CJV’s Inaugural DC Advocacy Day a Rousing Success
February 16, 2024

On Tuesday, February 13th, the Coalition for Jewish Values held its first-ever Washington, D.C. Advocacy Day. Under the leadership of CJV Managing Director Rabbi Yaakov Menken, a select group of rabbis, students, and lay leaders from eight states brought CJV advocacy to our nation’s capital. It was truly a rousing success, far beyond expectations for a first-time advocacy day for a young organization.

We started the morning by meeting with His Excellency Michael Herzog, Ambassador of Israel to the United States, at the Israeli Embassy. The Ambassador briefed the group on the ongoing conflict in Israel, Israel’s goal of permanently eliminating the Hamas threat to its citizens, and its vision for Gaza’s future. He continued to take questions even after staff had said the Ambassador needed to move to his next obligation.

Lunch was at the Capitol Hill Club, a social gathering point for conservatives directly opposite the House office buildings. Afterwards, we met with Dr. Charmaine Yoest, Executive Director of the House Values Action Team, which now helps set values policy for over 100 Members of Congress. She was eager not only to share their efforts in the values arena, including combating antisemitism, but to hear from CJV and to welcome a vocal Jewish presence in this space.

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House Majority Whip Tom Emmer and his staff reassured our delegation that leaders will continue working on a bipartisan basis to defend and protect Jewish students, institutions, and life in all corners of the county. The same sentiment was echoed in breakout meetings with Congressmen Jack Bergman (R-MI), Eric Burlison (R-MO), Mike Lawler (R-NY), and David Kustoff (R-TN), all of whom are grateful for CJV’s for its advocacy on Capitol Hill.

Our afternoon concluded with a 150-person reception honoring Congressional Staff. We provided Kosher Mediterranean hors d’oeuvres and fine Israeli wines, both to general acclaim, while Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) of the House Education and Labor committee gave remarks on the critical work being done to combat on-campus antisemitism from preschool through college.

Last on the agenda was a friendly dinner with Congresswoman Mary Miller (R-IL)  and Congressman Glenn Grothman (R-WI), where we discussed the critical role CJV plays on Capitol Hill and the shared experiences of all religious Americans.

Advocates and pubic affairs professionals alike remarked that CJV enjoyed an outstanding level of access for a new organization, from meeting the Israeli Ambassador, to the House Majority Whip, to having two Members of Congress join CJV at a kosher restaurant twenty minutes from Capitol Hill.

CJV would like to thank all who participated in this landmark advocacy day, especially our Platinum Sponsor, Stacey E. Burke, and sponsors Richard Senturia, Aharon Friedman, and Rabbi Meir Melnicke, without whom the day’s activities would not have been possible.

Stay tuned—we are already making plans for our second event during the summer!

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