Monday, July 13, 2020

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We are members of the Jewish community of Teaneck with strong support and love for Israel. We are writing in response to the Norpac ad, “Rabbis Supporting Congressman Josh Gottheimer” in the June 18 edition of the Jewish Link.

It was extremely disappointing and disconcerting that a significant number of local rabbis would sign their name to a statement that is erroneous and misleading. The ad outlines Rep. Gottheimer’s commitment to the Jewish people and the State of Israel and then says, “In part for his defense of this cherished right [unclear what right they’re referring to], the Congressman is facing a challenge in the Democratic primary.” It falsely implies that Dr. Arati Kreibich’s primary challenge is directly related to Gottheimer’s support of Israel and the Jewish community. We know this to be untrue because we know the congressman’s challenger Dr. Kreibich and we know why she is primarying Josh Gottehimer and we are endorsing her.

Like Dr. Kreibich, we organized some of the “get out the vote” campaigns for Rep. Gottheimer in 2018 with Teaneck Women Together, which were quite
successful and contributed to a strong finish for Gottheimer in Teaneck. And like Dr. Kreibich, we began to see that after almost four years in office, Rep. Gottheimer does not represent our progressive values and he refused to conduct real town halls to hear from his constituents. Additionally, Rep. Gottheimer often uses his involvement in the No Labels Caucus to sideline the Democratic agenda at a time when the Republican Party is complicit in supporting a president determined to divide this nation. This is why Dr. Kreibich is primarying Gottheimer––and it has nothing to do with his support for Israel and the Jewish community.

We know Dr. Kreibich personally and know that she has the moral courage to stand up to Trump and those in Congress, like Rep. Gottheimer, who stay silent when the president peddles in white supremacist and anti-Semitic dog whistles, imagery and words (see Trump’s latest ad taken down by Facebook due to Nazi imagery). We can tell you that while Dr. Kreibich believes that there is room for criticism of the policies instituted by the Israeli government, she does not support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Dr. Kreibich believes that we must stand with Jewish Americans and “unequivocally fight anti-Semitism when it arises, whether it is in our communities or in the White House.” It is important that voters in NJ5 are able to get accurate information on the primary and we encourage those interested in learning about Dr. Kreibich, who she is, why she’s running and her platform, to check out her website for more information: https://www.aratiforcongress.com

Jennifer Montag and Shana Dworken
Teaneck Women Together