Most days, Iran is never far from the front pages, either in mainstream newspapers or Jewish ones. And now that September has rolled around — marking the start of the High Holiday period and the deadline that President Obama set for himself to reassess his stance toward this fearsome Middle East nation — the need to deal with the Iranian nuclear threat appears to have intensified.
So it's not too surprising to learn that the nine major rabbinic and congregational organizations in the United States have joined forces and released a statement "calling upon American Jews to make Iran a matter of the highest urgency."
While these entities state that they stand behind the president in his initiatives, they also say that our government has to take the lead in turning up the pressure, both economically and diplomatically, on the Iranian regime, as they "are convinced that the government of Iran is an increasing threat to us all."
The organizations suggest several courses of action that U.S. Jews might undertake to move the process forward: mobilizing members of their communities; contacting elected officials about the importance of divestment from Iran, and tightening sanctions against banks and industries that do business with Iran; writing letters to the editor and op-ed pieces supporting diplomatic and financial pressure; and displaying signs on institutional and synagogue property urging that we prevent a nuclear Iran.
As we search our souls in these upcoming weeks, it might be meaningful to heed the words of these leaders, and determine which of their suggestions we can best accomplish.