U.S. Jewish Groups Herald 'A Future of Equality' as Biden and Harris Take Office

Danielle Ziri
Danielle Ziri
New York
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President Joe Biden signs three documents including an inauguration declaration, cabinet nominations and sub-cabinet nominations in the President's Room at the US Capitol, January 20, 2021.
President Joe Biden signs three documents including an inauguration declaration, cabinet nominations and sub-cabinet nominations in the President's Room at the US Capitol, January 20, 2021.Credit: Jim Lo Scalzo,AP
Danielle Ziri
Danielle Ziri
New York

NEW YORK — U.S Jewish organizations congratulated President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on their inauguration on Wednesday, wishing them success in “healing the nation”.

"The Jewish community could not have a better friend and ally in the White House," World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder said in a statement.

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Lauder stated that Biden will "steer us toward a future of equality, standing up and speaking out for what is fair and what is right." He added that he looks forward to working closely with the Biden-Harris administration on issues such as antisemitism, racism and Holocaust denial.

Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, said Biden and Harris "have assumed the mantle of leadership in a time of unprecedented challenge."

"It is especially inspiring to witness Vice President Harris, the first woman of color, take the oath of office," he said. "Another barrier has been broken, long overdue, on the way to making the nation more racially equitable. That she is also part of a Jewish family adds even more poignancy."

The Biden-Harris administration will need to act with “courage, speed, and vision to begin to heal the nation,” Pesner added.

Hadassah and The Women’s Zionist Organization of America released a joint statement to congratulate the incoming leaders on a “historic day”.

President Joe Biden, Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff, arrive at the steps of the U.S. Capitol, January 20, 2021.Credit: POOL/ REUTERS

“It is with great pride and full hearts that today America has a woman in the White House, serving the American people in the second highest office in the land,” the statement read.

“The President and Vice President have taken office at a time when mounting challenges – and opportunities – face our nation,” it said. “Moving forward will require civility, cooperation and tolerance.”

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) tweeted their congratulations as well and said they “look forward to working together with the new administration to strengthen and expand the U.S.-Israel relationship.”

The American Jewish Committee issued a similar congratulatory statement saying they “look forward” to working with President Biden and Vice President Harris to strengthen the U.S.-Israel alliance, combat antisemitism and all forms of hate, and stand up for democratic values.

The Democratic Majority for Israel called President Biden’s inauguration day an “extraordinary day in America.”

“We extend our heartfelt congratulations to the American people for protecting and preserving our democracy and to President Biden and Vice President Harris. Under their leadership, we will be able to address the many challenges facing our nation, unite our country, and restore a moral compass to the White House,” the group wrote.

Americans for Peace Now wished the new administration “success in implementing responsible and just policies both at home and abroad.”

“Biden and Harris’ swearing in today provides much-needed shining light in a dark era, as our nation struggles with a deadly pandemic that threatens our health, and with domestic terrorism that threatens our democracy,” the group said. “As an organization that advocates for Israeli-Palestinian peace, we will support President Biden, and urge him to take advantage of the renewed trust in American global leadership that his presidency provides to push for peace between Israel and its Palestinian neighbors.”