The past four years have been extremely difficult for those of us who cherish democracy and human rights: injustice has spread and authoritarianism has risen at home and abroad. This dark period also saw too many in the American Jewish community betraying democratic ideals in service of a narrow, shortsighted, and ultimately self-defeating definition of what it means to be pro-Israel.
As the spiritual leader of a large and diverse congregation in Richmond, Virginia, I am deeply mindful of these challenges; I navigate them every day. But I also know times of crisis can reveal extraordinary opportunities. As legacy communal institutions abdicate moral leadership, and as political winds shift in our nation’s capital, J Street — the address for pro-Israel, pro-democracy, and pro-peace Americans — can claim its rightful place as the vibrant center of American Jewish life and the beating heart of progressive U.S. politics.
That’s why I am running for J Street’s Board. I want to take an active leadership role in embracing the opportunities ahead: extending J Street’s reach into underrepresented demographics and regions; expanding our coalition to include more people and institutions within the Jewish community and across more of the religious, ideological, and political spectrum; and meaningfully advancing our pro-Israel, pro-peace agenda in Washington.
I believe that — as a rabbi, author, activist, and proud member of J Street’s Rabbinic & Cantorial Cabinet — I have the right combination of skills, abilities, and relationships to help us boldly embrace the opportunities of this new era, advancing inclusion, justice, and peace in the U.S. and in the Middle East.
I hope I can count on your support. Once again, you can cast your vote here. Anyone who is a “Member” of J Street can vote. People who are not currently members or are unsure if they are members can become members in order to vote. It’s free and easy. ANYONE WITH A NAME AND AN EMAIL ADDRESS IS ELIGIBLE TO VOTE. Democracy! ✅ You can find more details here.
Once you vote, I wound also be grateful if you could reach out to at least 3 colleagues, friends, or family members and encourage them to vote for me as well.
Thanks so much in advance for your support. Sending all my very best wishes to you and yours.
Rabbi Michael Knopf