The ballots have been cast, the votes have been counted, and a winner has been proclaimed in the contentious race for the vacant 44th Council seat.

We wish the winner, Mr. Kalman Yeger, much success in his new position.

We would be deluding ourselves if we would not acknowledge that there are various aspects of this heated contest that were deeply troubling, and the scars it has left behind will not heal overnight.

While there are important lessons that need to be learned and efforts need to be undertaken to try to ensure that the same mistakes are not repeated in the future, what is vital right now is for the community to move on.

It is imperative that we find a way to put the rancor of the past weeks behind us, and recognize that any sort of divisiveness in our ranks dramatically weakens our community at a time when we must contend with unprecedented challenges from within and from without.

It is vital that, starting from today, the focus of the months and years ahead must not be about rewarding supporters and sending messages to those who backed the losing candidate, but about coming together to deal with the numerous crucial issues the Jewish community is facing.