Keeping the discourse civil in our own community


Are you weary of the political campaign? Many people are. But just as many seem to relish the national debate, as down and dirty as it may get.

It feels as if the country has been embroiled in the back and forth of the presidential campaign for a long time, yet it only started about a year ago. And there are still about 10 weeks remaining.

I saw a report this weekend about a Wisconsin focus group of undecided voters where every person interviewed said they wished the candidates would focus on the issues and not the personal stuff. Each person, without exception, said he or she was tired of the attacks and hostility. One man, weary of “the circus,” said he just wanted “to see the meat and potatoes of it all.”

Here in Rhode Island, there are a number of contested races happening in the national shadow, including for the seat now held by the speaker of the house. Right now, you hear little about these contests, and see just a few lawn signs. I suspect you’ll hear and see a great deal more in the coming weeks.

Many have accused the media of fanning the national fires, or even inciting the rhetoric. The Jewish Voice is starting to receive opinion pieces from our loyal readers about candidates and issues. So, how are we going to handle these sometimes contentious articles?


We want to serve as a forum for our readers, but we are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which means we cannot offer an opinion as to how we feel – as a newspaper or as individual employees of the paper – about the election. You will not be reading about how we will vote, and we will not be endorsing any candidates. In addition, we cannot print any opinion pieces written by employees of the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island advocating for a specific candidate. We can advocate for issues, but not for candidates.

So, in the five papers until the November election, you will see articles on both sides of issues, many with a Jewish point of view. You may also see opinion pieces written by your friends and neighbors advocating for one viewpoint or candidate. These opinions are strictly those of the writer. They do not reflect the opinions of The Jewish Voice or the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island.

And we want to keep the discourse civil. If you write, please, no mean-spirited name-calling. No attacks on another writer. We all know we can make our point without nastiness. Let’s stick to the issues, shall we?

Please remember that we have rules for both opinion pieces and letters to the editor. Opinion pieces should be between 500 and 800 words. Letters to the editor should be no more than 300 words. All submissions should include your name, city of residence and contact phone number, for verification purposes. Also, we can only publish what space allows, and we may publish some pieces online only.

Remember, you can submit everything via our website, Simply register and follow the instructions to create your article. We will review it promptly.

We welcome robust dialogue. But let’s keep our forum and our debates a notch above the national discourse.