Hon. John Kerry
John Kerry for President, Inc.
By Facsimile: 202-548-6801
Dear Senator Kerry,
We write to you today on behalf of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America – the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization representing nearly 1,000 synagogues and their thousands of members across this nation – to commend your actions responding to the deeply disturbing report published in today’s Arizona Republic newspaper.
As you know, the newspaper report alleges that representatives of your campaign in Arizona have sought to persuade state legislators supporting the candidacy of Senator Lieberman to redirect their support toward you on the grounds of Senator Lieberman’s Orthodox Jewish beliefs and observance. Specifically, the Arizona Republic states that your political supporter, State Rep. Ben Miranda, urged three state legislators who have endorsed Sen. Lieberman to withdraw their support because he “can’t campaign three days a week,” an exaggerated reference to Senator Leiberman’s Orthodox Jewish Sabbath observance from Friday evening to Saturday evening.
We deeply appreciate the fact that you quickly investigated these allegations, disassociated yourself and your campaign from Mr. Miranda, and deplored anyone who would inject religion into the political campaign. By quickly taking these appropriate steps, you, Senator Kerry, have clearly sent a message that such tactics are not only offensive to our community which shares Senator Lieberman’s faith and practices, but to all Americans of good will who recognize that religious liberty and tolerance are the bedrock of America’s freedoms.
We know from our work with you on legislative initiatives such as the Workplace Religious Freedom Act that you venerate religious liberty in this nation and will continue to work to protect the right of all Americans of all faiths to not only subscribe to religious beliefs, but to have the right and freedom to translate those beliefs into practice.
Richard Stone Rabbi Tzvi H. Weinreb
Nathan J. Diament