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An Open Letter to the US Senate

Honorable Members of the United States Senate,

I’m writing to you today as a representative of NFTY, the Reform Jewish Youth Movement. We are a movement of thousands of Reform Jewish teens, brought together by our faith and commitment to tikkun olam, the repair of the world. Representing these teens is a humbling, immense honor, and I strive every day to do it with integrity and empathy.

You, of course, understand this kind of a responsibility. You represent them, too.

While many of NFTY’s members are too young to vote, we are incredibly civically engaged. We run voter registration drives, speak to our local representatives, and, especially recently, concern ourselves with Supreme Court nominations. Young Reform Jews understand the enormity of such a decision; any Justice nominated now will shape the country of our adulthood.

This is why, this July, NFTY encouraged the Union of Reform Judaism to take a formal stance against the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. NFTY leaders wrote: “NFTY leadership, on behalf of the youth we represent, believe that our Movement should oppose the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh. We are guided by the firm belief that Judge Kavanaugh’s records on reproductive rights, immigration, and environmental justice are inconsistent with our values as Reform Jews, as we strive to love the stranger as ourselves, to appreciate and adamantly protect the earth, and to treat every being with the recognition that they were created in the image of God.”

Now, amidst a number of allegations of sexual assault and misconduct against Judge Brett Kavanaugh, NFTY must speak up once again. NFTY has consistently tackled the issue of sexual violence prevention, and, this past year, unanimously passed a resolution affirming that, as a movement, we will work to end sexual violence. For all of these reasons, we must reaffirm our stance that, not only would Judge Kavanaugh threaten our Jewish values, his personal record of treatment towards women is disqualifying.

The nine individuals who serve life terms on the highest court in the land must be the best that our nation has to offer. As Reform Jews, as Americans, and as patriots, we believe that that this kind of treatment of women cannot possibly be the best that our country has to offer.

We must believe that this nation is capable of so much more.

We remain resolute in our opposition of the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh, just as we will continue to fight for the rights and equitable treatment of women in our society. We so deeply urge you to do the same.


Zoe Terner
NFTY Social Action Vice President, 2018-2019