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National Jewish Democratic Council
Abbreviation NJDC
Formation 1990
Type Political, Pro-Israel
Headquarters Washington, D.C.
Location USA
Chairman Marc R. Stanley
Website www.njdc.org/

The National Jewish Democratic Council works as a liaison between the organized Jewish community in the United States of America and the Democratic Party and its mission is to promote Jewish values within the Party, and to promote the Democratic Party within the Community.

As the national voice for Jewish Democrats, the NJDC is outspoken in support of a strong U.S.-Israel relationship, Separation between Church and State, and reproductive freedom.

The NJDC engages in voter education efforts and works with secular and Jewish media to promote the Democratic Party and its ideals.

The organization also serves as a resource to candidates throughout the country, helping them understand issues of importance to the Jewish community.

In addition, the NJDC serves as a watchdog on the activities of the radical right wing, acting to raise public awareness about efforts to undermine the wall between church and state.

In 2007, its Annual Washington Conference attracted every major Democratic candidate for president, the Israeli Ambassador to the United States, and several party leaders, including Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.

NJDC worked on the national level to help turn out Jewish voters in the 2004 elections and 2008 elections, provide voter education, and dispel the smear campaigns launched by right wingers against Democratic candidates for office at every level. NJDC also works to send voter guides and direct mail to targeted Jewish households. In 2004, NJDC targeted 250,000 Jewish households in swing states with an intensive direct mail campaign.

Contents

Mission

Founded in 1990, the National Jewish Democratic Council is the national voice of Jewish Democrats. Informed by its commitment to those values shared by the Democratic Party and the vast majority of American Jews - including the separation of church and state, a strong US-Israel relationship, and reproductive freedom - NJDC's singular set of priorities includes:[1]

  • Educating Jewish voters about the very real differences between their Democratic and Republican candidates for elected office through special reports and voter guides. NJDC has distributed more than 250,000 informational guides to Jewish households in recent election cycles.
  • Informing candidates for public office about the need to address and support issues of concern to the Jewish community.
  • Advocating on behalf of Jewish and Democratic ideals on Capitol Hill and in Jewish and national media.
  • Fighting the radical right agenda at every turn through research and reports, grassroots advocacy, working directly with lawmakers in Washington, and educating journalists.
  • Engaging and cultivating a new generation of young Jewish Democratic leaders by replicating our highly successful Washington-based Young Leadership program in other major cities, including New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Cleveland and South Florida.
  • Expanding Jewish awareness of critical legislative activity through quarterly and biweekly publications, as well as Breakfast Roundtables and Domestic Issues Forums featuring congressional and executive branch leaders.

NJDC leadership

  • Senator Ben Cardin, Honorary Chair
  • Senator Ron Wyden, Honorary Chair
  • Marc R. Stanley, Chair, Dallas, TX
  • Sunita Leeds, Vice-Chair, Washington, DC
  • Gregg Steinberg, Vice-Chair, Chicago, IL
  • Marc Winkelman, Secretary, Austin, TX
  • Sheldon Cohen, Treasurer, Washington, DC
  • David A. Harris, President, Washington, DC
  • Ira N. Forman, Executive Director, Washington, DC

2008 election

In October 2008, the NJDC held a conference in Washington DC at which then Vice Presidential candidate Joe Biden was the keynote speaker. Other notable speakers included Al Franken and Governor Howard Dean.

It was noted that "In 2008, The NJDC trained nearly 100 surrogates to speak around country, according to Forman, ran newspaper ad campaigns in pivotal swing states, sent 350,000 targeted pieces of mail to Jewish households, dropped 35,000 pieces of literature in key Jewish neighborhoods and ran Internet and Google word search campaigns."[2]

In an article written on November 9, 2008, it was mentioned that "American Jewish voters have once again overwhelmingly supported the Democratic presidential nominee" and that "with Obama's victory, we selected a candidate who shares the values of the vast majority of American Jews, including the separation of church and state, a strong U.S.-Israel relationship, and reproductive freedom."[3]

During the final days of the 2008 presidential campaign, an article came out explaining that "The National Jewish Democratic Council is sending out more than 350,000 mailers to Jewish households in key swing states, re-asserting the Democratic nominees stance on a number of issues." This article includes many fliers put out by the NJDC in order to inform voters about Barack Obama and Joe Biden's positions on Israel relations.[4]

Marc Stanley, Chairman of the NJDC, wrote an op-ed in the JTA entitled "Why Jews Voted for Obama." In the article, he gave two explanations. "First, Obama’s performance in the debates belied the GOP narrative that he could not be trusted, while McCain’s pick of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate undermined his Jewish support. Second, Jewish Democrats—the National Jewish Democratic Council, along with the Obama campaign and other independent efforts—were better organized than ever."[5]

  • In 2008, exit polls showed that Barack Obama received 78% of the Jewish vote.[6]

Barack Obama Presidency

The NJDC has shown approval for the Obama administration's policies such as the 2009 stimulus package,[7] and the president's decision to pull out of Durban II,[8] the UN conference against racism which has been known to be a forum for anti-Israel discussion. Some Jewish organizations have questioned Obama's relationship with Zbigniew Brzezinski, Samantha Power, and Chas Freeman,[9] who have been accused of holding strong anti-Israel views.[10] The NJDC has stated its trust in Obama's support for Israel, and has charged other organizations such as the Republican Jewish Coalition of distorting information about Barack Obama and his support for Israel.[11]

See also

References

External links

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Issues pages

  • Israel [1]
  • Separation of Church & State [2]
  • Reproductive Rights [3]
  • Women's Issues [4]
  • Other Foreign Policy [5]
  • Other Domestic Policy [6]

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