On Friday The Rabbi Said No

Jonah Pesner has decided not to run in the US Senate special election; he is sending the following statement to supporters:


Dear Friends, Family, and Colleagues,
The past few weeks have been among the most exhilarating of my life.  As many of you know, I was encouraged to explore the opportunity to represent the people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States Senate.  I met with and was inspired by a diverse cross section of individuals. I listened to business, civic and religious leaders, donors and activists, Democrats and Republicans, and of course, some regular folks who yearn for stronger communities and a thriving nation.
We shared stories and talked about a higher plane of politics. I heard loud and clear a call for leaders who not only inspire, but who also listen; who are able to build bridges across the chasms of partisanship and narrow self-interest, in order to bring people together in service of shared values and common sense solutions.
I was especially inspired by the next generation of activists who make enormous personal sacrifices to work tirelessly on campaigns for issues about which they care deeply.  These dedicated young women and men are the engine of our democracy, and we all owe them a debt of gratitude.
At this time, I have decided not to run for the United States Senate.  In my private capacity as a citizen of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I will continue to try to model that higher plane of civic engagement for which so many of us yearn.  In my professional life, I am privileged to serve as the Senior Vice President of the Union for a Reform Judaism, an international religious movement profoundly committed to civil rights, social justice and democracy.  In those ways and others, I will continue to be a leader who brings people together across lines of race, class, and faith, to overcome partisan polarization in service of our shared values and our vision for a better world. Perhaps there will be a time in the future when the call to elected leadership will make sense for me and my family.
I am deeply grateful to all of those who expressed their support over the last few weeks.  That vote of confidence means more to me than I can adequately convey.  I know that together, we will find other powerful, effective ways to change the world for the good.  Most of all, I am thankful that God has blessed me with the most wonderful family I can imagine.  Dana continues to be my inspiration in all things, and our daughters remind me every day what is real and worth fighting for.

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