This January will mark my third season of the L’Taken Social Justice Seminars as a member of the Religious Action Center staff. 12 times I have welcomed Jewish teens from across the country to Washington, DC for four immersive days of learning, growing and advocacy. And it doesn’t get old. One of my favorite things about L’Taken is to learn alongside our participants as they discover their own power for change in this country. When we walk up Capitol Hill on Monday morning to meet with senators and representatives – 400 strong – we know that our power lies not in one meeting alone, but in our collective message.
As you all know, the 2018 midterm elections are quickly approaching, and there is still so much work to do. Again, we are in a moment when our efforts as a collective are so important and so powerful. To be a part of a democracy is to be civically engaged, even when it feels like one vote, phone call, door-knock or candidate forum may not make a difference. Democracy—and our enduring Jewish values of civic engagement—demand that we act and that we try to make a difference, for the betterment of our community and our country.
With 5 weeks until the election, here are 5 things your confirmation class/post-confirmation/youth group/L’Taken cohort can do to be civically engaged in the lead up to the election:
- Watch the recording of our Back to School Student Town Hall and discuss how teens can be involved in Civic Engagement in your community. Click here to see the full folder of resources from the town hall, including a civic engagement text study.
- Run this voter engagement mini program, developed by NFTY leaders, to help teens pre-register to vote, pledge to vote, and get mobilized to remind others to vote.
- Run this civic engagement program designed for Religious Schools and Camps, which provides an opportunity for deep discussion about Judaism and democratic values.
- If you live in Massachusetts, Ohio, Florida or California – get involved in the RAC’s efforts on key ballot initiatives in your state.
- Only have 10 minutes? Pledge to vote as a community with our voter pledge cards or mobilize your group to do a quick social media campaign to spread the word about civic engagement.
For more resources and ways to get involved, visit RAC.org/CivicEngagement.