Deborah Pardes: Becoming a One-Issue Jewish Voter

"I didn't ever want to become a one-issue voter, but as a Jew, I feel like I'm becoming one, and it's tragic."
By | Apr 16, 2024
JPVP 2024

This interview is part of Moment’s Jewish Political Voices Project. To learn more about the project, click here. To see our other participants, click here. To see all posts from Deborah, click here.

Age: 58
Occupation: Vice President of Swell

Location: Los Angeles, CA
Party Registration: Democratic
Jewish Denomination: Unaffiliated
2020 Vote: Joe Biden
Current 2024 Vote: Joe Biden
Family: Single
News Sources:

How have the October 7 terror attacks affected your politics?

When Hamas attacked, I immediately saw a sort of a crumbling of what I thought was my community, and it’s affected the way I see politicians and parties. So it definitely is affecting how I will vote. I used to feel like there was no room for me to talk about the Republican party with any sort of allegiance and connection because most of its policies when it came to anything from immigration to a woman’s right to choose to the way we handle gay-lesbian rights across the board really rubbed me the wrong way.

I didn’t ever want to become a one-issue voter, but as a Jew, I feel like I’m becoming one, and it’s tragic because there are so many things that I want to see that are on the liberal agenda that I might not be able to vote for. I can’t say that I’m a liberal voter anymore. It doesn’t feel right to me.

What issues are you thinking about on a local level?

When I look at my local political landscape, I see that it’s important to know who’s on the school board. It’s important to know your local supervisors. It’s important to know who’s running for district attorney—the people who are really shaping your experience as a community member.

What about more national issues?

I’m concerned for the safety of minorities in this country. To be different is to be beautiful, to bring your individual, unique gifts to society. If people feel afraid of being who they are, that’s a canary in the coal mine. For me, if you’re afraid of stepping into your magnificence, you’re never going to bring your whole self to the democracy that you’ve joined. That includes immigrants, that includes people who are devout in their religion, people who are living alternative lifestyles. These are all people who wake up every day and ask, “Am I safe to be me’?”

What do you think of Biden’s performance as president?

He’s a good listener, and he can be an incredibly powerful communicator of basic values that I resonate with. This war has really torn apart the Democratic party because so many people feel like he’s too supportive of Israel and it’s going to be the downfall of the elections. In my opinion, I fully support Biden as a candidate.

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