Rabbis Without Borders
Rabbis Without Borders is a dynamic forum for exploring contemporary issues in the Jewish world and beyond. Written by rabbis of different denominations, viewpoints, and parts of the country, Rabbis Without Borders is a project of Clal – The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership.
1. Let children know that healthy debate is good. They can be curious about the opinions of others and ask questions. Jewish tradition encourages this.
2. Be polite. In spite of the current climate of the political process, the teaching of Rabbi Hillel still stands, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” When talking with someone who shares different views that you or your family, do not call them names or insult them.
3. Many scary things get said about the future in presidential debates. If children are getting upset by what they are hearing, talk to them about it. Ask why they are upset, and talk through the issues and the political process.
4. Be aware of your own behavior. Your children will model what you do and say. How do you want them to be behaving? What do you want them to take away from this election cycle?
5. Talk about the issues and how they can get involved. Many kids want to feel a part of this process. Find out what issues may interest them and empower them to act. Small acts can make a big difference. If nothing else, take them with you to vote. They can learn that every vote counts and that their voice is important.
The election is being discussed everywhere these days. Your kids, no matter how old, are aware of it. Talk with them, share your views with them, and involve them in the process. It is one of the best ways to fulfill our civic duty.