Leaders of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ and the Jewish Federation in the Heart of NJ met with U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ Dist. 12) to welcome her as the newest member of the Bipartisan Taskforce for Combating Anti-Semitism. Established in March, the group’s mission is to ensure that Congress develops and implements policies that condemn anti-Semitism and promote tolerance around the world.
The leaders who met with Watson Coleman April 27 in her Ewing office were Keith Krivitzky, CEO of Jewish Federation in the Heart of NJ, and Amy Mallet, its government affairs chair; Leslie Dannin Rosenthal, president of Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ, and Melanie Roth Gorelick, director of its Community Relations Committee; and Martin Raffel, past senior vice president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. The CRC requested in March that Watson Coleman be made a task force member.
“As a society built upon universal liberties and basic human rights, it is our responsibility to protect and encourage those values around the world,” said Watson Coleman in an April 27 release. “Where any group is threatened or persecuted and we fail to push back, we threaten the foundations of this country.
“Jewish populations have been the target of increased violence and attacks at their schools, synagogues, homes, and places of business. I’m committed to making sure that we prevent these incidents, and I look forward to working with my Taskforce colleagues to bring an end to anti-Semitism once and for all.”
The group is cochaired by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ Dist. 4), Nita Lowey (D-NY), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), Kay Granger (R-Tex.), Steve Israel (D-NY), Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), and Ted Deutch (D-Fla.).
The community leaders introduced Watson Coleman to the public policy agenda of the federations, focusing on such issues as hunger, seniors, human trafficking, Israel, and the talks on preventing a nuclear Iran. They also discussed with her the growing concern over the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement on college campuses; growing anti-Semitism; and the need to renew stronger partnerships among the younger African-American and Jewish communities. Watson Coleman said that she will travel to Israel for the first time this summer.