Letter to the editor,
Jewish Community Grateful for Senate President Pro Tempore John F. Kennedy.
Last week’s rapid journey and passage of HB 30, “the antisemitism” bill was a very emotional experience for the many Jewish Georgians in the Capitol building lobbying to support the legislation. It was very rewarding to see the strong turnout from the Jewish community, as well as seeing overwhelming bipartisan support from members of both chambers, as well as from our constitutional officers.
Many in the Jewish community were aware of our House “dream team,” Representatives Esther Panich and John Carson, and their support will always be remembered. There were many other legislators that spoke publicly in support of the bill as well as dozens of dedicated organizations and individuals.
But I am writing today to make sure that all understand that our champion in the Georgia State Senate was Senate President Pro Tempore John F. Kennedy of Macon. The overwhelming support of HB 30 would not have been possible without his support. He and his staff worked tirelessly for the last 4 months to make sure that the Senators on both sides of the aisle understood the importance of this legislation, and “that if not now, when?” Jewish Georgians will be forever grateful for his support. He supported Macon Rabbi Elizabeth Bahar and Temple Beth Israel this summer following the disgusting display of hatred from Neo-Nazis in Macon and Warner Robins. He also attended Shabbat services with his staff and spent time hearing from the congregation members.
As a native of Macon, a friend of and former neighbor of Senator Kennedy, this is especially rewarding to me. It is not common for such a high-ranking legislator to spearhead legislation and work so hard to get it across the finish line. I hope that all Jewish Georgians and those that oppose hate reach out to Senator Kennedy and the other legislators that supported this legislation. They need to hear from us.
Chip Koplin, Atlanta