Jewish Dems Launch New National Group

Jewish Democrats are set to launch a new political organization, expanding their political activities to focus on the national conversation and ramp up Jewish outreach efforts for the upcoming 2018 elections.

The new group, The Jewish Democratic Council of America, was originally set to launch in October in place of the present National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) and the Jews for Progress PAC. However, President Donald Trump’s response to the Charlottesville protests compelled the founders of the JDCA to accelerate the timeline, the organization said in a news release on Sunday.

“Clearly today, there seems to be a calling for a rebuilding of Jewish Democrats’ vision in politics – to elect people that will support local and state national policies that are supportive of the Jewish community’s values,” Former Congressman Ron Klein, Acting Chairman of the new organization, explained to Jewish Insider in a phone interview on Sunday. “We also believe there’s a role for our organization to make sure that Democrats understand the importance of Israel and strategic U.S. relationship with Israel.”

According to Klein, the role of the organization will be to identify specific campaigns “where we believe that our Jewish community’s interests are at stake, and to support Democrats that will support our issues.” JDCA will also be involved in educating candidates and incumbents “on a full-time basis, not just during campaigns” and provide media responses on a daily basis.

The NJDC limited its activities after the 2014 midterm elections, outsourcing day-to-day operations and media response to Bluelight Strategies, a Washington, DC public relations firm. In 2012, the NJDC launched a model called “The Hub” after they had determined that the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee was being too slow in responding to attacks on President Obama’s record on Israel.

In a 2015 interview with Jewish Insider, former NJDC’s Chairman Greg Rosenbaum boasted that Florida ended up in the Obama column due to a concentrated effort to mobilize Jewish voters in the Sunshine State in the last weeks leading to Election Day. Ahead of the 2016 general elections, Marc Stanley, the past chair of the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC), announced the formation of ‘Jews for Progress’ aimed to fight back against the RJC’s campaign against Clinton in several battleground states. That effort was less successful, as Trump managed to win all battleground states by a slim margin.

Members of the JDCA Board of Directors include Marc R. Stanley, Michael Adler, Daniel Berger, Diane (Dede) Feinberg, Peter Gillon, Barbara Goldberg Goldman, Benjamin Gordon, Steve Grossman, Ada Horwich, Beth Kieffer Leonard, Israel “Izzy” Klein, Marcia Riklis, Joel Rubin, Jeffrey Solomon, and Susie Stern.

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