More than 20 Jewish elected officials in Cuyahoga County signed an open letter calling the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol “an attack on democracy itself.”
As individual, local Jewish elected officials – almost all were elected on a non-partisan basis – according to a Jan. 12 news release.
The signers wrote, “We bring to office our shared values as Jews and all of us swore an oath to uphold the Constitution.”
“We strongly condemn both the terrorists who carried out the hateful and violent attack on our federal government and President Donald J. Trump and the others who helped him enable and provoke it,” they wrote. “May G-d bless our communities here in Northeast Ohio and across the United States.”
The signers included mayors, council and school board members from Beachwood, Lyndhurst, Pepper Pike, Orange Village, University Heights, South Euclid, Solon, Gates Mills, Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights.
The full letter reads:
“The attack on the U.S. Capitol while Congress was fulfilling its constitutional role in accepting the votes of the Electoral College selecting our next president was an attack on democracy itself. It was instigated, promoted and provoked by a president who refused to accept the will of the people and was enabled by his supporters in Congress and certain targeted media who helped spread his lies about the election results. The near-universal condemnation of this abhorrent, extremist conduct is warranted. All responsible must be held to account for the insurrection and violence.
The attack was also a direct assault upon our Jewish values. We write as local Jewish elected officials. Nearly all of us were elected on a non-partisan basis. We represent the level of government closest to the people. It’s our job to fulfill the most basic functions of government – public safety, sanitation, respect for civil rights, recreation and the education of our children. We bring to office our shared values as Jews and all of us swore an oath to uphold the Constitution.
Many of those who stormed the Capitol were neo-Nazis, white supremacists and known members of other hate groups. They were the frontline stormtroopers of President Donald J. Trump’s mob. Some waved the Confederate flag and Nazi emblems. Another wore a shirt saying “Camp Auschwitz.” That these symbols of hate were paraded in the halls of Congress to promote the cause of a president seeking to overturn the results of a national election should shake us to our core.
In synagogue, a prayer for our country is recited in which we ask G-d to guide our leaders in government “…out of Your Law, that they may administer all affairs in state in justice and equity.” The prayer goes on to say, “Unite the inhabitants of our country, of all backgrounds and creeds, into a bond of true kinship, to banish hatred and bigotry, and to safeguard our ideals and institutions of freedom.”
We re-affirm our commitment as elected officials to be guided in those ways and serve our citizens’ interests, not our own, consistent with our constitutional oaths and core values, and to always tell the truth. We will do our utmost to administer the affairs of our communities to promote fairness and equal justice under law. We ask our constituents and fellow Jews to demand nothing less from those whom we elect to public office at every level. We cannot compromise our values or place anyone in public office who is unfit to serve because we may like certain policies or because it may seem to be in our own individual self-interest. We just witnessed the horrific consequences of that compromise.
As Jewish elected officials, we will work to assure that authoritarianism is rejected at every turn. We strongly condemn both the terrorists who carried out the hateful and violent attack on our federal government and President Donald J. Trump and the others who helped him enable and provoke it. May G-d bless our communities here in Northeast Ohio and across the United States.
Richard M. Bain, Mayor, Pepper Pike
Barbara Bellin Janovitz, Beachwood City Council
Keith Ari Benjamin, Bratenahl City Council
Justin Berns, Beachwood City Council
Armond Budish, Cuyahoga County Executive
Mike Burkons, Beachwood City Council
Alan Charnas, Orange Village Council
Brandon Duber, Orange Village Council
Larry Frankel, Gates Mills Council
Jane Goodman, S. Euclid City Council
Martin S. Horwitz, Mayor, Beachwood
Jeff Isaacs, Shaker Heights Board of Education
Alec D. Isaacson, Beachwood City Council
Judson A. Kline, Orange Village Council
Eddy Kraus, Mayor, Solon
Jeffery Leikin, Orange Board of Education
Malia Lewis, CH-UH City School District
Kathy Urdang Mulcahy, Mayor, Orange Village
James Pasch, Beachwood City Council
Jim Posch, CH-UH City School District
Jeff Price, Lyndhurst City Council
Brent Silver, Orange Village Council
Sunny Simon, Cuyahoga County Council
Eric Synenberg, Beachwood City Council
Mike Ungar, Cleveland Heights City Council
Staci A. Vincent, Orange Village Council
Melanie Weltman, Orange Board of Education
Rob Zimmerman, Shaker Heights City Council