Letters to the Editor: Oct. 5, 2018
OpinionsLetter to the Editor

Letters to the Editor: Oct. 5, 2018

The AJT welcomes your letters. Please write 200 words or less. Include your name, phone number and email, and send it to editor@atljewishtimes.com.

Letter to the Editor:

Jewish Democratic Women’s Salon, Atlanta is disheartened to see that Brian Kemp’s campaign is trying to mislead voters about Stacey Abram’s long-standing support of Israel. Again and again, Stacey Abrams has proven herself to be a progressive champion and a staunch ally of the Jewish community. She is a highly accomplished political and business leader, and JDWS is proud to support her in her bid for governor. Abrams has a close and longstanding relationship with our Jewish community:

As Ms. Abrams wrote and published in the AJT, November 2017: “Let me be clear: I unequivocally support a two-state solution as the path to resolution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, with Israel as the national homeland for the Jewish people. Moreover, I reject the demonization and delegitimation of Israel represented by the BDS narrative and campaign.”

In 2011, she traveled to Israel with the American Jewish Committee’s Project Interchange to better understand the issues facing our community, and she’s an alum of the Atlanta Black-Jewish Coalition’s Marvin C. Goldstein Project Understanding Young Leadership Retreat. She’s been an enthusiastic participant in AIPAC’s annual legislative Georgia events, and she has always engaged with us on the most important issues affecting our state.

And yet, some still try to sow doubt about her commitment to the Jewish community. Stacey Abrams supports both Israel and our core Jewish values. For example, Abrams advocates for high-quality education, including keeping public dollars in public schools. She has been a fighter for women’s rights – from paycheck fairness to reproductive justice to maternal health care. She has made access to health care – particularly expansion of Medicaid – a core tenet of her campaign. She believes in sensible gun safety laws that are designed to protect our families. She has defended our state from legislation that discriminates against our LGBTQ community, and she has stood in fierce opposition to laws that infringe on the true meaning of religious freedom. Stacey Abrams has actively supported our community’s charitable and civic work, including raising awareness and visibility for the Jewish community in the halls of our state legislature.

Georgia has a long history of investing in Israel bonds and Stacey Abrams is committed to continuing a thriving business relationship between Israel and Georgia.

Stacey Abrams believes in the core tenets of our democracy, including freedom of religion and freedom of speech. She listens to all Georgians, no matter who they are or where they come from, and she takes the time to understand the issues that impact them. She is a centrist with a proven track record of reaching across party lines to represent the best interests of all Georgians, and she always puts Georgians first.

Stacey Abrams’ commitment to addressing all of our concerns with honor and integrity has left us certain that she is the most principled, qualified, and visionary leader in the race for governor.

The Jewish Democratic Women’s Salon stands with Stacey because she stands with us – with our community, with Israel, with our families, and with our values. We trust her leadership, and we are proud to support her gubernatorial campaign.

Jewish Democratic Women’s Salon, Atlanta

Letter to the Editor:

I am an Atlanta native, having attended Henry Grady High, going to school and associating with many Jewish students and friends, even on a few occasions enjoying the facilities at the AJCC [Atlanta Jewish Community Center].

In my college years I came upon Savannah, which I had read was an undiscovered gem of great architecture. That was in the mid ’70s. In more recent years, while brainstorming on civic and economic improvements for the city, I came upon a surprising bit of knowledge. Surprising, due to its historical significance and that I had up to that point considered myself rather educated regarding Georgia’s colonial history.

I discovered the now-demolished residence of a Jewish family on Orleans Square. This find opened up for me a whole chapter of fascinating history. Discovering that Jewish families were among those who settled the forested bluff in 1733 came as a major shock. To investigate further, I learned of their contributions to the survival and growth of the colony and later to the struggle for political independence from Britain, and the almost seamless integration into the social fabric, while also maintaining their faith. This became a story which I felt needed to be told.

My own interest in seeing restored to Savannah some of its lost gems now took on another meaning as well. In this case, there was synergy to be found in combining the two. There could be little better for countering ethnic and religious stigmas, fomented by lack of knowledge and association, than to herald these notable and heroic stories of a shared history.

I cannot in a short letter convey the many events which illustrate the integration of Jewish-Americans into the life of Savannah, Ga., and the American South. I have composed an online ‘white paper’ for those interested. A rebuild of the Minis House, whose plans are in the Library of Congress, thanks to the WPA (Works Progress Administration), is an opportunity to present this history to a far larger non-Jewish audience than that which is drawn to Philadelphia’s National Museum of American Jewish History.

Savannah, Ga., and those interested in Jewish-American history, have a unique opportunity. The original lot has minor development, permitting today a purchase which in the future could be more problematic. I hope I can inspire the right parties to take up this opportunity.

A history museum in a rebuilt Minis House would, unlike the sterile commercial national museum in Philadelphia, be operationally self-sufficient. It would be as or more inviting than any museum in Savannah, noted by a sign in front as the Home of Georgia’s First Family.

Aldin Lee, Atlanta native

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