making should resonate with our Jewish belief that God calls all people, not just our leaders, to take responsibility.”
With that in mind we wish all of you happy voting tomorrow and thank you for all of your contributions to the struggle for an America in line with the Jewish values of justice and compassion.