I have known Stacey Abrams for almost 20 years. She is one of the most intelligent, compassionate and pragmatic people I know. She is the clear choice for our Jewish community.
Despite false characterizations by her opponent, Stacey is a strong supporter of Israel and the Jewish community. She is a 2003 alumna of American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) Project Understanding, and in 2011 she traveled to Israel with AJC’s Project Interchange. She supports a two-state solution, opposes BDS, and supports Georgia’s purchase of Israel Bonds. Stacey has stood with us on issue after issue, including leading the fight against placing the Ten Commandments on our Capitol grounds. In doing so she help repulse a dangerous erosion of the separation of church and state, a core American principle vital to the Jewish community.
Stacey’s values are Jewish values. Valuing education is bedrock in our community; Stacey is committed to fully funding early childhood education, our state’s commitment to public education and the HOPE scholarship. Preserving life undergirds Jewish law; Stacey is committed to expanding Medicaid in Georgia, thus bringing health insurance to almost half-a-million uninsured Georgians, saving numerous lives, reducing the tragedy of healthcare bankruptcies, and stabilizing rural hospitals. Equal protection under law is fundamental to our democracy. Stacey believes that all citizens should be able to easily register to vote, cast verifiable ballots, and reside in electoral districts drawn by non-partisan means.
By sharp contrast, Brian Kemp’s priorities are antagonistic to Jewish values. Kemp is demonstrably anti-immigrant, recalling early 20th century backlash against our ancestors who had gratefully and optimistically come to America. Kemp promotes the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which is a poorly disguised attempt to legalize discrimination against our LGBTQ friends and neighbors. As Ralph McGill wrote after the 1958 Temple bombing, “When the wolves of hate are loosed on one people, then no one is safe.” Kemp advocates unfettered access to guns, including assault weapons, a position at odds with the centrality of life in Judaism. Finally, Brian Kemp has shamefully brought back Jim Crow with a gauntlet of practices that make it harder to register and to vote. And Brian Kemp has never been to Israel.
The choice is clear. We can make Georgia a better place for all by electing Stacey Abrams governor.
Andrew Feiler is a civic leader and fifth-generation Jewish Georgian.
For more opinions about Stacy Abrams and Brian Kemp, click the photos below.