National Jewish Democratic Council
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The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) is a political lobbying organization dedicated to promoting Jewish values within the Democratic Party and the political process.
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 liberal watchdog on the lawful activities of the religious portion of the Right, acting to raise public awareness about efforts to undermine the wall between church and state. These efforts are in furtherance of a solidly liberal agenda that NJDC promotes.
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 fight against the radical right 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.
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:
- 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, grass-roots advocacy, working directly with lawmakers in Washington, and educating journalists.
- Engaging and cultivating a new generation of young Jewish Democratic leaders by replicating the 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 bi-weekly publications, as well as Breakfast Roundtables and Domestic Issues Forums featuring Congressional and executive branch leaders.
- Senator Ben Cardin, Honorary Chair
- Senator Ron Wyden, Honorary Chair
- Stephen Bittel, Vice-Chair, Miami, FL
- Steve Rabinowitz, Vice-Chair, Washington, D. C.
- Marc Winkelman, Vice Chair, Austin, TX
- Sheldon Cohen, Secretary, Washington, D. C.
- Sunita Leeds, Treasurer, Washington, D. C.
In October 2008, the NJDC held a conference in Washington, D. C., 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".
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".
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.
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." In 2008, exit polls showed that Barack Obama received 78% of the Jewish vote.
Barack Obama Presidency
The NJDC has shown approval for the Obama administration's policies such as the 2009 stimulus package, and the president's decision to pull out of Durban II, the UN conference against racism which has been known to be a forum for anti-Israel agitation. The NJDC has stated its trust in Obama's support for Israel, and has charged other organizations like the Republican Jewish Coalition of distorting information about Barack Obama and his support for Israel.
- "Separation of Church and State". National Jewish Democratic Council. Archived from the original on 2014-06-18. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
- "NJDC Welcomes Defeat of Senate Amendment Restricting Abortion Coverage". National Jewish Democratic Council. 2009-12-08. Archived from the original on 2013-09-15. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
- "All major Dems to appear at NJDC con". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 2007-04-13. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
- "NJDC's First Annual Conference". The Philadelphia Jewish Voice. 2007-05-23. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
- NJDC website
- "Jewish Democrats Make Last Push For Obama". Huffington Post. 2008-10-29.