March 25, 2021 — New York
ACCESS, the young professional division of American Jewish Committee (AJC), has launched a new initiative to help young Jews across the United States prepare to run for elected offices.
The ACCESS Incubator: A Non-Partisan Crash Course in Civic Engagement is the first training program of its kind for Jewish young professionals interested in pursuing public office. The initial cohort of men and women share one common aspiration, to serve their diverse communities through a Jewish advocacy lens. Participants are Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, are affiliated with a range of Jewish denominations, and currently are employed in a variety of fields.
“The ACCESS Incubator seeks to train young Jewish leaders to run for public office through a non-partisan, AJC advocacy lens,” said Dana Steiner, Director of AJC ACCESS. “This one-of-a-kind intensive six-week program is a boot camp for younger activists in our community who are considering a run for office. We are offering the essential non-partisan theory of change that AJC espouses in our day-to-day advocacy work, along with tips and best practices.”
AJC, the premier global Jewish advocacy organization, with headquarters in New York and 24 regional offices across the U.S., is firmly nonpartisan. ACCESS empowers young Jewish leaders to advocate on behalf of critical domestic and global issues facing the Jewish community.
The first incubator cohort includes 18 young professionals, ages 24-38, from Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and Washington, DC. Several already are running for local offices.
Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and former State Senator and Chair of the South Dakota Republican Party Dan Lederman addressed the opening session earlier this week. They spoke about their roles as Jewish elected officials and the importance of bipartisanship. AJC Assistant Director of Political Outreach Jackie Subar addressed the universality of Jewish advocacy and the ways in which aspiring public officials can seamlessly blend their Jewish values and political goals.
Each of the six weekly programs will feature an AJC staff expert and an experienced Jewish professional in political marketing, fundraising, organizing, and media. Representatives of key AJC coalition partners also will be invited to address the group.