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OCTOBER 15, 2020 | 27 TISHREI 5781


oters' Guide


Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images



N SEPTEMBER 15TH, PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP signed the most significant Middle East peace treaty in 26 years –

an agreement between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain. It is a historic achievement, one worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize.

The breakthrough came only after President Trump and his team personally brokered it. It means what was once a dream — normalization between Arab countries and Israel — is becoming a reality. Today, it is the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Because of President Trump’s leadership, we have real hope that other Arab countries will bravely follow this path to peace. The leaders of Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain deserve praise for showing the courage to break through decades of animosity and find common ground. President Trump, you are a Statesman who has done what no others could do: moving the Embassy to Jerusalem, recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, brokering this historic deal with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

ATLANTA JEWISH REPUBLICANS THANK YOU. The American people thank you. Israel thanks you.




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Michael A. Morris Owner and Publisher 2020 marks a national election for the record books, including its unparalleled use of absentee ballots and masks at political rallies and polling sites. The AJT wants to help you be prepared. We have put forth our best effort to present this Voters’ Guide as a fair and balanced resource to help you make election decisions based on issues that are most important to the Jewish community. Make no mistake, this is a vital elec-

tion to our country’s future. Every four years we are told that THIS is the most important election in American history; and every four years, that statement is true. This year, maybe a little bit more true. As citizens of the United States and as Jews, we have been through a lot in 2020. Now we come to the most precious of all the rights accorded to Americans, the opportunity to choose our leaders and those who represent us in the chambers of government. American Jews share the same concerns as our fellow citizens as well as other concerns that are of particular importantance to our community. In this Voters’ Guide, the AJT seeks to help you understand the process by which votes will be cast and counted, the issues of greatest significance to Jewish voters, and how, despite our relatively small numbers, the Jewish vote has become so important. The focus of this issue is primarily on the races for the White House and Congress, which notably include Jewish candidates and candidates with Jewish connections. But we also look at races closer to home, contests of the broadest interest to the Jewish community, and where Jews are underrepresented.

Within these pages, you will find a continuum of opinions from Republicans and Democrats, women and men. You’ll hear perspectives about the major Senate races and some of the most contentious Congressional district races. We discusss why there are so few Jews in the Georgia legislature, and how senior citizens, despite their isolation, are fulfilling their right to vote. So, whether you consider yourself a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or Independent, what is important is that you vote. We hope this Guide helps you make educated decisions to make your vote count! ì

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The Atlanta Jewish Times is printed in Georgia and is an equal opportunity employer. The opinions expressed in the Atlanta Jewish Times do not necessarily reflect those of the newspaper. Periodicals postage paid at Atlanta, Ga. POSTMASTER send address changes to Atlanta Jewish Times 270 Carpenter Drive Suite 320, Atlanta Ga 30328. Established 1925 as The Southern Israelite www.atlantajewishtimes.com ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES (ISSN# 0892-33451) IS PUBLISHED BY SOUTHERN ISRAELITE, LLC © 2020 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES Printed by Walton Press Inc. MEMBER Conexx: America Israel Business Connector American Jewish Press Association Sandy Springs/Perimeter Chamber of Commerce Please send all photos, stories and editorial content to: submissions@atljewishtimes.com

5 • 2020 Voter's Guide

Politics What You Should Know About the 2020 Election



By Dave Schechter On Nov. 3, the folks who administer elections in Georgia hope to avoid a repeat of the problems that plagued the June 9 primary and sullied the state’s reputation. The televised images included hundreds of people standing in line waiting to vote, polling stations kept open past the closing hour to accommodate people already in line, insufficient numbers of machines in some places, machines with technical problems in others, and poll workers uncertain of procedures. Reports that just weeks before the general election, the state is fixing a software problem in its new, $104 million voting machines, combined with concerns about the handling of an anticipated record number of absentee ballots, have done little to lesson anxieties. Turnout by the state’s more than 7.4 million voters could approach the record 75.6 percent of eligible voters who cast ballots in the 2016 presidential election. State officials have suggested that as many as 1.5 million absentee ballots may be filed, with another 2 million people taking advantage of in-person early voting, and 2 million expected to vote on Election Day. To help you with the nuts and bolts of the election, here are some basic howtos: Dates to Remember The deadline to register to vote in the general election was Oct. 5. Early voting began Oct. 12 and runs through Oct. 30. On election day, about 2,500 polling places will open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m., unless circumstances warrant keeping open individual locations, as was done in the primary. Any runoffs necessary for state and local offices will take place Dec. 1 and for 2020 Voter's Guide • 6

federal offices Jan. 5. A runoff is likely in one of two U.S. Senate races and possible in the other.

Absentee Ballots More than 1.15 million people voted absentee in the primary, totaling nearly half the ballots cast. Slightly more than 14 percent of the primary ballots were cast in early voting and more than 37 percent on June 9. For the general election, the state did not send absentee ballot applications to all registered voters, as it did in advance of the primary. Still, by Oct. 7, more than 1.5 million people had applied for absentee ballots, including through an online portal the secretary of state’s office unveiled in August. The state also created an online tracking system for people to track the progress of their application. According to data compiled at Georgia Votes, as of Oct. 5, the majority of absentee ballot applications statewide came from whites (53.1 percent, as well as 30.8 percent from African-Americans) and women (56.9 percent), with shy of half (44.8 percent) from voters age 65 and older. Of note, 30 percent came from people who did not vote in 2016 and 28.6 percent from people who did not vote in 2018. Absentee ballots can be mailed back to county election offices, taken to county election offices, or dropped off at designated lock-box locations. As this article was written, the deadline for return of

absentee ballots had been restored to 7 p.m. Nov. 3, as the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals overruled a lower court ruling that would have required counting ballots postmarked by Nov. 3 but received later. Now, absentee ballots mailed too close to Election Day could be disqualified if they arrive after the deadline. The state has given the counties a green light to begin scanning absentee ballots two weeks and a day before Election Day, but no votes will be tabulated until Nov. 3. A survey of 1,150 likely Georgia voters — conducted Sept. 11-20 by the University of Georgia’s School of Public & International Affairs for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution - found that 26.7 percent planned to vote by absentee ballot, 36.8 percent in early voting, and 33.9 percent on Election Day. A Quinnipiac University Poll of 1,125 likely Georgia voters — conducted September 23-27, with a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points – found supporters of President Donald Trump three times more likely than backers of former vice president Joe Biden to vote in person on Election Day (65 percent to 22 percent); Biden’s supporters more than three times as likely to use mail-in/absentee ballots (36 percent to 11 percent) and substantially more likely to vote in person during early voting (41 percent to 23 percent).

to back up the computer screens with a paper trail, a system that critics say still remains open to tampering. Election integrity activists have appealed to a federal judge, asking that the state not use the new machines and instead use handmarked paper ballots for the election. Not that further controversy was needed, but in early October, election officials were applying a software fix to the system, related to the size of the ballot for the all-comers to fill the unexpired two years in the term of retired Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson. There are 21 names on the ballot but not all fit on a single computer screen during testing. Thus, a fix weeks before Election Day. On June 9, problems were reported in nearly two dozen counties, the epicenter being Fulton County, where waits of several hours were reported at polling places (most notably at the Park Tavern near Piedmont Park), along with missing voting equipment and inexperienced poll workers. COVID-19 played a role in the large number of absentee ballots cast in the primary. The virus made some regular polling places unavailable and kept home many regular poll workers, who tend to be older members of the population. Various groups have been trying to convince more young people to serve as poll workers in November. The state hoped to recruit 25,000 people for this duty. In ad-

Voting Machines Nov. 3 will be the largest test of the new machines, manufactured by Dominion Voting Systems, which are designed

dition to increased training for the poll workers, the state plans to add additional voting machines and ballot scanners at polling places.


Voting Demographics Nationally, more than half (56 percent) of those voting in 2016 were age 50 and older, according to the Pew Research Center. Jewish turnout in presidential elections nationally hovers around 80 percent. The Jewish Electorate Institute says that 29 percent of Georgia’s Jewish population is age 65 and older, compared with 19 percent of the state as a whole. Given the

propensity of both Jews and older people to vote in percentages greater than the population in general, the votes of older Jews could help sway the balance in close races, such as the state’s two Senate seats. Voters under age 25 make up the fastest-growing segment of the electorate, doubling from 6 percent in 2016 to 12.3 percent in 2020, according to the secretary of state’s office.

Voters under age 35 comprise 31 percent of the electorate, compared with 23 percent in 2016, according to an analysis by the AJC. At the other end of the age spectrum, the percentage of voters older than 65 declined from 24.3 percent in 2016 to 19.3 percent in 2020. The secretary of state’s office reported in February that 52.9 percent of registered voters self-identified as white,

down from 56.7 percent in 2016. The African American percentage of 29.6 in 2020 was a fraction less than the 30 percent in 2016. Hispanics numbered 3.3 percent of the 2020 electorate, up from 2.3 percent in 2016, while the Asian Pacific population increased to 2.4 percent in 2020 from 1.8 in 2016. The state reported the racial identification of 10.2 percent to be unknown in 2020. ì


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paid for by Shea Roberts for Georgia

learn more at sheaforgeorgia.com 7 • 2020 Voter's Guide





Directory Listing of Official Absentee Ballot Box Locations

Dekalb County Atlanta Dekalb County Library – Gresham Branch, 2418 Gresham Road, Atlanta 30316 Brookhaven Brookhaven City Hall, 4362 Peachtree Road, NE

The list below gives locations of secure ballot drop boxes for those who don't feel comfortable mailing their absentee ballots.

Clarkston Clarkston Library, 951 N. Indian Creek Drive Clarkston City Hill, 3921 Church Street

Cobb County

Decatur Sterling at Candler Village, 2536 Mellville Avenue Voter Registration & Elections, 4380 Memorial Drive Exchange Park, 2771 Columbia Drive Wesley Chapel-William C. Brown Library, 2861 Wesley Chapel Road Decatur City Hall, 509 N. Mcdonough Street

Central Cobb County Elections & Registration, 736 Whitlock Avenue, Marietta Cobb County Animal Services, 1060 Al Bishop Dr., SW, Marietta East East Cobb Government Service Center, 4400 Lower Roswell Rd, Marietta Sewell Mill Library & Cultural Center, 2051 Lower Roswell Rd. Marietta North Cobb Fire Station 8, 2380 N. Cobb Pkwy, Kennesaw Gritters Library, 880 Shaw Park Road, Marietta Northeast Mountain View Library, 3320 Sandy Plains Road, Marietta Northwest West Cobb Regional Library, 1750 Dennis Kemp Ln NW, Kennesaw North Cobb Regional Library, 3535 Old 41 Hwy NW, Kennesaw South South Cobb Government Service Center, 4700 Austell Rd, Austell South Cobb Recreation Center, 875 Riverside Pkwy, Austell South Cobb Regional Library, 805 Clay Street, Mableton Southeast Windy Hill Community Center, 1885 Roswell St SE, Smyrna Cobb County Fire Station 4, 1901 Cumberland Pkwy SE, Atlanta Southwest Powder Springs Library, 4181 Atlanta Street, Powder Springs West Cobb County Fire Station 13, 4640 Dallas Hwy, Marietta

Doraville Doraville City Hall, 3725 Park Avenue Dunwoody Dunwoody City Hall, 4800 Ashford Dunwoody Road Ellenwood County Line-Ellenwood Library, 4331 River Road Lithonia Salem – Panola Library, 5137 Salem Road Redan-Trotti Library, 1569 Wellborn Road Stonecrest Stonecrest City Hall, 3120 Stonecrest Boulevard Lou Walker Senior Center, 2538 Panola Road Stone Mountain Stone Mountain City Hall, 875 Main Street Wade Walker Family YMCA, 5605 Rockbridge Road Dekalb County Fire Station # 25, 7136 Rockbridge Road Toco Hills Toco Hill-Avis G. Williams Library, 1282 Mcconnell Drive, Decatur 30033 Tucker Tucker City Hall, 1975 Lakeside Parkway, Suite 350 Tucker-Reid H. Cofer Library, 5234 Lavista Road




2020 Voter's Guide • 8

9 • 2020 Voter's Guide

Politics Fulton County

Gwinnett County

Alpharetta Alpharetta Branch Library, 10 Park Plaza Fulton County Customer Service Center @ Maxwell Rd, 11575 Maxwell Road Johns Creek Environmental Campus, 8100 Holcomb Bridge Road Northeast /Spruill Oaks Library, 9560 Spruill Road

Buford Bogan Park Community Recreation Center, 2723 North Bogan Road Buford-Sugar Hill Branch Library, 2100 Buford Highway

Atlanta Adams Park Library, 2231 Campbellton Road, Atlanta 30311 Adamsville/Collier Heights Library, 3424 Martin Luther King Jr Drive, Atlanta 30331 Auburn Avenue Research Library, 101 Auburn Avenue, Atlanta 30303 Buckhead Library, 269 Buckhead Avenue, NE, Atlanta 30305 Cleveland Avenue Library, 47 Cleveland Avenue, SW, Atlanta 30315 Dogwood Library, 1838 Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway, Atlanta 30318 Evelyn G. Lowery @ Cascade, 3665 Cascade Road, SW, Atlanta 30331 Fulton County Airport, 3929 Aviation Circle, Suite A, Atlanta 30336 Fulton County Government Center, 141 Pryor Street, SW, Atlanta 30303 Fulton County Government Center, 130 Peachtree Street, SW, Atlanta 30303 Louise Watley Library at Southeast Atlanta, 1463 Pryor Road, SW, Atlanta 30315 Mechanicsville Library, 400 Formwalt Street, Atlanta 30312 Metropolitan Branch Library, 1332 Metropolitan Parkway, Atlanta 30310 Northside Library, 3295 Northside Parkway, NW, Atlanta 30327 Northwest Branch Library @ Scott’s Crossing, 2489 Perry Boulevard, NW, Atlanta, 30318 Ponce De Leon Library, 980 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta 30306 Washington Park Library, 1116 Martin Luther King Jr Drive, Atlanta 30314 West End Library, 525 Peeples Street SW, Atlanta 30310 Wolf Creek Branch Library, 3100 Enon Road, Atlanta 30331 College Park College Park Branch Library, 3647 Main Street South Fulton Service Center, 5600 Stonewall Tell Road East Point East Point Branch Library, 2757 Main Street Fairburn Fairburn Branch Library, 60 Valley View Drive Hapeville Hapeville Senior Center, 527 King Arnold Street Johns Creek Robert E. Fulton Regional Library @ Ocee, 5090 Abbotts Bridge Road Milton Milton Branch Library, 855 Mayfield Road Palmetto Palmetto Branch Library, 9111 Cascade Palmetto Highway Roswell East Roswell Branch Library, 2301 Holcomb Bridge Road, Roswell 30076 Roswell Branch Library, 115 Norcross Street, Roswell 30075 Sandy Springs North Fulton Service Center, 7741 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs 30350 North Training Center, 5025 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs 30342 Sandy Springs Branch Library, 395 Mt Vernon Highway, NE, Sandy Springs 30328 Union City Gladys S. Dennard Library @ South Fulton, 4055 Flat Shoals Road

2020 Voter's Guide • 10

Dacula Dacula Park Activity Building, 2735 Old Auburn Avenue Dacula Branch Library, 265 Dacula Road Hamilton Mill Branch Library, 3690 Braselton Highway Duluth Shorty Howell Park Activity Building, 2750 Pleasant Hill Road Duluth Branch Library, 3840 Duluth Park Lane Grayson Grayson Branch Library, 700 Grayson Parkway Lawrenceville Gwinnett Voter Registrations & Elections Beauty P. Baldwin Building, 455 Grayson Highway, Suite 200 Collins Hill Branch Library, 455 Camp Perrin Road Five Forks Branch Library, 2780 Five Forks Trickum Road Lawrenceville Branch Library, 1001 Lawrenceville Highway Lilburn Lilburn Branch Library, 4817 Church Street NW Mountain Park Branch Library, 1210 Pounds Road Norcross Lucky Shoals Park Community Recreation Center, 4651 Britt Road Norcross Branch Library, 6025 Buford Highway Peachtree Corners Peachtree Corners Branch Library, 5570 Spalding Drive Snellville Lenora Park Gym, 4515 Lenora Church Road Centerville Branch Library, 3025 Bethany Church Road Snellville Branch Library, 2740 Lenora Church Road Stone Mountain Mountain Park Aquatic Center,1063 Rockbridge Road Suwanee George Pierce Park Community Recreation Center, 55 Buford Highway Suwanee Branch Library, 361 Main Street

A Distinguished Career.

• Current DeKalb County Sheriff (As of December 1, 2019) • Former Chief Deputy, DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office • Former Chief of Administration, DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office • Former Chief of Police, Georgia Piedmont Technical College • Former Master Police Officer, DeKalb County Police Department • Hostage Negotiator • Defensive Tactics Instructor

Vote Now to Keep our Sheriff

Melody Maddox

A Focused Leader.

Since Sheriff Maddox took office on December 1, 2019, the agency has: • Secured another Triple Crown Rating for the Sheriff’s Office (one of 41 agencies in the country) • Hired more than 100 deputies • Began a cleanup of jail facilities • Continued building linkages to reduce recidivism • Focused agency on inmate treatment • Successfully executed more than 98% clearance rate of felony warrants • Helped secure a 4% pay raise for deputies and staff (EXcluding herself)

Rooted in the Community.

Sheriff Melody Maddox: • Raised in DeKalb County • Received a Master’s Degree from Central Michigan University • Graduated from Morris Brown College • Parent of a DeKalb County Public Schools graduate • Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc • Graduate of Leadership DeKalb • Received the First Responders Award, Trailblazer Award and Distinguished Service Award


11 • 2020 Voter's Guide

Politics Jewish Voters Bring Historic Trends and Concerns

vote! Republican Donald Trump received 24 percent of the Jewish vote in 2016, compared with 71 percent for Democrat Hillary Clinton.

By Dave Schechter American Jews take their civic duties seriously. Scholars estimate that Jewish turnout in president elections hovers around 80 percent or greater, far greater than the nation in general. It has been said that when

it comes to the ballot box, Jews — just 2.1 percent of the population — punch over their weight. With rare exceptions, over the past century the majority of the Jewish vote has gone to the Democratic presidential nominee. Based on exit polls after the 2016

election, Democrat Hillary Clinton received an estimated 71 percent of that vote to 25 percent for Republican Donald Trump. Polling in advance of the 2020 election suggests that the overall trend will continue, with Democratic challenger Joe Biden netting about two-thirds of the Jewish vote and now-incumbent Republican President Donald Trump possibly improving on his 2016 share. There are four important “battleground states” — Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan — where the Jewish vote could be particularly consequential, and potentially tip the balance in the presidential race, according to “The Jewish Vote 2020: More Empowered Than Powerful,” published by the Ruderman Family Foundation and authored by McGill University professor Gil Troy.

Real Leadership to Fight COVID-19 As a physician who has previously dealt with COVID-19 herself, Dr. Kirkpatrick is highly knowledgeable about the effects of Coronavirus and will continue to use that knowledge to protect our families. Rated Among the Most Effective in the Legislature Kay is a highly effective Senator with a proven record of passing legislation to help our community.

Senatorkaykirkpatrick.com 2020 Voter's Guide • 12

A survey of 1,000 American Jews, conducted online in February for the Jewish Electorate Institute by a professional polling firm, found that 66 percent identified as Democrats and 26 percent as Republicans. When the same pollster conducted another survey for JEI Sept. 2-7 of 810 self-identified Jewish likely voters, 67 percent said they would vote for Biden, 30 percent for Trump, and 3 percent undecided. Biden had the backing of 57 percent of male respondents and 75 percent of women. When asked to rate 11 issues, economy/jobs was ranked as “one of the most important” or a “very important” issue by 92 percent of the likely Jewish voters, followed by health care at 91 percent, the coronavirus at 90 percent, and Medicare-Social Security at 89 percent. Though 88 percent described themselves as “generally pro-Israel,” Israel was the lowest ranked issue, at 64 percent. The September survey was conducted before the death of Supreme Court associate justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to fill that seat on the nine-person high court. Coming six weeks before the election, the nomination of a


The high-water mark for Jewish support of a Democratic presidential candidate – 90 percent – was received by Roosevelt in 1940 and 1944 and Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964.

The 45 percent of the Jewish vote received in 1980 by incumbent Democratic President Jimmy Carter was the lowest since James Cox’s 19 percent in his 1920 loss to Republican Warren Harding.

Incumbent Republican President Ronald Reagan received 39 percent of the Jewish vote in 1980, a mark unequaled by Republicans since.

Bill Clinton received 80 percent of the Jewish vote in 1992 when he defeated Republican incumbent George H.W. Bush and 78 percent four years later when he won re-election against Republican Bob Dole.

SCOTUS justice instantly became a priority issue. In reviewing data from studies conducted from 2017-19, the Pew Research Center found a noteworthy tendency among Jewish voters, that “nearly half (47%) of Jewish voters who attend religious services at least a few times a month identify with or lean toward the Republican Party, compared with a much smaller share (22%) of those who attend services less often.” Trump fares better with the Orthodox community, which makes up 10 to 12 percent of American Jewry, and for whom Israel ranks as a higher priority is-

recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, the U.S. role in Israel’s improved diplomatic relations with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, and Trump’s personal relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Trump’s supporters call him the most pro-Israel president ever, while also citing his support of conservative policies that support their beliefs on such domestic issues as same-sex marriage, nomination of judges to the federal bench, government support for private education, and a law-and-order appeal that resonates with Orthodox Jews, whose communities have been victims of physical assaults. Back in August 2019, Trump said, “I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat – it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty,” the latter referring to Israel. Critics complained that Trump was dabbling in an anti-Semitic trope, that Jewish citizens of the United States have dual loyalties. The reaction was the same last month when Trump told a pre-Rosh Hashanah call with American Jews, “We really appreciate you. We love your country also, and thank you very much.” According to academic reviews, the trend of majority Jewish support for Democrats began with unsuccessful candidates John W. Davis in 1924 (51 percent) and Al Smith in 1928 (72 percent), but became most pronounced in the four electoral victories of Democratic President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (beginning with 82 percent in 1932). Polls show that the issues espoused by Democrats — among them health care, Medicare/Social Security, public education and race relations — rank as

being of greatest importance to the majority of American Jews. Additionally, surveys by the American Jewish Committee have found that a majority of American Jews support a negotiated two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians; believe that as part of a peace agreement Israel should give up some or all of the housing settlements built in the West Bank (also known as Judea and Samaria); and want the government to pay more than lip service to issues of religious pluralism in Israel. From the mid-1860s until 1920, Jewish voters favored Republicans, seen in those years as the more progressive of the two major parties, though more in the post-Civil War North than in the formerly Confederate South. The 1920 election also was the last time Jewish voters favored the Republican nominee, that year Warren Harding, with 43 percent. Roosevelt received 90 percent of the Jewish vote in winning re-election in 1940 and 1944, a figure matched only by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964. The last Democrat to receive less than half the Jewish vote was Georgia’s own Jimmy Carter, with 45 percent in 1980 (after receiving 64 percent in his 1976 win). Republican challenger Ronald Reagan, who won the election, garnered 39 percent. No Republican has received that much of the Jewish vote since. Bill Clinton received 80 percent of the Jewish vote in 1992 when he defeated Republican incumbent George H.W. Bush and 78 percent four years later when he won reelection against Republican Bob Dole. Barack Obama received 78 percent of the Jewish vote in defeating Republican John McCain in 2008 and 69 percent in winning re-election in 2012 against Republican Mitt Romney. ì

sue than for their co-religionists. A post2016 election survey conducted by the American Jewish Committee determined that 54 percent of Orthodox Jews voted for Trump, compared with 24 percent of Conservative Jews, 10 percent of Reform, 8 percent of Reconstructionist, and 14 percent who identified as “just Jews.” Israel is Trump’s primary calling card to Jewish voters, even when he suggests that his 2017 order recognizing Jerusalem as its capital of Israel was “for the evangelicals.” His supporters point to the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear weapons deal, relocation of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, U.S. 13 • 2020 Voter's Guide

Opinion Deeds Versus Words: Why Jews Should Support Trump In 40plus years in business, I ran into many great talkers who delivered nothing productive and were “empty suits.” Most Chuck Berk politicians fit that description: promise a lot and deliver little. Conversely, Donald Trump is a man of action. You may not like his in-your-face style, but he’s been a great president for Israel, Jews and America. Many Atlanta Jews are social justice warriors, with special emphasis on helping African Americans. No recent president has done more to help the Black community than Donald Trump, not with slogans or marches, but with action. By removing onerous regulations and unfair trade practices, Trump opened the door to the greatest economic growth we’ve seen in decades, especially for minorities.

Unemployment rates for Blacks, Latinos and women fell to the lowest levels ever; 6 million people were lifted out of poverty. Poverty rates for Blacks and Latinos reached the lowest levels since data’s been collected! Trump passed Opportunity Zone incentives promoting investment in low income communities. He signed the groundbreaking First Step Act criminal justice bill that enacted reforms in sentencing inequities, which disproportionately harmed Black Americans. Trump increased funding – the most ever – for historically Black colleges and universities. Knowing how important education is to uplifting minorities, he supported charter schools and vouchers, providing better educational opportunities for Blacks stuck in poorly-run city government schools. The Obama-Biden administration did none of this. Trump’s foreign policy has also been great for America. Trump long recognized how China has been stealing our intellectual property, decimating U.S. manufacturing, undermining American

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businesses, and practicing unfair trade policies. In comparison, Biden naively said last year about China: “They’re not bad folks....They’re not competition for us.” Really? Trump called out China for its negligence in not warning us about COVID and has been a tough negotiator, making better trade deals benefiting U.S. farmers and businesses. NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), which had sucked our manufacturing and jobs over the borders, was replaced with a much friendlier USMCA (United States-MexicoCanada Agreement). He strengthened NATO with European allies finally paying their fair share so U.S. taxpayers wouldn’t have to disproportionately pay for Europe’s security. The U.S. became energy-independent, with 50 percent more production than Saudi Arabia. Biden promises to implement the unaffordable Green New Deal, which would decimate our energy sector and significantly raise utility prices. Trump imposed the “maximum pressure” sanctions campaign on Iran, depriving the mullahs of the resources to pursue their nuclear dreams and limited their aggressions as the largest state sponsor of terrorism. Obama-Biden “played nice” with Iran, sending it about $150 billion in cash, which Iran used to fund terrorism, not to help its people. Iran continues to state its goal of annihilating the U.S. and Israel, while Biden pledged to re-enter the disastrous JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) deal, a badly conceived effort that let Iran continue to cheat its way toward nuclear weapons and the ballistic missiles. How about the U.N.? For years, we’ve been paying the lion’s share of the U.N.’s expenses while the member nations continuously vote against us. America’s U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and Trump said, “no more.” The U.S. cut its U.N. contribution, all aid to UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency), signed the Taylor Force Act prohibiting aid to families of terrorists and dropped membership in the U.N.’s Human Rights Council, which condemns Israel while ignoring real human rights violations worldwide. Before leaving office in December 2016, the Obama-Biden administration betrayed Israel by orchestrating the U.N. resolution 2334 vote, falsely claiming the Old City of Jerusalem “illegal” and “occupied Palestinian territory.” If that wasn’t enough, Obama-Biden humiliated Israel’s U.N. Ambassador

Republican PRESIDENT

Donald Trump

Danny Danon by having every Security Council member stand and applaud the resolution’s passage as Danon sat. Jews desperately need respected local police forces to protect us in synagogues and on the streets. Trump is a law-and-order president who supports our military and police. And he’ll protect private health insurance and coverage for pre-existing conditions. Maybe most important for Jews, the State of Israel has not had a better friend in the White House than Trump since its founding in 1948. Many U.S. presidents promised to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but Trump moved our embassy to Jerusalem. He recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Trump’s policies implicitly called on the Arab world to recognize the State of Israel’s legitimacy and permanency, strengthening the U.S.-Israel alliance, leading to incredible diplomatic successes and producing agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain – truly historic progress for the first time in 25 years. Biden’s record has not been supportive of any of these issues. Further, it was his threat to halt aid to Israel nearly four decades ago that led then-Prime Minister Menachem Begin to remark: "I am not a Jew with trembling knees.” It would be a shande [shame] to replace the rock-solid pro-Jewish, pro-Israel Trump with Biden.  Chuck Berk is local co-chair of the Republican Jewish Coalition with his wife, Bonnie.


Why Jewish Voters Should Support Biden Serious discussion of which candidate most deserves the support of Jewish voters should, I think, begin with the valMichael ues of our Rosenzweig tradition and what those values require of us. Judaism obliges us, as part of our covenant with God, to help repair an imperfect world. At its core, that covenant, that obligation, means respecting and displaying love and kindness for other human beings, recognizing the central teaching of Judaism that all human beings have intrinsic dignity and are created in the image of God. For that reason, one simply cannot be a serious Jew without caring about those who are downtrodden — the stranger, the orphan, the widow, the poor. If we take the values of Judaism seriously, Jewish voters should support Joe Biden for the same reasons all Americans should support him: Biden is a decent, compassionate man who shares our values, while Donald Trump plainly does not. Trump’s embrace of bigotry, race-baiting, xenophobia, corruption and cruelty jarringly clash with those values. Based on his nearly four years in office, it is impossible to conclude that Trump recognizes the intrinsic dignity of all human beings. Biden, on the other hand, exudes respect for others and concern for the downtrodden. Trump also poses a genuine threat to American Jews. It is beyond dispute that Trump exploits white supremacy and antisemitism to his political advantage. Antisemites, white nationalists and neo-Nazis are drawn to him, and he welcomes and encourages their support. His 2016 campaign trafficked in antisemitic tropes and anti-Jewish stereotypes, and even now he accuses Jews who don’t support him of “dual loyalty.” Moreover, his top advisors include white nationalist Stephen Miller and neo-Nazi sympathizer Sebastian Gorka. It’s no coincidence that hate

crimes and incidents targeting Jews and other minorities have increased dramatically since Trump took office. How then can one explain the support Trump appears to enjoy among even a minority of Jews, especially Orthodox Jews? The explanation one hears most often is that Trump is strongly pro-Israel. But putting aside whether that alone justifies Jewish support for Trump, the fact is that Israel is actually worse off than it was four years ago. The Iran Deal was working, but Trump walked away while Iran was still in compliance. Then his “maximum pressure” strategy failed, his efforts at the U.N. to continue the arms embargo against Iran failed, and his efforts at the U.N. to snapback sanctions against Iran failed. Iran is closer to nuclear weapons than when Trump left the deal; his failures on Iran should be reason enough for anyone who cares about Israel to vote him out of office. The accomplishments Trump touts on Israel are long on symbolism, short on substance, and have not made Israel safer or more secure. Israel’s security does not depend on where our embassy is or what we say about the Golan Heights. It depends on peace with the Palestinians, not peace with far-away countries with which Israel was never at war. Nobody can doubt Biden’s position regarding Israel, given his fivedecade record of unshakable support for the Jewish state. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to note that Biden’s pro-Israel record is longer and stronger than any candidate ever to run for president from either party. So even if one focuses principally or exclusively on Israel, voting for Trump simply makes no sense. Apart from Israel, some Jewish voters no doubt base their support of Trump on a belief that his policies regarding taxation and regulation better align with their views and help create an economy that benefits all Americans. I don’t question the good faith of such voters, but I do question the correctness of their views. We see evidence every day of the terrible consequences of income and

wealth inequality, neither of which appears to generate much concern from Trump. But as Jews, surely we must understand the importance of striving to create a fairer society, one in which the wealthiest Americans pay a little more in taxes so that children don’t go to bed hungry, so that every child is taught to read, so that all Americans have access to basic health care. If Jewish voters don’t care about alleviating poverty and human suffering in our country, who will? Which leaves us where we began — with the values of our Jewish tradition. Viewed through that lens, it is clear beyond any serious doubt: Biden should be the choice of all Jewish Americans who embrace those values. Biden is a mensch, and we badly need a mensch in the White House.  Michael Rosenzweig is a board member of the Jewish Democratic


Joe Biden

Council of America and a head of the JDCA Georgia chapter.

Executive Director, Western States Center and nationally-recognized expert on the relationship between authoritarian movements, hate violence, and preserving inclusive democracy, in conversation with Tam Institute for Jewish Studies Director Eric L. Goldstein.

Thursday, October 29, 7:30 PM

Register for this Zoom Webinar: https://tinyurl.com/rothschildlecture Co-Sponsored by the Emory University: Department of Religion Center for Ethics Hightower Fund Office of Spiritual & Religious Life Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry

js.emory.edu 15 • 2020 Voter's Guide

Opinion Georgia Republicans to Vote For The Republican Party gives steadfast support for the Jewish people and Israel. They continually condemn BDS and voted for the meaLaurie Weinstein sure to fight anti-Semitism, despite 162 Democrats (including Jerry Nadler and Adam Schiff) opposing it. That is why we are supporting these Republican candidates who have proven track records. Our Republican legislators/candidates have been instrumental in economic growth, improving healthcare, fighting COVID, supporting community safety and personal freedom, U.S.-Israel relationship and international security. Currently they are “jumpstarting” the economy, with Georgia’s unemployment at 5.6 percent. Georgia finds itself in the crosshairs as a fiscally responsible, pro-growth low

tax state. Outside Democratic donors are supporting candidates who would end educational choice, increase taxes and bureaucratic controls, “defund” our police, reinstate the Iran deal, and continue support for BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions), isolating Israel economically. Jewish women care deeply about these issues. To ensure safety and a strong economy for families in Georgia, the following candidates are the clear choice: Sen. David Perdue Perdue, as a strong defender of Israel, co-sponsored multiple bills to end BDS and a Senate resolution condemning all forms of anti-Semitism. He also supported the Taylor Force Act to halt funding for the Palestinian Authority. Working with President Donald Trump, they created 7.5 million new jobs, and unemployment was at record lows before COVID. Perdue worked to pass the bipartisan CARES Act, coronavirus aid for small businesses, healthcare workers and families across the state; SCHOOL act to safely reopen or

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2020 Voter's Guide • 16

learn virtually; and PROTECT Act, which guaranteed high quality affordable coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. He opposes “defunding” the police and has fought for police and criminal justice reform. As a former Fortune 500 CEO, he understands competition in the healthcare marketplace brings down costs. Karen Handel – 6th Congressional District Handel understands the critical alliance between the U.S. and Israel. She served as Fulton County commission chair, Secretary of State and congresswoman. She helped deliver the most significant tax cuts and regulatory reforms in decades. Handel co-sponsored legislation protecting pre-existing conditions. She increased funding for children’s healthcare, mental health, opioid prevention and treatment, and community health centers. She opposes an end to private health insurance, forcing everyone into government-run healthcare. Public safety is vital to her, so she opposes “defunding” the police. She opposes giving the federal government control over local zoning decisions. Handel will put Georgia 6th voters’ concerns first, keep our neighborhoods safe and protect our property. Deborah Silcox – House District 52 Silcox serves on the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust (educating students and visitors about discrimination and racism). She worked with Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick and Executive Director Sally Levine, passing a bill, creating a Holocaust Memorial in Georgia. A permanent exhibit, “Georgians in the Holocaust”, is on the first floor of the state Capitol. Silcox focuses many of her efforts on women’s issues. She is vice chair of the House Health & Human Services Committee. She sat on study committees, examining maternal mortality in Georgia and passed a bill extending Medicaid coverage for low-income postpartum mothers. She was the lead co-sponsor of the hate crimes bill and broadened the definition of sex trafficking, leading to increased sentencing for those convicted.

Dr. Kay Kirkpatrick – State Senate 32nd District As members of the Commission on the Holocaust, Kirkpatrick and Silcox moved administrative functions to another agency, saving the commission

thousands of dollars per year; passed a bill authorizing a state Holocaust memorial; and authored a resolution honoring International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Kirkpatrick is working with local rabbis to fight anti-Semitism and voted for the hate crimes bill. Some of the Senate bills she passed included: Save our Sandwich bill (saving a MUST Ministries summer feeding program); a bill for emergency prescription refills; and another clarifying the definition of “aggressor” for domestic violence calls. The House bills that Kirkpatrick sponsored extended Medicaid benefits for new moms, the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact bill, and Lacee’s Law, covering mammograms for women with high-risk breast cancer at a young age.

Lyndsey Rudder - State House District 54 Rudder has dedicated her career to a safer community. She has over 10 years of legal experience as a prosecutor fighting to keep our communities safe. She is currently a deputy district attorney. She previously served as a prosecutor in Chatham County and as an assistant attorney general. Raising two small children, Rudder is not only concerned with safety but also education, supporting parents’ choice to decide what’s best for their child. Rudder wants to support initiatives that protect and promote economic vitality in Georgia and safety for all residents. “I want to be your voice in the Georgia Legislature, and with my background in law, I want to fight crime to make Atlanta a safer place to live.”  Laurie Weinstein is part of the Republican Jewish Coalition National Leadership.

Opinion Why Democratic Down-Ballot Voting Matters in Georgia In 2012, Joanie Shubin and I started a grassroots group, Jewish Democratic Women’s Salon, Atlanta. We created JDWS to provide an opportunity for Jewish women to come together to educate and empower ourselves to take action for progressive change within our commuValerie Habif nity. We understood then, as we do now, that by focusing on local issues we could maximize our impact. Why was JDWS necessary? Because of the legislation coming out of our Republican-dominated state government. Georgia’s governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, and the General Assembly have remained under Republican control since 2004. This year we are counting on Georgians to vote down-ballot and change that, flipping the 16 House seats that would, at last, give Georgia Democrats control over one state legislative body. As Jewish women, we understand that standing in silence is akin to complicity. We are committed to acting on our Jewish values, values that require that we stand in opposition to laws that allow Georgians to carry guns in spaces we consider sacred, including our places of worship (Georgia House Bill 60, passed in 2014) and even on college campuses (Georgia House Bill 280, passed in 2017). As Jews, we believe that our state government has an obligation to pass laws that protect us from gun violence and encourage safe gun ownership. In 2019, our Republican legislature passed Georgia’s abortion ban (House Bill 481), a bill that fortunately has been stayed by a federal court on the grounds that it is clearly unconstitutional. This bill would have banned abortions at around the sixth week of pregnancy, before most pregnant women even know they are pregnant. As Jewish women, we believe that Georgia’s women have a fundamental right to self-determination over their own bodies. No government should make deeply personal reproductive choices on behalf of its citizens. This issue has become even more imperative now that our Supreme Court will likely be indelibly changed. As a result, we should expect that abortion rights will likely be turned back to the states, and our state legislature has certainly made it clear where they stand on this issue. Respect for the well-being of others is another fundamental Jewish value. As Jewish women, we believe that healthcare is a human right. Gov. Brian Kemp’s refusal to expand Medicaid has kept 240,000 Georgians from accessing even the most basic preventive health services. In 2020, we watched as Kemp repeatedly defied health recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designed to protect us from the COVID-19 pandemic. The result was the unnecessary death and illness of thousands, a tragedy that, contrary to Kemp’s assertions, has arguably damaged our economy in far greater ways than a swift and comprehensive quarantine would have done.

After years of work toward a bipartisan state hate crimes bill, it took Ahmaud Arbery’s tragic death to convince Georgia’s Republican legislature to support the passage of House Bill 426. These bills don’t just happen; they take massive amounts of grassroots organizing to raise awareness and persuade our elected officials that they have taken an oath to represent all of us, not just their partisan loyalists. As Jewish women, we believe we have a collective responsibility to stand in opposition to hate and to promote racial equity. The Black Lives Matter movement has highlighted the many archaic laws that are part of Georgia’s racist history. These laws include a citizen’s arrest law established in 1863, a stand-your-ground law established in 2006, and a system of cash bond rules that disproportionately discriminates against the poor and people of color. While Georgians continue to wait for criminal justice reform, in 2019 our legislators chose instead to extend additional protections to Confederate monuments (Senate Bill 77). In the meantime, Georgia’s Republican secretary of state continues a pattern of voter disenfranchisement that denies people of color equal access to voting in our state and tips Georgia’s elections in favor of the status quo: political domination by a single party focused on the well-being of the few over the well-being of the many. Politics matter. Elections matter. These sorts of de-

structive laws are the product of a Georgia Assembly that continues to pass bills that fail to follow the Jewish mandate, “Justice, justice, shall you pursue.” We are commanded to pursue justice, to seek out and demand justice whenever we confront injustice. The pursuit of justice is intended to be an active process that requires participation from all of us. Get to know your local Georgia House and Senate candidates and decide which among them most align with your core Jewish values. For us, the decision could not be clearer.  Valerie Habif is a co-founder of the Jewish Democratic Women’s Salon, Atlanta.

"Politics as usual has failed us. I am running AS a fed up citizen of Georgia and FOR the fedup citizens of Georgia to bring an independent voice to the U.S. Senate."


@LiebermanForGA 17 • 2020 Voter's Guide

Politics Perdue-Ossoff Race Rated a 'Toss-Up' By Dave Schechter Six years ago, when Republican David Perdue won a seat in the U.S. Senate, the former CEO of Reebok and Dollar General was billed as a “political outsider.” Now, as he seeks a second term, Perdue is the “original political outsider.” His opponent, Democrat Jon Ossoff, received national attention in 2017 in an unsuccessful bid to represent Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. Ossoff fell just short of winning a majority of the vote in an 18-candidate, all-comers primary, then lost in a special election runoff to Republican Karen Handel. The $55 million spent by candidates and outside groups made it the most expensive House race ever. Ossoff is managing director and CEO of Insight TWI: The World Investigates, a London-based company that produces news documentaries. He is seeking to become only the second Jewish candidate — after Republican former Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens — to win a statewide partisan race. A survey of 1,106 likely Georgia voters conducted Sept. 27-Oct. 6 by the University of Georgia’s School of Public & International Affairs, for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution — put Perdue at 48.9 percent, Ossoff 41.4 percent, and Libertarian Shane Hazel 2.5 percent, with 7.1 percent undecided. The poll’s sampling error was 2.9 percentage points. A Quinnipiac University Poll of 1,125 likely Georgia voters — conducted Sept. 23-27, with a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points – gave Ossoff a 49 percent to 48 percent advantage but did not ask about Hazel. A Jan. 5 runoff is possible if Hazel wins enough votes to prevent either Perdue or Ossoff from receiving a majority in the





David Perdue

Jon Ossoff

Nov. 3 general election. For most of the past four decades, Senate incumbents have been re-elected at a rate of about 80 percent. Slightly more than one-third (35) of the Senate’s 100 seats are up for election, including both of Georgia’s. Republicans currently hold 53 seats; Democrats 45; and two independents caucus with the Democrats. “Here’s the reality: The state of Georgia is in play,” Perdue said in April, according to audio CNN obtained from a call with Women for Trump. Perdue said then that he would need twice the 1.36 million votes he received in 2014, when he defeated Democrat Michelle Nunn. While the race has featured back-andforth accusatory ads, it was a Facebook ad

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in late July that made headlines in the Jewish press. Perdue’s campaign apologized (Ossoff sought a personal apology) and said it fired an outside vendor for using a picture that enlarged and elongated Ossoff’s nose, harkening to a historic anti-Jewish stereotype. Perdue touts his support for President Donald Trump, and Ossoff ties Perdue to Trump at every opportunity. Perdue, in turn, ties Ossoff to the furthest left reaches of the political spectrum. Answering a question about antiSemitism from the Jewish Insider news site, Ossoff said, “Sectarianism and racism often increase at moments of great social, economic, and political stress — especially when dangerous political demagogues like Donald Trump deliberately inflame mistrust, resentment, and hatred to gain power. Racism, anti-Semitism, and xenophobia have increased in America as President Trump has deliberately pitted Americans against Americans, stirring up conflict within our society rather than uniting us to move forward together as one people.” In August, after Trump accepted renomination by the Republican national convention, Perdue said, “We will get our economy going again after this unprecedented crisis, but to do that, we have to stand up to the radical Democrats who are trying to perpetrate a socialist agenda that’s failed everywhere it’s been tried around the world. Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and Jon Ossoff want to disinvest in our military, defund the police, abolish ICE, enable sanctuary cities,

move to socialized medicine, and enact the Green New Deal. They want to take away our freedom and they will destroy the freeenterprise system.” Perdue has a sizable advantage in available cash. As of their June 30 campaign finance statements, the most recent available, Perdue reported having nearly $10.7 million on hand, compared with $2.5 million for Ossoff. Perdue and Ossoff both have used family when the subject is health care, which surveys find most Jews rank as one of their highest priority issues when voting. Perdue’s sister, Debbie, a cancer survivor, appeared in an ad that declared “Health insurance should always cover pre-existing conditions for anyone. Period.” Perdue has joined efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, often referred to as “Obamacare,” which includes such coverage, and warns that “if Biden is elected, our private insurance will go away” in favor of a Medicare-style program. Ossoff’s wife, Dr. Alisha Kramer, an ob-gyn at Emory University Hospital, appeared in an ad praising frontline “heroes” in the fight against COVID-19. Ossoff has called the pandemic “a wake up for anyone who doubts the necessity of ensuring that every single American has health insurance.” Perdue praises Trump for removing the U.S. from the Iran nuclear weapons deal, relocating the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, and backing Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights. “Our adversaries become very emboldened because they don’t think we’re going to stand by our ally, the state of Israel,” he told the Atlanta chapter of the Republican Jewish Coalition in August. Ossoff, who became bar mitzvah at The Temple, has family in Israel and often has said that he is “committed to protecting Israel as a secure homeland for the Jewish people.” He told the Jewish Insider, “Israel’s national security requires the capacity to prevail in simultaneous, multi-front, protracted military conflict with multiple hostile states and heavily armed non-state adversaries . . . I recognize that Israel’s security requires the Israel Defense Forces to maintain a Qualitative Military Edge (QME) in the region,” he said. “A two-state solution, whereby Israel and a sovereign Palestinian state co-exist peacefully, remains the most viable basis for peace — but the will and capacity of Israeli and Palestinian politicians to deliver this solution is in serious doubt.” 

Politics Georgia's 'Other' Senate Race Likely Headed for Runoff Republican








Kelly Loeffler

Raphael Warnock

Doug Collins

Matt Lieberman

By Dave Schechter The 117th Congress is scheduled to convene on Jan. 3. Georgians likely will elect at least one of their two Senators two days later. Odd as that sounds, the expectation is that none of 21 candidates on the ballot in the Nov. 3 all-comers primary will win a majority. The top two vote-getters would advance to a Jan. 5 runoff. This is the contest referred to as Senate race #2. Race #1, the face-off between Republican incumbent David Perdue and Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff, could itself go to a runoff if Libertarian Shane Hazel prevents either winning a majority. About one-third (35) of the Senate’s 100 seats are up for election. Republicans currently hold a 53-seat majority, which makes the two Georgia seats being contested crucial for both parties. The so-called “jungle primary” in Senate race #2 is to fill the two years remaining in the term of Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson, who retired in December citing health issues. The ballot will list eight Democrats, six Republicans (though one dropped out), five independents, one Green Party candidate, and one Libertarian. Republican Gov. Brian Kemp appointed businesswoman Kelly Loeffler to fill Isakson’s seat until the election. President Donald Trump reportedly favored Rep. Doug Collins, the 9th District representative who was a staunch defender when Trump was impeached by the House. Based on their campaign ads, public

comments, and social media postings, there is no love lost between Loeffler and Collins, both of whom are on the primary ballot. Each portrays the other as being less than a true conservative, including using images of the other with Democrat Stacey Abrams. The early conventional wisdom was that Loeffler and Collins would advance to a runoff. But Rev. Raphael Warnock, pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, running as a Democrat, may be in position to edge out one of the Republicans. Warnock has the backing of the national Democratic campaign apparatus, as well as former Democratic presidents Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama, along with Ossoff and Abrams. A survey of 1,106 likely voters — conducted Sept. 27-Oct. 6 by the University of Georgia’s School of Public & International Affairs for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution — put Warnock ahead at 27.7 percent; followed by Loeffler, 21.8 percent; Collins, 21.2 percent, former state Rep. Ed Tarver, 3.6 percent, and Democrat Matt Lieberman, who is Jewish, 3.4 percent. Nearly one in five voters said they were undecided. The poll’s sampling error was 2.9 percentage points. A Quinnipiac University Poll of 1,125 likely Georgia voters — conducted Sept. 23-27, with a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points – gave Warnock with 31 percent, Loeffler 23 percent, Collins 22 percent, and Lieberman 9 percent. Of the four, Lieberman’s supporters were far more willing to say that their vote might change. Loeffler has pledged to spend $20 million of her own money to support her campaign.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Loeffler has put more than $15 million of her own into the campaign, a bit more than 85 percent of the funds it had raised. As of June 30, the latest campaign finance report available, Loeffler had $7 million cash on hand; Warnock, nearly $2.9 million; Collins, $2.6 million; and Lieberman a bit more than $300,000. The remaining candidates had far lesser amounts. Responding to a question about antiSemitism asked by the Jewish Insider news site, Loeffler and Collins both pointed toward Democrats and the political left. Loeffler named Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota, and the Black Lives Matter movement. Collins cited “a growing number of members in the Democratic Caucus voicing their support for the BDS movement, which attacks Israel’s very right to exist.” Warnock has built bridges into Atlanta’s Jewish community, particularly through Rabbi Peter Berg of The Temple, working on such issues as gun violence and criminal justice reform, as well as publicly supporting the Jewish community against acts of anti-Semitism. Warnock and Berg co-authored a June 2019 op-ed in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution urging that racism not be weaponized in public policy debates. All of this may have Lieberman, the first candidate to enter the race, feeling marginalized. A health care entrepreneur and former head of school at Greenfield Hebrew Academy (now part of Atlanta Jewish Academy), he is the son of former Connecticut Sen. and Democratic vice-presidential nominee Joe Lieberman.

In August, Lieberman stood his ground when the chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia and the president of the Georgia NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) called on him to withdraw because of language Lieberman used in a novel with a plot that centered on racism. “I am first and foremost the Democrat who can win this in January,” Lieberman told an interviewer on MSNBC in September, referencing the expected runoff. “I am the only candidate at the top of this race who wasn’t put here by someone in Washington or Atlanta,” he said, blaming “power brokers,” citing Kemp’s appointment of Loeffler, Trump backing Collins, and Warnock receiving Democratic Party support. In late September and early October, calls for Lieberman to drop out of the race were proliferating and increasing. As if to illustrate the challenge Lieberman faces, an email to “Fellow Jewish Georgian” from prominent local Jewish Democrats warned against a runoff involving Loeffler and Collins. “That would be a tragic loss of a unique opportunity to elect two Democratic Senators in Georgia. To prevent such an absurd and abhorrent outcome, it’s critical that Democrats and independents unite behind a single candidate – Rev. Raphael Warnock – the only Democrat with a real chance to win. The race is so close that the votes of Jewish Georgians alone could make the difference,” the email read. Several hundred members of the Jewish community signed an ad to this effect that ran in the AJT.  19 • 2020 Voter's Guide

Politics 6th District Features McBath-Handel Rematch By Dave Schechter The most competitive contest among Georgia’s 14 congressional districts may be in the 6th: a rematch of 2018, when thenchallenger Democrat Lucy McBath unseated Republican Rep. Karen Handel. The National Republican Congressional Committee calls the 6th “the very definition of a swing suburban district, with even party identification and generic ballot numbers.” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution terms the district “ground zero for the battle over white, college-educated female voters in Georgia.” Now-Rep. McBath won in 2028 with 50.5 percent of the vote to 49.5 percent for Handel. Polls this summer gave McBath a narrow lead, but the race is rated a toss-up. The 6th District includes portions of eastern Cobb County, northern Fulton County and northern DeKalb County. Handel was elected to Congress in a 2017 special election, defeating Democrat Jon Ossoff in a runoff in the most expensive race in House history. She advanced to the 2020 general election after winning the

June 9 Republican primary with nearly 75 percent of the vote. As of their June 30 campaign finance reports to the Federal Election Commission, McBath had nearly $3.8 million cash on hand, while Handel had $1.2 million. “This election, it really is the most consequential of my lifetime. It is going to set the direction of this country and our state for at least a decade to come,” Handel told an online September gathering sponsored by the local chapter of the Republican Jewish Coalition. McBath and Handel both have made health care a priority issue. Handel has supported replacing the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as “Obamacare,” with a system that includes greater reliance on community health clinics. She told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that she would “again take the lead on legislation to protect those with pre-existing conditions from getting dropped or priced out of insurance” — a popular ACA provision — and would seek to “decouple insurance from employers and employees so individuals can take their plans with them wherever they go.”

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Karen Handel

In speaking about the COVID-19 pandemic, Handel told the RJC chapter, “We do have to hold China accountable” and suggested that U.S. manufacturing firms in China bring their operations to the United States or move to India. McBath, conversely, opposes efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and advocates for expansion of Medicaid in Georgia through funding available from the federal government. Following House passage in June of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act, McBath said, “This pandemic has shown us that every American needs access to quality, affordable health care. As a two-time breast cancer survivor, I live with a pre-existing condition every day, and there are 300,000 people in my district that live with them as well.” Regarding her opponent, Handel told the RJC that McBath’s 2018 campaign “was literally bought and paid for by Michael Bloomberg,” a major proponent of gun control. Prior to her election, McBath had been a national spokeswoman for Everytown for Gun Safety and worked for Delta Air Lines. McBath became a gun control activist after her 17-year-old son was shot to death in November 2012 by a man angered at the volume of music coming from a car in which the teen was sitting at a Jacksonville, Fla., gas station. Her first television ad in the 2020 campaign, released in August, was based on that experience. “I named Jordan after the river in the Bible. I never expected to be in Con-


Lucy McBath

gress, but then my son was murdered. My tragedy turned to purpose.” McBath’s major legislative achievement has been shepherding, through debate and bipartisan approval, a bill supporting disabled veterans (Honoring American Veterans in Extreme Need Act of 2019), signed into law by President Donald Trump in August 2019. She has served as a member of the House Committee on Education and Labor and the Committee on the Judiciary. She also is a member of the Congressional Caucus on Black-Jewish Relations. McBath took part in a display of solidarity with the Jewish community last month after swastikas were spray-painted onto fences in East Cobb. During the 2019-20 session, McBath signed on as one of 292 co-sponsors of the United States-Israel Cooperation Enhancement and Regional Security Act, which passed the House and now is before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. She also was among 259 co-sponsors of a bipartisan House resolution supporting the announcement of Israel establishing diplomatic relations with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Handel told the RJC call that Israel’s successful diplomatic overtures with the Arab nations would be “an encouragement to others in the future.” When asked about the expiration of the Iran arms embargo [set for Oct. 18], she said, “The arms embargo must be extended. Iran continues funding terrorist networks. It cannot be ignored. We cannot turn a blind eye to it.” 

Politics 7th District Chooses New U.S. House Representative By Dave Schechter In 2018, Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux came within an electoral whisker – 433 votes out of 280,000 cast – of unseating incumbent Republican Rep. Rob Woodall. Woodall opted not to seek re-election in 2020. After winning their respective primaries, Bourdeaux this time faces Republican Rich McCormick. The race is considered a toss-up by pollsters. The 7th covers much of Gwinnett County and the southern half of Forsyth County. In recent years the district’s demographics have changed as the white population in Gwinnett County dipped below 50 percent. As of their June 30 campaign finance reports, Bourdeaux had nearly $760,000 in cash on hand, while McCormick had $105,000. Speaking last month to the Atlanta chapter of the Republican Jewish Coalition, McCormick described himself as “a crayon-eating Marine who just breaks through walls.” He is an emergency room doctor at Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville. His wife, Dr. Debra MillerMcCormick, is an oncologist. The couple have seven children. McCormick served 20 years in the armed forces, as a Marine Corps helicopter pilot and, after medical school, as a Navy commander, including deployment to Afghanistan. He is a graduate of the Morehouse School of Medicine, which he mentions when asked about Republican Party outreach to the African American community. McCormick opposes the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” but in late September said on Twitter, “In Congress, I will not support any healthcare proposal that does not protect patients with pre-existing conditions and end surprise medical billing.” Regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, McCormick told the Gwinnett Daily Post in August: “My biggest disappointment is that the treatment of patients has been politicized rather than allowing doctors to do their job.” He has advocated on behalf of hydroxychloroquine, the controversial anti-malaria drug not approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat COVID-19 but touted by President Donald Trump. As she did in 2018, Bourdeaux has made health care the central issue of her campaign. Bourdeaux frequently cites the financial drain suffered by her parents when her father was ill. She favors


Rich McCormick

expanding the ACA by adding a public option for individuals and small businesses. In response to reports that Trump administration officials pressured the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to alter reports, Bourdeaux said on Twitter: “When politics gets in the way of public health, it’s our lives that are on the line. Trump and his enablers like @RichforGA [McCormick] have downplayed the threat of COVID-19 and manipulated the facts at every turn.” In responding to a questionnaire by the Jewish Insider news site, McCormick said, “Sadly, there is an element of antisemitism on the fringe of both the political left and the political right. Farleft elements of the Democratic party, including some members of Congress, have made antisemitic remarks and posts on social media. Likewise, the extreme right white supremacy groups embrace Nazi symbolism and perpetuate hateful stereotypes. In light of these groups, I don’t believe anti-Semitism is ‘rising’ in either party. However, polarization of our political system is increasing, and this polarization legitimizes fringe elements of both parties, which creates the appearance of increasing antisemitism on both sides of the political aisle.” McCormick has been critical of one Jew in particular, billionaire financier and philanthropist George Soros. Appearing June 19 on the Patriots’ Soapbox News Network, McCormick said, “And if you look at what Soros did, I just heard


Carolyn Bourdeax

today – and I don’t want to get conspiracy [sic] on you or anything like that, but — $20 million was donated to Black Lives Matter, basically through ActBlue,

basically, as a way to incite more violence and unrest to get people to vote the wrong way based on the narrative that we know is false.” Bourdeaux is not Jewish, but her husband Jeffrey Skodnick, a sales manager for LexisNexis, is and their son attends Hebrew school. “I have a wonderful, very supportive set of in-laws,” Bourdeaux told the Jewish Insider news site. “I really do feel a sense of deep connection with the Jewish community here.” In her response to the Jewish Insider question, Bourdeaux referred to comments by Trump, McCormick, and Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Republican candidate in Georgia’s 14th District. “Antisemitism is reprehensible, no matter what political party it comes from — and it’s alarmingly clear that anti-Semitic behavior is on the rise. … This violent, shameful rhetoric cannot be tolerated — at home or in the halls of Congress. In Congress, I’ll ensure federal agencies investigate white supremacist organizations and anti-Semitic violence with the thoroughness it deserves,” Bourdeaux said. 

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Politics New Voices Highlight Metro Congress Races By Dave Schechter The death in July from pancreatic cancer of 80-year-old Democratic Rep. John Lewis, who was seeking an 18th term in the U.S. House of Representatives, changed the lineup in the 5th Congressional District race. A special election held Sept. 29 to fill the several weeks remaining of Lewis’ term instead resulted in a runoff to be held Dec. 1. Kwanza Hall, a member of the Atlanta City Council, received 32 percent of the vote, and Robert Franklin, a minister and former president of Morehouse College, 28 percent, to advance from a field of seven candidates. One of these two African American men, both Democrats, will hold the seat until the winner of the Nov. 3 general election between two African American women, Democrat Nikema Williams and Republican Angela Stanton-King, takes her seat in Congress in January. The trend of a Democrat representing the 5th is expected to continue. Williams is the chair of the Democratic party of Georgia and represents



Johsie Cruz


Hank Johnson

The death of 80-year-old, 17-term Democratic Rep. John Lewis means that the 5th Congressional District will have a new member of Congress for the first time since 1986.

state Senate District 39 in the Georgia General Assembly. She was selected by the party to replace Lewis on the general

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election ballot. Stanton-King was pardoned in February by President Donald Trump after serving two years in prison and six months of home confinement on a 2004 conviction on federal conspiracy charges for her role in a car theft ring. She became an author and television personality and is TH an ardent supporter of Trump. The 5th District is comprised of central Fulton County and parts of DeKalb and Fulton counties, taking in threefourths of Atlanta. Elsewhere in the metro area, Democrat Hank Johnson is favored to defeat Republican Johsie Cruz and win an eighth term in the House from the 4th District, which is comprised of Rockdale County and sections of DeKalb, Gwinnett and Newton counties. In the 11th District, Democrat Dana Barrett, a former WGST radio host, who is Jewish, faces an uphill challenge in her effort to unseat three-term Republican incumbent Rep. Barry Loudermilk.


The 11th is comprised of the majority of Bartow and Cherokee counties, and a large portion of Cobb County. In the 13th District, nine-term incumbent Democrat David Scott faces Republican Becky Hites and Libertarian Martin Cowen. The 13th is made up of Douglas County and parts of Clayton, Cobb, Fayette, Fulton and Henry counties. The race in the 14th District, one of the most conservative congressional districts in the country, has been marked by controversy and upheaval. Republican Rep. Tom Graves previously announced that he would not seek re-election and then, on Sept. 11, announced that he would step down at the end of October, three months early. Also on Sept. 11, the Democrats’ candidate in the general election, Kevin Van Ausdal, announced that he was withdrawing from the race. The secretary of state’s office said that, because the withdrawal happened within 60


Marjorie Taylor Greene

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Angela Stanton-King

days of the election, he could not be replaced on the ballot by another Democratic candidate. Meanwhile, the Republican candidate, Marjorie Taylor Greene, has


Nikema Williams

received national attention for her propensity to tout QAnon conspiracy theories, including some involving Jews, in particular financier George Soros and the Rothschild family. The Republican


Barry Loudermilk

Jewish Coalition backed Greene’s opponent in the Aug. 11 runoff and said it would not support her in the Nov. 3 general election. Nonetheless, Greene appears headed for the U.S. House.


Dana Barrett

The 14th covers much of northwest Georgia, taking in Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Floyd, Gordon, Haralson, Murray, Pauling, Polk, Walker and Whitfield counties, and part of Pickens County. 

Georgia's 5th District Special Election December 1

23 • 2020 Voter's Guide

Politics Jews a Tiny Fraction of Georgia Legislature

Republican Alex Kaufman said, “We have few Jews running for office because we are aware of our relatively small numbers, which are divided even more by party affiliation, and we have historically few elected role models.”

By Dave Schechter

minority community and with rising incidents of antisemitism and a need to underAn Atlanta Jewish Times headline in stand the importance of Israel to the JewJanuary 2016 read “Ga. Legislature Lacks ish community, we need to be represented a Minyan.” At the time, there were two wherever we can, especially in the state legJewish state legislators: Sen. Renee Unter- islature, so that decision makers are able man, R-Buford, and Rep. Michele Henson, to better understand who we are and the issues that are important to us,” said Dov D-Stone Mountain. When the legislature reconvenes in Wilker, regional director of the American January, neither will be present. Unter- Jewish Committee office in Atlanta. About 240 Jews serve in some 40 state man relinquished her seat in an unsuclegislatures, representcessful try for the Reing a larger portion of publican nomination 5,400 state legislators in the 7th Congressionationwide than Jews nal District, and Henin the general popuson’s re-election bid lation. There are few ended in a Democratic in the South. At presrunoff loss. ent, there are none in That leaves 79th Alabama, Mississippi, district Rep. Mike North Carolina, TenWilensky, D-Dunnessee and Arkansas; woody, as the only and just one in South Jewish incumbent curCarolina; three in Texrently seeking re-elecas; and about a dozen tion Nov. 3, opposed in Florida, according by Republican Andrea to Jeff Wice, director of Johnson. In the chalthe National Associalenger ranks, Repubtion of Jewish Legislalican Alex Kaufman History has taught the importance of Jewish representation, including in tors. is back for a rematch the state legislature, said Dov Wilker, Unterman said of his unsuccessful regional director of the American that in her 22 years in 2018 race against nowJewish Committee office in Atlanta. the General Assembly, incumbent state Rep. Josh McLaurin, D-Sandy Springs, in the serving in both the House and Senate, she could count having had fewer than a doz51st district. There are 236 seats in the General en Jewish colleagues. “It’s sad because you Assembly, 180 in the House and 56 in the would think that in almost three decades Senate. An estimated 130,000 Jews make it would advance more, where more Jewup about 1.2 percent of the population of ish people would run for office, and I don’t Georgia. One Jew would make up 0.04 per- care if they’re Republicans or Democrats,” she said. cent of the legislature; two 0.08 percent. Mitchell Kaye, a Republican, repre“As we have learned throughout our history, representation matters. As a small sented House District 37 in Cobb County 2020 Voter's Guide • 24

“The Jewish community reflects different views politically and about almost all issues, … and it is important to have different voices on how our state should move forward,” said state Rep. Mike Wilensky, D-Dunwoody.

from 1993 to 2003. “To me it is not how munity reflects different views politically many Jews are in the legislature, but how and about almost all issues. People of all many support Jewish values,” he said. “I backgrounds bring different perspectives, found in my 10 years in the legislature, due to experiencing life through their own religious Christians of both parties were lens, and it is important to have different more supportive of ideas that may be voices on how our state should move forunique to Judaism than many of my co- ward,” he said. “It is important that our leaders foreligionists; how ironic that was. “Support for a moment of silence cus on helping those who are in the most in the public schools, as called for many need: the sick, the elderly, and the young. years ago by the [Lubavitch] Rebbe, Rabbi The Jewish community teaches their children from a young Menachem Mendel age the strong ethical Schneerson, the proteaching to love your tection of mikvehs neighbor as you would when public swimlove yourself. The Toming pool legislation rah states 36 times to was discussed, as well love and care for the as strong attendance stranger and the downat ‘lunch ‘n learns’ trodden. Therefore, with a rabbi, are three we have an important examples that come to voice to contribute on mind.” how to create, adjust, Though a Demoand right society,” he crat, “Mike Wilensky said. In addition, “It is has done a very good particularly important job so far and underto have voices at the stands the communiCapitol who can propty,” Kaye said. erly communicate the The 79th district “To me it is not how many Jews are in beneficial consists of Dunwoody, the legislature, but how many support mutually Jewish values,” said Mitchell Kaye, relationship between part of Doraville, and a who represented House District 37 Georgia and Israel.” small section of Chamin Cobb County from 1993 to 2003. An active member blee. Wilensky serves on the House Judiciary Committee, the of Congregation B’nai Torah, the 37-yearIntragovernmental Coordination Com- old Wilensky is a graduate of the Universimittee, and the Budget and Fiscal Affairs ty of Georgia and the University of MaryOversight Committee. He was active in the land School of Law. In his private legal successful effort to gain passage of a hate work, Wilensky specializes in wrongful death and serious injury cases. crimes statute in Georgia. He delivered an emotional speech in “It is important that our legislature represents the diversity of Georgia’s popu- the House to mark International Hololation, including race, religion, and eth- caust Remembrance Day in January. “My nicity,” Wilensky said. “The Jewish com- family tree has branches that don’t exist

Politics anymore,” Wilensky said in that address. and others, on building the economy, in His voice broke as he explained that seven the legal field, and in the military. Our of his great-grandmother’s 10 siblings and culture and religion teach us tikkun olam, 42 of his relatives were murdered in the personal responsibility to take action, the directive to help others, the value of faith, Holocaust. Kaufman, a Jewish Sandy Springs family and community, as well as the importance of education. native who lives in RoI believe that these teswell, lost to McLaurin nets are messages that 51.6 percent to 48.4 perwe need more of in our cent in 2018. The 51st leaders at every level District takes in secof government and retions of Sandy Springs, gardless of party affiliRoswell and Johns ation,” Kaufman said. Creek. The 37-year-old “We have few Jews Kaufman, a graduate of running for office bethe Emory University cause we are aware School of Law, specialof our relatively small izes in business litiganumbers, which are tion at the law firm Fox divided even more by Rothschild LLP, where party affiliation, and he and his father, Robwe have historically ert J. Kaufman, are eqfew elected role moduity partners. “Jewish people Renee Unterman called it “sad” that in els, but we should look her 22 years in the General Assembly, for those that have have been part of the fabric of this country serving in both the House and Senate, broken barriers. For she could count having had fewer me, here in Georgia, since before its foundthan a dozen Jewish colleagues. Attorney General Sam ing through the present. Our people have been on the front Olens and Judge Debra Bernes proved that lines of fighting for equality for ourselves openly Jewish candidates can be elected,

these values guide the community.” even statewide,” he said. Jewish voices are important in state Harold Kirtz, president of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Atlanta, legislatures, Wise said, as are non-Jewish said, “Nearly every issue is a Jewish issue. legislators who understand Jewish conMost issues affect the Jewish community cerns, whether those be anti-Semitism, directly, whether it is the educational measures related to the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) system, the safety net movement, not invokprograms, the pubing the name of a deity lic safety system, the in the invocations that economic issues suropen sessions, or schedrounding the availabiluling meetings on the ity of and training for High Holy Days. “We’ve jobs, and many other been more active in the areas, all of which are last few years to adaffected by the impact dress anti-Semitism, to of the state budget. address [anti-Jewish] viMany issues are based, olence in the streets, to in whole or in part, work on social justice on Jewish values. Welissues, so that within coming the stranger, legislatures there’s toltaking care of the erance for religious obwidow, orphan, and servances.” stranger, the do’s and Georgia legisladon’ts of the Ten ComIt is important to have both Jewish mandments, the basis voices and non-Jewish legislators who tors are paid $17,341 a understand Jewish concerns, said year plus $173 in per of the judicial system, Jeff Wice, director of the National diem during the 40and so many other arAssociation of Jewish Legislators. day legislative session, eas come directly from our tradition. We must lend our voices which in a normal year (2020 anything to the general community to ensure that but) runs from January to March. 

“Thank you for electing me to serve House District 86 and Georgia as a member of the General Assembly. I look forward to working with you to make Georgia the kind of state that works for all of us.”


Immigration Attorney | Small business owner | Parent of 4 She and Husband, State Court Judge Dax Lopez, are members of The Temple



/zulmaforgeorgia 25 • 2020 Voter's Guide

Politics Lieberman Faces Calls to Withdraw from Senate Race By Jan Jaben-Eilon The only Jewish candidate among 20 running to complete the Senate term of now-retired Republican Johnny Isakson is being urged to drop out — by other Jewish Georgians. If Matt Lieberman once felt he was being overlooked, he now finds himself receiving unwelcome attention. More than 500 Jewish Georgians placed their names on an ad imploring Jewish voters to “unite behind a single candidate – Rev. Raphael Warnock – the only Democrat with a real chance to win.” It is just one more unusual turn in an unusual race. When Isakson stepped down in December citing health issues, two years remained in his six-year term. Gov. Brian Kemp appointed businesswoman Kelly Loeffler to serve until the November election, reportedly bypassing President Donald Trump’s choice, Republican Rep. Doug Collins from Georgia’s 9th Congressional District. The race often is referred to as a

“jungle primary” because candidates from all parties will be listed on one ballot. There will be 21 names on the ballot, though one has withdrawn. If no candidate wins a majority, the top two candidates will advance to a Jan. 5 runoff. Lieberman was the first to enter the race and was encouraged by his early polling numbers. Loeffler and Collins topped the polls for many weeks, but recent surveys, including the well-regarded Quinnipiac University Poll, have placed Warnock, pastor at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in downtown Atlanta, among the leaders. Lieberman has trailed in fourth place in these polls. Lieberman has rejected calls that he withdraw to improve Warnock’s chances. “Of the top four candidates, I am the only candidate that wasn’t put here by some power broker,” Lieberman told the Atlanta Jewish Times. He argues that Collins received the nod from Trump, Loeffler was put in office by Kemp, and Warnock was chosen by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. “This is the people’s Senate seat; it’s

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2020 Voter's Guide • 26

not given by someone else. When I’m senator, I won’t be beholden to Kemp, Trump or Schumer. I respect Schumer, but smart people make mistakes. I’ve been running since October [2019],” he said. Lieberman believes that he has a better chance winning in the likely runoff than Warnock. “The Republican candidates are clobbering each other to get as far right as they can. They are so out of step with most Georgians,” he said. According to the ad signed by hundreds of Jewish Georgians, “the race is so close that the votes of Jewish Georgians alone could make the difference.” Lieberman, on the other hand, points out that “the Jewish community is statistically small. It’s hard from polling to conclude anything. The undecideds will probably look over everyone.” There are few undecided Republicans and “most of the undecideds are Democrats or Independents, and when pushed, they will break to me,” he said. “We are targeting the undecideds. We can target our messages and advertising precisely through digital ads. We’re running a smart, tactical, almost Israeli-style operation,” Lieberman said. “We have enough money to get the job done [despite] having the least amount of money in the bank of the top four contenders.” As of the June 30 quarterly deadline for reporting campaign finances, Loeffler had $7 million cash on hand; Warnock, nearly $2.9 million; Collins, $2.6 million, and Lieberman a bit more than $300,000. Lieberman describes himself as a “lawyer by training,” but also a small businessman and educator. He’s probably best known in the Jewish community for heading the former Greenfield Hebrew Academy – which merged with Yeshiva Atlanta and became the Atlanta Jewish Academy – from 2005 to 2007. “I am not a professional politician,” the Yale-educated Lieberman said. “I’m running as an outsider but one who can hit the ground running. I had a great role model growing up,” he added, referring to his father, former Connecticut senator and 2000 vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman. “I’m running because I’m fed up, like most people," he said. “We’re sick of politicians who just go to Washington and play a game. We want to get something done.” The issues he’s running on are similar to most Democratic candidates: a

Democrat SENATE

Matt Lieberman

public option for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, voting rights, women’s reproductive rights, gun safety and the environment. “Issue by issue, we would fall in line with [former Vice President Joe] Biden,” the Democratic nominee for president. Lieberman calls these “kitchen table issues.” Addressing the controversy that broke this summer about his debut novel, “Lucius,” Lieberman dismissed those concerns. People criticized without even reading the self-published novel about the relationship between an elderly white Southern man and his young imaginary slave. “Warnock’s top supporters used it [the book] as a political football to try to divide Georgia by race. They tried to accuse me of being a racist, but I know who I am. This is what is disgusting about politics, this invoking of racism. It’s baseless and keeps us from talking about police reform and universal health care. It’s all a side show using race for politically divisive purposes. It’s the worst of American politics,” stressed Lieberman. Speaking directly to the Atlanta Jewish community, Lieberman states, “You have a candidate that’s a member of the Atlanta Jewish community, a proud member of our community and who holds our heritage strong, and I will be a strong defender of the strategic relationship between the United States and Israel.” 


Helping Seniors Vote in Time of COVID

Shari Bayer said Jewish HomeLife invited volunteers from the League of Women Voters to help its 500 residents complete voter registration and absentee ballots this year.

By Jan Jaben-Eilon This year, nearly one-quarter of voters will be age 65 and older, according to the Pew Research Center. This would be the highest share since at least 1970. In 2016, although Boomers and older generations accounted for 43 percent of eligible voters, they cast 49 percent of the ballots. So it’s expected that older adults are more likely to vote this year and form a larger share of the electorate. AARP reports that 71 percent of those aged 65 and older go to the polls in normal years, compared with 46 percent of those ages 18 to 29. This has been anything but a normal year, as COVID-19 complicated the voting process for the elderly this year. A recent AARP poll of 800 likely Georgia voters aged 65 and older — conducted Aug. 30-Sept. 5 by a professional polling firm — found 37 percent planning to vote by absentee ballot, while 35 percent planned to vote in person during early voting, which runs from Oct. 12-30. While online research shows that over 90 percent of the elderly live in their own homes, since March, the state has placed various restrictions in the comings and goings of residents and staff at nursing homes, independent living and assisted living residences because of the COVID-19 pandemic. At times, residents were in total lockdown in their own apartment units, receiving hand-delivered meals rather than going into large dining rooms, other communal activities were suspended, and visits by families were curtailed.

Under these circumstances, how do residents register to vote, apply for and fill out absentee ballots or go to polling places – either early or on Nov. 3? According to Shari Bayer, chief marketing and communications officer at Jewish HomeLife, JHL invited the non-partisan League of Women Voters to conduct voter registration and absentee ballot application drives on its campuses in Buckhead, Dunwoody and Johns Creek. The effort was made for both residents and staff. “Each community handles it differently,” Bayer told the Atlanta Jewish Times. “For those in independent living, there’s no problem going to polling places. For residents in nursing homes, families can determine how their family members can vote, although families are not now allowed to visit. In the assisted living facilities, there’s a mixture of both.” Bayer said that about 500 residents live in the various Jewish HomeLife facilities, which include Berman Commons, The Cohen Home, The Jewish Tower, The William Breman Jewish Home and The Zaban Tower. Prior to the League of Women Voters visiting all their facilities in late August, activity directors in each location were sent registration forms and absentee ballot applications for residents to complete, with or without help. League of Women Voters volunteers were then able to “check the documents, assist with completing if needed, and make sure everything was correct,” Bayer said. LWV volunteers helped the residents and staff in each of the Jewish HomeLife locations either outside, or in the ves-

tibules when it rained one day, Bayer added. “For those residents and staff who could not participate that day, all campuses have forms available to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to complete

the applications. We provide support as needed to help residents complete their form independently,” she said. “We do everything possible to encourage and ensure that all residents who want to vote have the opportunity to do so.” Bayer said she could not say definitively how Jewish HomeLife would enable assisted living residents to get to polling places this year. She hoped that rides could be provided to residents in independent living, “But we cannot make those decisions right now,” she said in early October, a month before Election Day. A study by the Georgia Department of Human Services in 2017 came to several notable conclusions. It concluded that the state had – and would continue to have – the 11th fastest-growing 60-plus population and the 10th fastest-growing 85-plus population in the country between the years 2010 and 2030. This follows the pattern during the 20th century in which the number of Georgians aged 60 and over increased ninefold compared to a four-fold growth in the state’s overall population. 

27 • 2020 Voter's Guide

Opinion Choose President Based on Torah Values In business, the most important factor for an employee is the character of the boss. The same is true in politics. The most important facAllen H. Lipis tor in deciding who to vote for is the character of that person. Character is more important than policy, more important than taxes, and more important than Israel. The reason is that a president of the United States with good character will make good policy, deal well with government finances, and support Israel. In an “open letter”recently written by renowned rabbis and others in Israel and elsewhere, one of whom is Rabbi Emanuel Feldman, rabbi emeritus of Congregation Beth Jacob, they argue that “serious moral issues – truth, loyalty, contrition, vengeance, tolerance – are at the heart of much of today’s [U.S.] political discourse.” Regarding Israel, they say that indicting either political party as anti-Israel is inaccurate, nor should

it “become a justification to blindly support politicians in every other matter.” Their conclusion is that Jews should be guided only by Torah perspectives “in the voting booth no less than our homes.” So, what is good character? Jews and Christians, among others, have concluded that the only moral code that applies to humanity is the moral code given by God. If you don’t follow God’s ways, you will be a slave to your passions, the mores of society, or controlled by fashionable cultures. The Jewish view is that such a moral code comes directly from the Torah. If you agree that your own life should be guided based on Torah values, then surely it applies to the leader who governs with the greatest authority, the president. So what are the attributes that God wants us to have, and especially for people in power? Some of the attributes that our president should emulate are: be truthful, support justice with mercy, have compassion, be slow to anger, and be abundant in kindness. It is the proper way to live and the proper way to govern. The Talmud also tells us that God wants us to be responsible for each other, so the president should help others to practice

Torah values too. For the past 10 years, I have aggressively studied Jewish ethics. I have just now produced a draft of a book on character improvement that summarizes what the sages have been saying for thousands of years. Based on rabbinical sources, such as Pirkei

Avos (Ethics of the Fathers), Rabbi Abraham Twerski, Rabbi Zelig Pliskin, Rabbi Noah Weinberg, and others, here are 10 good qualities that any person should strive for, and the evil qualities that should be avoided. They should apply for choosing the president of the United States. 

10 Good Qualities President Should Possess 1. Strives to provide for the people continual happiness and joy in life. This includes a feeling of well-being and a positive attitude about life. 2. Have clarity of vision and a passion for work. This includes having a strategy for the coronavirus and for other policies. 3. Exhibits self-control. Be slow to anger. 4. Thinks ahead. Avoid making rash decisions and be deliberate in judgment. 5. Explains the decision. Say little and do much. Have humility about your accomplishments. 6. Helps others, especially people who are suffering. 7. Shows gratitude, even in the smallest way. 8. Learns from others and seek advice from experts on the coronavirus, the economy, business and government policy. 9. Treats everyone with kindness. Give people the benefit of the doubt. 10. Honors others and avoid directly honoring yourself.

10 Evil Qualities President Should Sidestep 1. Avoids positive criticism, knows everything, does not accept advice. 2. Insults others publicly. 3. Seeks honor, power and prestige. Insists on loyalty from staff. 4. Constantly driven by money and miserly. 5. Abuses power, acts as an autocrat above the law. 6. Avoids telling the truth, constantly lies. 7. Lacks humility about accomplishments. Exaggerates them. 8. Constantly angry, lacks patience, interrupts, inflexible, speaks sharply and curses. Makes people miserable. 9. Encourages divisiveness instead of promoting peace. 10. Is arrogant and conceited. Finds flaws in everyone. Expects people to gratify his ego. If you believe that the most important factor for the president of the United States is his character, then please consider the above attributes, good and evil, in making your voting decisions. If you do that, the choice will be obvious. Allen Lipis is a regular columnist for the Atlanta Jewish Times who often writes about business and character development.

2020 Voter's Guide • 28


The Atlanta Press Club Debate Series Schedule U.S. Senate Special Election * Livestream October 19 at 1:00 pm GPB-TV October 19 at 9:00 pm * Qualified candidates who have not reached at least 3% in at least 2 non-partisan polls.

U.S. Senate Special Election * Livestream October 19 at 3:00 pm GPB-TV October 19 at 8:00 pm * Qualified candidates who have not reached at least 3% in at least 2 non-partisan polls.

29 • 2020 Voter's Guide





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Sharon Cooper continues to put her expertise to work for the citizens of East Cobb. As our State Representative and Chair of the House Health and Human Service Committee, in the 2019-2020 session alone, Sharon passed legislation that addresses some of our biggest priorities: • House Bill 62 requires patient notification and explanation if dense breast tissue, which increases the possibility of cancer, is found on a mammogram • HB63 helps patients fight insurance companies when they want the patient to try and fail on different drugs before giving them what their doctor ordered • HB345 prevents law enforcement officers and sheriffs from shackling pregnant women • HB356 gives tenants recourse against their slum landlords who start eviction proceedings just because the renter complained and wanted conditions such as mold or rats dealt with • HB1114 extends medical coverage for newly delivered Medicaid mothers from 42 days to 6 months to help prevent maternal deaths • HB987 tightens the standard of care for assisted living facilities and memory care units. Also increases cleaning and preventative protocols to fight COVID-19 in all senior facilities • HB918 reduces drug costs and makes sure patients can go to the pharmacy of their choice • HB426 Supported Georgia’s new hate crime bill

Sharon was awarded the Cobb Community Service Award by the Chabad of Cobb for her tireless efforts to improve life in East Cobb.

770-956-8357 SharonCooper.org

Craig Owens: the Choice of Democrats and Republicans for Cobb County Sheriff. 3 Endorsed by Former Governor Roy Barnes, Democrat

3 Endorsed by Former Attorney General Sam Olens, Republican

My Vision:

• Bring truth, trust, and transparency back to the sheriff’s office • Recruit and retain a diverse field of qualified deputies • Create life-skills programs for detainees • Support detainees who are veterans • Reform the 287(g) program • Earn a Triple Crown rating

3 Craig Owens: Command Sergeant Major, U.S. Army Reserves (highest possible enlisted rank) 3 Major in the Cobb County Police Department 3 Endorsed by FOP, Kermit Sanders Lodge #13 3 Endorsed by Georgia AFL-CIO 3 Endorsed by Georgia Equality

It’s time for a new sheriff. Craig is the change Cobb County needs. www.craigforcobbsheriff.com | Last day to vote is November 3, 2020 Paid for by Craig for Cobb Sheriff. Robert Haley, Treasurer.

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2020 Voters' Guide  

A guide to the elections on November 3, 2020.

2020 Voters' Guide  

A guide to the elections on November 3, 2020.