Jewish Action Long Island, October 2020 Newsletter

It is not your obligation to complete the task [of perfecting the world], but neither are you free to desist from doing all you can. — Ethics of the Fathers 1:12

While the holiday of Sukkot symbolically represents a time of agricultural harvest, for members of Bend the Arc: Jewish Action Long Island, it represents our ongoing project of “planting” and “harvesting” informed and engaged voters. From the beginning, we’ve been involved in educational campaigns and political actions whose aim has been to create a more just world. Though there is still much to be done, this newsletter describes some of the important progress made. Let’s keep up the good work. The November election is right around the corner.

Jeff Siegel — Editor, [email protected]
Phyllis Hartmann — Co-Editor
Matthew Zeidman — Co-Editor

Join Us! Upcoming "Virtual" Meetings

October Community Meeting
WHEN: Wednesday, October 21, 7-8:30PM
RSVP here for the Zoom link


Voting Against White Nationalism

Chapter members have been participating in Bend the Arc’s national campaign to defeat white nationalism—Vote Out Fear. Members have called and texted Jewish voters in swing states, such as Georgia and Florida, to raise awareness of the importance of the upcoming presidential election, and to provide any information needed for voter registration, early voting, and mail-in voting. The national campaign has been so successful that more than 1,000,000 voters have been contacted which is four times the original goal of 250,000.

Would you like to help reach the new goal of contacting 1,500,000 voters? Sign up for a shift (or several!) here:

Supporting Progressive Politics

The retirement of Peter King, the Republican representative of Congressional District 2 on Long Island, has created an opportunity to elect Jackie Gordon for that open seat. As a Democrat, Gordon brings a wealth of experience to the table:  thirty years working in New York public schools, military experience including being a Military Police Officer and serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and thirteen years on the Babylon Town Council.

Chapter members have been involved in a phone and text messaging campaign to make sure that Jackie Gordon wins this election. The race is still a toss-up, so every call counts.  You can make a difference between electing another Republican or flipping the seat from red to blue.

Ready to help? Contact Phyllis by phone, text or email for more information.

Sukkot In The Time Of Covid

More than twenty people participated in our October 8th virtual Sukkot event. From the safety of our homes, we connected with one another, discussing spirituality, the meaning of the holiday, and the wonderful work being done by our members. One member spoke about the Interfaith Nutrition Network Mary Brennan Kitchen located in Hempstead, LI, New York. The soup kitchen has provided meals to more than 280,000 Long Islanders, of which 73,000 are children.

We also had a virtual musical and singing session and, as always, members engaged in a civil action, where everyone called Nassau County Executive Laura Curran’s office and asking that she support the proposed Jericho Family Support center, and called state senators asking them to provide support to workers who were excluded from pandemic relief programs.

Those interested in helping the Mary Brennan Kitchen and their other charitable works should visit their website at