OU Advocacy mission brings community leaders to Washington
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OU Advocacy mission brings community leaders to Washington

Representative Josh Gottheimer (D-5th Dist.), third from left, with the New Jersey Delegation of the OU Advocacy Leadership Mission after a private meeting. (Photos courtesy OU)
Representative Josh Gottheimer (D-5th Dist.), third from left, with the New Jersey Delegation of the OU Advocacy Leadership Mission after a private meeting. (Photos courtesy OU)

More than 125 lay and rabbinic leaders representing Orthodox Jewish communities from across the country convened on Capitol Hill and at the White House June 15 for the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center’s annual leadership mission to Washington.

Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) addresses participants.
Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) addresses participants.

The Orthodox Union’s president, Mark Bane, said, “The Orthodox Union Advocacy Center works year-round to advocate for the values and interests of the Orthodox Jewish community, and coming to Washington is a very visible reminder of our commitment to those we represent and our appreciation for this country’s leaders who work tirelessly on behalf of the Jewish people and Israel.”

Throughout the daylong mission, delegates focused on advocating for three issues that are important to the Orthodox Jewish community: greater funding for the federal Nonprofit Security Grant Program to protect Jewish day schools, synagogues and other nonprofits from attacks; passing the Taylor Force Act, which will suspend U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority until it ends its practice of paying financial stipends to the families of terrorists; and advancing school choice policies.

OU Advocacy Mission delegation at briefing with Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in the White House’s Indian Treaty Room. (OU Advocacy Center)
OU Advocacy Mission delegation at briefing with Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in the White House’s Indian Treaty Room. (OU Advocacy Center)

OU delegates met with their congressional representatives in smaller groups to discuss the policy agenda. After those meetings, the group reconvened for a luncheon with U.S. senators.

Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) announced a 98-2 vote in favor of new sanctions on Iran. The vote had just happened; he received a standing ovation when he discussed it.

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