The Rabbinical Alliance of America — Igud HaRabbonim, representing over 950 American rabbis — calls for the Jewish community’s full participation in the 2020 Census. As a community, we must understand the full extent of the unusually difficult current state of affairs which we are experiencing. These are difficult times for our country and we face daunting challenges. The coronavirus pandemic, the pause of economic activity, and the underlying racial inequalities and anti-Semitism have caused great pain and uncertainty. The Jewish community has always played a significant role in local civic and economic life. A complete and accurate population count results in appropriate representation in government and fair distribution of funding for programs and services like healthcare and education, that our community needs and on which it depends.
The Rabbinical Alliance of America is reaching out to you about one easy thing you can do from your home to ensure that your neighborhood recovers from this crisis: Complete the 2020 Census. The more people from your community fill out the census, the more money your neighbors in need will get from the government for hospitals, healthcare, schools, and housing over the next decade. Particularly in light of the current crisis, the Jewish and local communities need these funds more than ever. Additionally, census data serves as the basis for redistricting legislative and congressional seats. An undercount will have serious consequences for your elected representatives.
In these times of fear and frustration, there is no better demonstration of unity and compassion than providing funding for essential services and emergency preparedness. And this is where you come in.
This is an urgent problem. For example, Manhattan self-response rates for Census 2020 are considerably lower than 2010, most likely due to the pandemic and people leaving the city. Rabbis, we need you to send a standalone message to your membership outlining the importance of members of the Jewish community completing the census, for many reasons including the ongoing health crisis and combatting anti-Semitism. Quite simply, each completed census brings money to their neighborhoods, ensures representation in Washington and can be filled out online in less than ten minutes at http://www.my2020census.gov.
Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Alliance of America, noted that, “Many members of our community have temporarily relocated during the pandemic and the response rate for the census is considerably lower than the 2010 census. One of the best ways we can ensure a complete count is by simply talking to our family, friends, and neighbors directly and encouraging them to participate in the census. It takes less than ten minutes to answer the ten questions the census asks, yet it affects the next ten years of our city’s future and will impact how our city will rebound from this crisis. You can sign up at http://www.nyc.gov/censusfriends to help ‘get out the count’ with your loved ones!”
By encouraging our family, friends, neighbors and congregants to participate in Census 2020 you will be helping to ensure that your community gets the resources and representation it deserves. Please do so. The consequences for not filling out the census can potentially be devastating to our community.