Photo Credit: YouTube
Michelle and President Barack Obama at the White House Hanukka Party. Dec. 17, 2014.

In its annual search to shame Jewish organizational leaders by pointing out how much money they make, and calculating the percentage by which they do not deserve the salary, the Forward newspaper (formerly known as the Jewish Daily Forward) made an unexpected discovery: the Republican Jewish Coalition no longer has a partisan counterpart.

The National Jewish Democratic Council has apparently dumped its staff and “outsourced its activities to a Washington, D.C. public relations firm,” the Forward reports.


The NJDC’s counterpart, the Republican Jewish Coalition, has a staff of 18 and revenue in excess of $3 million. It is based in Washington, D.C. and chaired by Matt Brooks, who has been the RJC’s executive director since 1990. The RJC has become increasingly and aggressively engaged in persuading Jews to reconsider their long-held ties to the Democratic party. It has been an uphill struggle, but the tide may slowly be turning, at least for strongly affiliated Jews.

More than 70 percent of American Jews voted for the Democratic nominee for president in 2012, and by an even higher percentage when Obama ran the first time in 2008.

Jews who vote for Democratic candidates do so because they see their issues as the issues promoted by the Democratic party: reproductive rights, gun control and climate change, and the separation of church and state. Many of those voters seem to consider these issues to be synonymous with Jewish values.

The NJDC also claimed to count strong support for a “Jewish, democratic state of Israel,” but that was apparently not the same as focusing on the actual strength, safety or security of the actual Jewish State.  That, by contrast, falls quite a bit further down on the list of priorities when choosing candidates for the NJDC to back.

In other words, increasingly unaffiliated Jews and Democratic party Jews will vote for a Democrat no matter where that candidate’s positions on issues regarding halacha fall – not surprisingly –  but also no matter how little those candidates focus on ensuring the continued life and security of Israel.

This is so, despite the self-description on the NJDC website, which seems to suggest otherwise. The first statement about its mission acknowledges that the goal of the NJDC is to “maximize[] Jewish support for Democrats at the federal and state levels of government.” In other words, NJDC brings out the Jews for the Democratic candidates.

Next, the NJDC seeks to educate “Democratic elected officials and candidates to increase support for Jewish domestic and foreign policy priorities.” What those priorities are remains unsaid.

And finally, the NJDC does these things in order to “promote both social justice in American and a secure, democratic Jewish State of Israel.” How and whether there is any intrinsic connection between social justice in America and a secure, democratic Jewish State of Israel also remains unsaid.

Why the NJDC has shorn off all of its paid staff, jettisoned its office space and now exists only as a volunteer organization at this time is unclear.

Perhaps it had to do with the early and abrupt departure of a previous NJDC executive director, Rabbi Jack Moline, under circumstances no one was willing to discuss, or perhaps it was simply the inevitable continuation of a strategy begun in 2014 to “cut costs and to pay off old debts to vendors,” as the Forward suggests. Maybe someone was finally asking the question: who needs to fund anything that smacks of “Jewish” running after Jewish Democrats anyway?

The tasks for which the NJDC were previously responsible are now being performed by Bluelight Strategies, a public relations firm owned by a former NJDC vice president.


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Lori Lowenthal Marcus is a contributor to the A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email:


  1. Well, if you are Jewish you are in a minority. I've been a lifelong Jewish Republican, and when I talkl to my family and friends about the election they all still keep their allegiance to the Democrats. It's like the Democrats can do no wrong, facts be dammed. They are so openminded – IMHO – that their brains must have fallen out. Besides which, they are generally more secular than Jewish. What a mess !

  2. It is disheartening with this administration in connection to Israel, but my heart is still with the Dems. More being the lesser of 2 evils than any great love for them. I was raised after WW2, and Roosevelt was a god in our home. My parents weren't political, but his name and deeds were handed down to a new generation, and we believed in it.

  3. Pamela, Gods word belongs in the Churches and Synagogues, not in the running of the govt. One can believe in whatever they want, but that is why there is seperation of church and state. It is constitutionally not allowed to be in the functioning of the govt.

  4. Roosevelt has long since been uncovered as the anti-Semite he was, and his Great Depression economic policies continued the depression longer than otherwise would have been the case. Only the full employment engendered by WWII fixed Roosevelt's faulty economic plan. It might have been understandable for your parents to have thought Roosevelt a "god," but you should long since have been able to make an independent – and different – judgement.

  5. Romanoff- you're a naiive fool – your parents were as well. Read your history – Roosevelt was an anti-semite that ensured the destruction of European Jewry (from 1942 the allies knew EXACTLY what was going on in occupied Europe)- and would NOT have supported a Jewish state – wouldn't even let a few hundred Jews on a boat from Germany land in the USA !! Even Truman put a ban on weapons going to Israel just when the British armed the Arabs to ensure the destruction of Israel. The Democrats have ALWAYS been anti-semites – so too now , and Jews in the USA are to BLIND to see this !
    Micha'el Sar'ya Bloch – ISRAEL

  6. I'm really happy to hear this and hope it's a reflection of Liberal Jews finally waking up.
    However, The RJC is an arm of the RINO Establishment. It's going to lose or has already lost members and interested supporters, like me for example. They should start supporting real honest, good, strong candidates and elected politicians, like Ted Cruz, for example, instead of weak, pathetic, phony, evil Republicans In Name Only.
    It's time to start a CJC, Conservative Jewish Coalition to back only true, good, strong, dignified, representative Republicans, like Ted Cruz, for example.

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