Preserving the Politics of Hope: An Exchange of Letters

We invited Julie Saxe-Taller and Jon Elkin — both political activists — to think about “hope and change” in politics. As part of an issue on “possibility,” we wondered whether — in a political arena — the promises of hope and change President Obama campaigned on eight years ago can be fulfilled. We asked our writers to consider how “possibility” has been embraced in the Obama Administration and whether only the arc of history may reveal the successes of a campaign slogan

Rabbi Julie Saxe-Taller, associate rabbi of Congregation Sherith Israel in San Francisco, was ordained at Hebrew Union College in New York in 2004. She currently serves on the Bay Area Regional Council of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, where she finds partnership and inspiration to act for justice. Saxe-Teller served as co-chair of the J Street Rabbinic Cabinet for several years.

Jon Elkin is a graduate student at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Azerbaijan from 2008 to 2010, and co-led a service-learning program with the American Jewish World Service in Ghana. Prior to returning to graduate school, Elkin spent eighteen months in Washington, D.C., working for a firm specializing in corporate social responsibility and international trade-consulting.

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