April 9, 2018
AJC New Jersey Legislative Advocacy teams have had a busy first quarter! AJC pursue its legislative advocacy goals by meeting with elected officials on a regular basis. We advocate on issues related to our mission of promoting Israel’s security and place in the world, combating anti-Semitism and extremism, advancing pluralism, and pursuing human rights for all people.
In an age of increasing polarization, our lay leaders continue to be non-partisan advocates devoted to our mission. Our meetings with elected officials allow us to work to enhance the well-being of the Jewish people and Israel, and to promote justice and democratic values for all.
Congressman Josh Gottheimer Recognizes AJC New Jersey
To kickoff our legislative advocacy for the year, AJC New Jersey met with Congressman Gottheimer who represents New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District. The Congressman expressed his support for the State of Israel by saying, “I believe deeply in it.”
When it came to issues of anti-Semitism and BDS on campus, Congressman Gottheimer recognized the important work that AJC has been engaged in. He praised AJC New Jersey’s activism in response to the “depressing” anti-Semitic incidents on the Rutgers’ campus in the fall.
The meeting concluded with the Congressman awarding AJC New Jersey with a Congressional Certificate of Recognition. We have been pleased to witness our growing relationship with his office and welcomed his Director of Jewish Outreach, Hadar Arazi, to our Parlor meeting with Sebastian Rejak of our Polish office.
AJC New Jersey Discusses Top AJC Priorities with Senator Cory Booker
AJC New Jersey has enjoyed two recent meetings with Senator Booker and his staff.
In early January, lay leaders and staff had the opportunity to meet with George Helmy and several other staffers at Senator Booker’s Newark District Office. The topics of the meeting were wide ranging, covering topics involving Israel, global religious tolerance, and immigration. In all areas Mr. Helmy expressed support for AJC’s positions. During a discussion about the need for a clean DREAM Act, Mr. Helmy echoed AJC New Jersey’s position that is a “critical moral, social, and financial issue.”
During the Fly-In Day of Advocacy for National Leadership Council and Board of Governor members, AJC New Jersey had the opportunity to meet directly with Senator Booker in his Washington office. Joining our Regional Director and lay leaders for this meeting were Jason Isaacson, AJC’s Associate Executive Director for Policy and Managing Director, Government and International Affairs and Seffi Kogen, AJC’s Director of Campus Affairs. The discussion was extended and wide ranging and touched on the span of AJC’s concerns. Senator Booker especially expressed his concern with the rise of anti-Semitism and extremism in our world. The Senator expressed appreciation for AJC and support for the issues for which we were advocating.
Congressman Leonard Lance Discusses his Deep Support for Israel
AJC New Jersey recently met with Congressman Leonard Lance, who has regularly welcomed us into his office. Congressman Lance was very interested in AJC’s work on college campuses to help create safe spaces for pro-Israel students. He was excited to hear about AJC New Jersey’s Leaders for Tomorrow (LFT) program that will launch in the fall of 2018. All attendees agreed that it is important for the Jewish community to foster leadership among young people. As he has in the past, Congressman Lance expressed interest in our legislative priorities and enthusiasm for Israel and the Jewish people.
Connecting Diasporas: Donald Payne Jr. and AJC’s Africa Institute
AJC's global reach sets us apart from other Jewish advocacy organizations. With our twenty-two regional offices, six overseas offices, and three international institutes, we have a global perspective that informs mission and our goals.
Congressman Payne is known for his deep connection to and advocacy for Africa. Eliseo Neuman of AJC’s Africa Institute joined us for AJC New Jersey’s meeting with Congressman Donald Payne Jr. Together, we were able to help deepen the Congressman’s understanding of the connection between the Jewish and African diasporas. We used the session to learn from one another about issues our diasporas face and how we can build bridges to solve those problems.
Senator Menendez Celebrates Women’s History Month
AJC New Jersey was pleased to attend U.S. Senator Robert Menendez’s Evangelina Menedez Trailblazer Awards. The program honors his late mother, Evangelina Menendez, and the “trail blazers and glass ceiling breakers” of New Jersey. Senator Menendez honored the extraordinary work of New Jersey women during the past year. He expressed his understanding that the last year has been a monumental time for women. He also recommitted himself to knowing that, “as women’s voices rise, it’s not my job to speak for them, it’s my job to listen to them.”
Lieutenant Governor, Sheila Oliver, gave a moving keynote speech about the importance of women standing together, increasing representation of women in the workplace, and having a strong sense of self-worth. Her message was, “Be correct, own it, and let’s keep women rising.”
Join our Legislative Advocacy Team
Looking for ways to become more politically involved? AJC New Jersey is thrilled to have relationships with lawmakers all over the state. For additional information about how you can become involved in legislative advocacy, please contact Dena Dubofsky, Assistant Director, AJC New Jersey, firstname.lastname@example.org or (973)379-8327.