Editor's Note: At the suggestion of educator and Jewish Week columnist, Erica Brown, a number of leading voices in the Jewish community were asked to write a letter reflecting their post-election thoughts. This is the second of three parts. See part one here.
Rabbi David Wolfe
Senior Rabbi, Sinai Temple Los Angeles
I know, I am supposed to summon up thunderous rhetoric and blow the walls down with the whirlwind of my indignation. But can I take a second to make a very different point? What a savage sense of humor you have!
Rabbi Elie Kaunfer
Co-Founder And Director, Machon Hadar
Let me start with empathy. It is going to be very hard to be a Jewish leader in these times. “Navigating a Trump Presidency” is not a class in Jewish professional school. You will be called upon to offer support, to make moral judgments, and to inspire (or even just calm) people when you yourself might feel entirely unsure of what the future holds.
National Director, Contemporary Jewish Life Dept. American Jewish Committee
The results of the U.S. elections have left us reeling both as Americans and as Jews. Put simply, we face a dual challenge: How do we counsel our own community and allay its anxieties, and how do we address the incoming administration with respect to our concerns?
Mayberg Center for Jewish Education and Leadership, George Washington University
First of all, I just want to say that I own a pair of your shoes, and they are fabulous — as was every outfit you wore on the campaign trail. You are certainly going to raise the fashion standards in D.C. Maybe we can finally retire those stiff Washington pantsuits for women. But enough of the girl talk. We’ve got business to do.
Dov S. Zakheim
Under Secretary of Defense (2001-2004)
I know that some, perhaps many, of you were aghast when Donald Trump was elected. Put that behind you. We have only one president, and whether we voted for him or not (I did not), we must do everything we can to support him. He is not only the leader of our country, he is the leader of the free world. His success is our success, and the world’s success.