Jewish Community Meets to Defeat Ban

Last Thursday evening, Pabitra and I attended the Jewish community Town Hall meeting on the ban called by the professional leadership of the Madison Jewish community. Over 100 people attended the meeting at Temple Beth El.

The rabbis and leadership of the Jewish community split the town hall into two different parts. The first part was meant to be a “debate” between the two primary authors of the ban from the Wisconsin Legislature and two active Jewish opponents of the ban with questions from the audience. In the end, opponents of the ban won.

That’s because the authors of the ban didn’t show up! Sen. Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) indicated to the organizers that he would not be able to attend. But Rep. Mark Gundrum (R-New Berlin) didn’t show and neither he nor his office let the crew know he wasn’t coming. Their absence was well noted by Madison’s very own active Jewish leader, Lester Pines, who spoke against the ban. The group was reminded of how telling it was that the two authors didn't bother to defend their position.

But even though there wasn’t a “debate”, the speakers that did come were passionate about defeating the ban. Again and again through the evening Lester and fellow ban opponent, Leslie Shear, spoke of the effect this ban will have on real Wisconsin families. Leslie highlighted her experiences with her partner and what this amendment will mean to their family. And as the evening moved forward I grew to see and understand the concern this faith group has about actions that discriminate against groups of people. Unfortunately, their history knows discrimination all too well.

After a brief recess, Pabitra and I stayed on to talk about Fair Wisconsin’s faith outreach effort and things that we all can do to help defeat the ban. All and all it was a great evening gathered in fellowship with many people who are called to action against the ban. Lester and I both used a verse that I think sums up all our feelings the best. “But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream.” (Amos 5:24)

Check out the great article on the event in the Capital Times.

Peace, Eric

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At 11:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. –Margaret Mead

At 11:35 AM, Anonymous Keith said...

Are you guys going to show up at Julaine Appling's "pastors' summit" next week Tuesday?

I think it would be an excellent opportunity to show that, while the YES folks don't bother to show up at NO-leaning events, we NO folks take the time to show up at YES-leaning (okay, YES-sponsored) events.


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