JCRC/AJC President Seth Gould delivers pizza to poll workers in Warren with his wife, Melissa
JCRC/AJC President Seth Gould delivers pizza to poll workers in Warren with his wife, Melissa (center). (JCRC/AJC)

Several volunteers, including board of directors’ members, made lunch and dinnertime pizza deliveries to poll workers at precincts in cities including Hamtramck, Warren and Pontiac.

On Election Day 2020, the Jewish Community Relations Council/AJC (JCRC/AJC) made efforts to support both voters and poll workers throughout the day.

Several volunteers, including board of directors’ members, made lunch and dinnertime pizza deliveries to poll workers at precincts in cities including Hamtramck, Warren and Pontiac.

JCRC/AJC Executive Director Rabbi Asher Lopatin served as a poll chaplain at Greater Grace Temple. He is pictured here with Dr. Steve Bland (right), president of the Council of Baptist Pastors of Detroit and Vicinity, and Bishop Charles Ellis III of Greater Grace Temple.
JCRC/AJC Executive Director Rabbi Asher Lopatin served as a poll chaplain at Greater Grace Temple. He is pictured here with Dr. Steve Bland (right), president of the Council of Baptist Pastors of Detroit and Vicinity, and Bishop Charles Ellis III of Greater Grace Temple. JCRC/AJC

In Detroit, Executive Director Rabbi Asher Lopatin served as a poll chaplain at Greater Grace Temple. He was part of a country-wide effort for clergy to go to the polls and be there to provide a reassuring presence that polling stations were safe and secure. In Michigan, the Council of Baptist Pastors of Detroit and Vicinity, which JCRC/AJC worked with, recruited nearly 200 clergy to be present.

“Our main role was to make sure that people felt unintimidated coming into the polls and when they were voting,” Lopatin said. “We were asked to clearly show we were clergy — either by wearing a collar (Christian clergy) or a big kippa (Jewish) or some other way that would let people know that the clergy supports everyone’s efforts to keep the voting fair, friendly and unintimidating.

JCRC/AJC Vice President Ruby Robinson with August Gitschlag, City Clerk for Hamtramck, delivers pizza to poll workers in Hamtramck.
JCRC/AJC Vice President Ruby Robinson with August Gitschlag, City Clerk for Hamtramck, delivers pizza to poll workers in Hamtramck. JCRC/AJC

“Our responsibility was to provide any assistance we could: Directing people to the right person to ask their questions to, providing a reassuring smile and warm ‘hello’ or ‘God bless’ and, in general, encouraging voting and registering.”

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