Jeb Bush Launches Jewish Leadership Team
Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush launched his ‘National Jewish Leadership Committee’ Friday morning, consisting of 71 prominent members of the Jewish community.
As first reported by Jewish Insider, Bush and his senior staff are holding the first Jewish leadership briefing at the campaign headquarters in Miami this morning. The committee will be chaired by former U.S. Representative and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who endorsed the former Florida Governor last month. The new team gathered for a pre-launch dinner on Thursday at the home of Glenda and Ronnie Krongold in Miami Beach.
Danny Diaz, Jeb 2016 campaign manager, Mr. Cantor and the candidate himself were expected to address the attendees at the top of the meeting, according to a campaign source. Robert Karem, lead Foreign Policy advisor, and David Kochel, early state strategist, are also among the slated speakers.
Committee members include former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, who served under President George W. Bush from 2007 to 2009. Mukasey, originally from New York, is a product of the Ramaz School in Manhattan, a school Bush first visited on Israel’s Independence Day earlier this year. Also notable is Sam Olens, the Attorney General for the state of Georgia, and a Florida native, who endorsed Bush last month when he came to address the RedState Gathering in Atlanta, Georgia.
Cheryl Halpern from Livingston, NJ, a major GOP donor and former national chairman of the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC), is also one of the big names Bush managed to get on board. “I am privileged to know Jeb Bush. He is a man of integrity and compassion who is respected by his family, friends and community. He is a former Governor whose record reflects his achievements as a “doer” not just a talker,” Halpern said in a statement. She also added that if elected President, “I am certain that Jeb will not only be a staunch defender of America and American values, but will also be a “Shomer Yisrael” a guardian of the special relationship with the State of Israel as well.”
Bush made the reestablishment of strong ties between the U.S. and Israel in a post-Iran deal era a key issue in his campaign for president. During the 2nd Republican debate earlier this month, Bush stated, “The first thing that we need to do is to establish our commitment to Israel which has been altered by this administration. And, make sure that they have the most sophisticated weapons to send a signal to Iran that we have Israel’s back.”
In a statement posted on his website Jeb2016.com, under the banner “Jewish Leadership for Jeb” and a Hebrew pronunciation of his first name, Bush said, “When I launched my campaign, I was proud to count some long-time friends as my supporters. They have been with me since my earliest days in Florida, and we have shared great memories together. Among them include members of the Jewish community who have welcomed me into their homes for Passover Seder, taken me as a travel companion to Israel and worked with me on issues of shared concern, such as religious freedom, school choice and economic opportunity. Having their support has meant so much, and we are looking to build that team.”
Bush further pledged to “confront anti-Semitism wherever it exists” and to “restore our alliances around the world, especially with the brave and democratic State of Israel.”
Boca Raton Council Member Scott Singer told Jewish Insider in a statement, “Gov. Jeb Bush led Florida to great prosperity, cutting taxes while facilitating better private job sectors. I’m looking forward to his proven fiscal record, strong support for our nation’s safety, and optimism for a brighter tomorrow in the White House.”
GOP fundraiser Lisa Spies, dubbed ‘Mitt’s Matchmaker’ in 2012 and who is now working for Jeb in 2016, organized a similar group of Jewish leaders to support Romney during the last presidential cycle after he was officially crowned as the GOP nominee.
With the names announced, Bush is able to mark a head start over many of the other campaigns, including Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, who’ve attracted some of Romney’s supporters.
Read the full list of members who have joined team Jeb! below:
Eric Cantor, Yitz Applbaum, Scott Arogeti, Harold Beznos, Joshua Bolten, David Carmen, Adam Chill, Renee Evans, Steve Friedman, David Gemunder, Sander Gerber, Ron Gidwitz, Rabbi Doniel Ginsberg, Ken Goldberg, Sherry Goldberg, Adam Goldman, Al Goldstein, Michael Granoff, Yudi Gross, Reuven Hahn, Cheryl Halpern, William Heyman, David Javdan, Mark Kaplan, Autumn Karlinsky, Jeremy Katz, Joia Kazam, Joshua Kazam, Jay Kislak, Jonathan Kislak, Fara Klein, George Klein, Glenda Krongold, Ronald Krongold, S. Randy Lampert, Michael Lebovitz, Jay Lefkowitz, Leora Levy, Steven Levy, Ken Lipper, Jason Lyons, Ethan Marcovici, Bernie Marcus, Larry Medvinsky, David Metzner, former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Attorney General Sam Olens, Morgan Ortagus, Thane Rosenbaum, Jason Rosenberg, David Schulman, Brian Schwartz, Betty Sembler, Mel Sembler, Michael Sevi, Florence Shapiro, Ned Siegel, Stephanie Siegel, Barry Silverman, Jeffrey Silverman, Councilman Scott Singer, Keith Sonderling, Gordon Sondland, Marc Stern, Jay Stieber, Eric Tanenblatt, Barry Volpert, Jonathan Weinberger, Alex Weiss, Anat Zeidman, Fred Zeidman, and Jay Zeidman.