Expert: Set ground rules to avoid political conflict at holiday gatherings

Wed, 2018-09-05

Like most religious holidays, Rosh Hashanah has a social component. It’s a time for getting together to celebrate the beginning of a sweet new year with symbolic foods like round challah and honey-dipped apple slices.

People who are hosting these celebrations usually have a vision of what they would like them to be — enjoyable events that create good memories for friends and family. What they don’t want them to be are battlegrounds.

With midterm-election campaigns firing up right around the Jewish New Year (which this year starts at sundown on Sept. 9), gatherings of family and friends may be fraught with tense political conversations that can erupt into full-fledged conflagrations about who’s worthy of a vote or what shape their support of Israel should take. Anecdotally, the 2016 elections brought about many angry conversations at dinner tables and other social gatherings that ended or severely affected friendships and familial relationships.