U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) met with 14 state Jewish leaders May 17 in preparation for his first trip to the Middle East since becoming chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Menendez, who is scheduled to arrive in the Middle East late Sunday, May 26, will visit Israel and Jordan.
“We had a very productive and in-depth discussion of the critical issues facing us as Americans and Jewish communal leaders with the senator as he embarks on his important trip to Israel and Jordan,” said Max Kleinman, executive vice president of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ.
“It’s comforting to know how knowledgeable and supportive Sen. Menendez is, particularly as he heads the Senate Foreign Relations Committee,” said Kleinman in a press release issued by the senator’s Newark office.
Menendez’s office said his itinerary would not be finalized before Friday.
Among others who attended the briefing session in the Newark office were John Rosen, director of the American Jewish Committee’s NJ Region; Rabbi Bennett Miller, Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple in New Brunswick; Jeffrey Salkin and Michael Salberg of the Anti-Defamation League; Keith Krivitzky, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Monmouth County; Melanie Roth Gorelick, director of the Community Relations Committee of Greater MetroWest NJ; and Lionel Kaplan, a Princeton attorney and board member of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
“I am grateful to the members of the Jewish-American community who participated in the roundtable discussion,” said Menendez. “We covered many of the complex issues pertaining to Israel, its alliance with the United States, and its relations with other nations of the Middle East.
“The opportunity for direct, frank conversation with my friends in the Jewish-American community is an invaluable preparation for my upcoming trip to the Middle East. I have every intention of keeping the conversation going when I return.”