NJDC Conference Roundup
David Streeter — October 22, 2009 10:44 am
| Barack Obama | Democrats | Domestic Policy | Election 2008 Comments (1) Add a comment
The National Jewish Democratic Council’s 2009 Washington Conference impressed its attendees with a stellar program. The conference was jam-packed with high-caliber speakers and dignitaries who helped make the conference an extraordinary event. Notable speakers and events included:
- NJDC awarded Senator Al Franken (D-MN) the B. Rapoport Tikkun Olam Award. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), who received the award last year, presented the award.
- House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Assistant to the Speaker of the House Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) praised NJDC for its role in the 2008 election.
- Virginia Governor and DNC Chairman Tim Kaine praised and fired up NJDC for its role in the upcoming 2009 elections.
- Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren spoke about the U.S.-Israel relationship at a lunchtime address. Oren declared unequivocally that President Barack Obama and the U.S. are “foursquare beside us [Israel] against the Goldstone report.”
- Representative Robert Wexler (D-FL) spoke about the U.S.-Israel relationship as part of a panel with Middle East Peace Envoy George Mitchell’s top aide Mara Rudman; Rob Satloff, Executive Director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s; and Rabbi Steve Guttow of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs.
- Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor and Assistant to Obama for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement, spoke about Obama’s health care reform plan being in the “home stretch.”
- Representatives Brad Sherman (D-CA) and Ron Klein (D-FL) spoke about lessons learned during the 2008 elections alongside Ira N. Forman, NJDC’s CEO; Steve Rabinowitz, President of Rabinowitz/Dorf Communications; and political analyst Mark Mellman of The Mellman Group.
- Representative Debbie Wasserman-Shultz (D-FL) contributed to a panel about Jewish demographic and voting trends along with Dr. Ira Sheskin of the Jewish Demography Project; Mellman; and Ann Lewis, President of No Limits.
- David A. Harris, NJDC’s President, moderated a media panel that consisted of Sam Stein, White House Correspondent for the Huffington Post; Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times and Politics Daily; and Richard Wolffe, author of the book Renegade: the Making of a President.
- Representative Allyson Schwartz (D-PA); Marla Gilson, Director of the National Hadassah in the Washington Action Office; and Marcia Greenberger, founder and co-President of the National Women’s Law Center, participated in a panel about “women’s issues,” being important for both men and women. The panel was moderated by Tina Tchen, Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.
- Forman moderated a panel on the use of Nazi related rhetoric that consisted of Ami Eden, JTA’s Editor in Chief, Michael Levy; Policy Director of Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber, and Schreck’s Washington Office; and Rabinowitz.
- Forman also moderated a panel about the 2010 mid-term elections with Celinda Lake, President of Lake Research and Stu Rothenberg, Editor and Publisher of The Rothenberg Political Report.
- Paul Begala, Democratic Strategist and aide to President Bill Clinton, addressed the conference and praised it for its role in helping both President Bill Clinton and Obama pass their agendas.
The media also took notice about the conference:
- The Wall Street Journal profiled the conference on the first day.
- Michael Goldfarb of the conservative The Weekly Standard praised NJDC for its ability to outnumber press with members of Congress, calling NJDC an “effective” organization.
- Forman was interviewed by Turkey’s Cihan Media and used the opportunity to raise awareness about the growing anti-Israel sentiment in Turkey.
- JTA covered and summarized Oren’s address to the conference.
- Politics Daily published a piece specifically devoted to the session about voting patterns and demographics.
- The Huffington Post covered Valerie Jarrett’s address to the conference.