I want to go on record as endorsing Elsie Foster for mayor in the upcoming Democratic Primary that will be held on Tuesday, June 6. Elsie has been an effective and dedicated Highland Park public servant for over two decades. She has been a council member, served as council president, and this past January, she replaced former mayor Gayle Brill Mittler to fill out her term.
I had the opportunity to see her leadership firsthand when I served as a member of the Highland Park Borough Council for six years, especially when it came to public safety. She regularly engaged with the community by holding public forums to discuss community issues, including police reform, security for houses of worship, and making our borough a safe place for children.
Elsie ensured that police reform measures have been implemented in Highland Park. Due to her efforts, members of the Highland Park Police Department are required to take diversity, equity and inclusion and de-escalation training on an annual basis. She also made certain that the Highland Police Department provides detailed quarterly reports on all instances of use of force, which are now shared with the community on social media.
Over the past decade, houses of worship and their congregants have come under attack throughout our country. Elsie regularly meets with clergy and lay leaders of Highland Park’s houses of worship to discuss and coordinate security with the Highland Park Police Department.
Elsie championed and brought to fruition the building of Highland Park’s Zone 6 Teen Center, the goal of which is to provide a safe place for teens to develop themselves, centered on four interactional aspects: everyday life, community connections, educational support and mind/body wellness. She has also publicly supported state security funding for both public school and nonpublic school students.
Elsie Foster also has a strong relationship with the Jewish community. After the terrorist attack at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, she ensured that the Highland Park Police Department increased patrols by houses of worship in the borough. After the terrorist attacks in Jersey City and Monsey, she went to the Highland Park Conservative Temple-Congregation Anshe Emeth to join in the congregation’s #JewishAndProud photo to show her support as an ally of the Jewish community. She also voted in favor of a resolution condemning antisemitism, which included Highland Park adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s Working Definition of Antisemitism.
In her first few months as mayor, she has already met with community rabbis and leaders of Agudath Israel, Ahavas Achim, Etz Ahaim, Ohav Emeth and Ohr Torah, The Raritan Valley Orthodox Jewish Community Association (The ROC), the Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey, and Chaverim of Middlesex County. She has made visits to the Rabbi Pesach Raymon Yeshiva, where dozens of Highland Park families send their children for school. Most recently, Elsie held Highland Park’s first ever raising of the Israeli flag in front of its community center and recognized the shared values of the United States and Israel.
She is honest, reliable, open-minded, and willing to work tirelessly for the welfare of Highland Park. I believe Elsie Foster is the person best qualified to be our mayor. Voting is a way to show our gratitude. I urge the Jewish community in Highland Park to vote Elsie Foster for Mayor.Josh Fine
Josh Fine served as a member of the Highland Park Borough Council from 2015 to 2020.