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Deborah K. Bravo
A Rabbi, Advocate, Zionist and Teacher

AIPAC, Elections and Making a Difference in this Pivotal Moment

We live in a tumultuous time, fighting for a stronger post-January 6th America and safer post-October 7th Israel. This moment – this pivotal moment – demands active, principled leadership. Inspired by the rabbis of the 1940’s and 1950’s who fearlessly engaged with the world around them, I place great faith in the power of raising our collective voice.

Loudly and proudly.

We all know the challenges.  To meet these challenges, we require elected officials who will vigorously and vociferously combat rising antisemitism while safeguarding women’s rights, advancing common-sense gun laws, standing with our democratic allies like Israel and Ukraine, and defending our own democracy against the persistent threat posed by Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans.

In my personal capacity as a rabbi, a Jew, a Democrat and an ardent and lifelong supporter of Israel, I took great pride in supporting my congressman Tom Suozzi’s recent successful special election campaign to replace George Santos.

Congressman Suozzi exemplifies the exact kind of leader that our community needs right now, combining an unwavering dedication to Democratic values with a remarkable ability to foster bipartisan collaboration on pressing issues that directly impact our community.  Moreover, Suozzi steadfastly refuses to bow down to the small, extremist, far-left minority that seeks to undermine both the Democratic Party’s – and America’s – longstanding support for the Jewish State.

But let us not forget that Tom Suozzi’s election in February was far from guaranteed.

Running a successful campaign in today’s landscape requires substantial financial resources. The Suozzi campaign, along with supporting groups, expended more than $13 million to secure victory in this important special election. Knowing this information, I made sure to donate to his current re-election effort, to ensure he has the resources needed to run his next successful campaign.  I did so through the AIPAC Political Portal.

AIPAC’s broad endorsement of pro-Israel candidates ensures that I never have to choose between my Democratic and Jewish values. My contribution, marked with AIPAC’s pro-Israel endorsement, reinforces the broad support for Israel across the country and our own community’s support for pro-Israel candidates who align with our values.

Although I do hold personal reservations regarding some of the other candidates endorsed by AIPAC, and I strongly disagree with those candidates’ perspectives on other issues, I know that AIPAC is leading the fight to strengthen bipartisan support for the U.S.-Israel alliance.

And it’s not just me. Thousands of Americans are supporting Democratic candidates through the AIPAC Political Portal. In the last election cycle, AIPAC’s first directly engaging in political fundraising, Americans gave nearly $10 million to Democrats through the Portal, including more than S1.5 million for members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, more than $1.1 million for members of the Congressional Black Caucus and more than $1.1 million for members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

That is impressive and important.

Meaningful engagement in politics necessitates more than advocacy alone. We must support our chosen candidates financially if they are to win their races. My support for Tom Suozzi stems from a profound belief that he is the right voice at this moment in time to represent both our community and our country at this critical juncture.

As a Jewish Democrat fully committed to the wellbeing of the United States and the State of Israel, I implore others to join me in going to www.aipacpac.org to contribute to the pro-Israel candidates that best represent your values.

Am Yisrael Chai!

About the Author
Rabbi Deborah Bravo is founder and spiritual leader of MakomNY: A New Kind of Jewish Community. Prior to taking becoming a spiritual entrepreneur, Rabbi Bravo spent 17 years serving Reform synagogues from Washington D.C. to Long Island. Ordained from HUC-JIR in 1998, Rabbi Bravo also holds a Master in Education from Xavier University and received her Doctorate of Divinity after 25 years of service. Rabbi Bravo currently serving as an officer of the NYBR.
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