In the middle of summer, the last thing we really want to think about is responsibility. But that’s exactly what I’ve been mulling over lately.
I guess it is part of being an adult. We have certain responsibilities that take over the way we think and act. The list can become daunting: home, family, community, job, country.
Have you thought about voting yet? It may seem a little early to start focusing on this important community responsibility. But keep in mind, Rhode Island’s primary election is Sept. 13, barely a month away by the time you read this. And the deadline to register to vote is Aug. 13.
If you vote in Massachusetts, your primary is Sept. 6 and the registration deadline is Aug. 27. So now really is the time to focus on these elections, which will determine which candidates from the major political parties are on the ballot in the November national election.
The statewide decisions are important and not to be taken lightly: The Rhode Island ballot includes the primaries for congressional races in District 1 and 2, governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state and treasurer, and the state Senate and House, as well as some mayoral races.
In Massachusetts, primaries are being held for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer and auditor. There are also governor’s council races, as well as state House and Senate races and U.S. congressional races.
At Jewish Rhode Island, we don’t advocate for any one candidate. That’s not our job and, as part of a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, we are not allowed to endorse candidates. But we do encourage you to educate yourselves about the candidates and what they stand for. That’s part of being a responsible voter and a responsible American.
In Rhode Island, voter information is available from a variety of sources, including the candidates’ websites, the state website and ballotpedia.org. The same is true for Massachusetts.
In addition, it’s part of our responsibility as a community newspaper, and my responsibility as its editor, to offer our readers a chance to stay informed about what’s happening and how it will affect our community.
In upcoming newsletters and in the paper, we will bring you information on local candidates. In addition, the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island is sponsoring a Providence mayoral forum on Aug. 29, 5:30-7 p.m., at the Alliance’s Dwares Jewish Community Center, 401 Elmgrove Ave. Register at www.jewishallianceri.org/pvd-mayoral-forum. There’s an opportunity to submit questions as well.
And while you are considering your responsibilities as a good citizen, remember that you need to take care of yourself, too. If you don’t care for yourself, then you might not be able to fulfill any of your responsibilities. As the Jewish scholar Hillel said, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me?” Hillel actually advocated for responsibility to self and then to others.
So get out and enjoy summer in the Ocean State! On pages 14 and 15, you’ll find photos of how others are doing just that.
Fran Ostendorf, Editor