Presidential advisers will look at election through Jewish lens
Jewish advisers to former presidents will take a joint look at Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and the Jewish community when they appear together at a forum sponsored by the Community Relations Committee of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ.
The free event will take place Tuesday, Nov. 1, at 7:30 p.m. at the Cooperman JCC in West Orange.
The two political analysts are Democrat Jay Footlik and Republican Jeff Berkowitz.
Berkowitz, who served as President George W. Bush’s liaison to the Jewish community, is a Trump supporter and conservative activist. He was northeast field director for the College Republican National Committee prior to the 2000 presidential primaries, a foreign policy analyst for the Republican National Committee, and a press secretary for the Republican Jewish Coalition.
Berkowitz, CEO of Delve, a competitive intelligence firm, previously led research and messaging operations for the White House. For Bush’s re-election, Berkowitz served as senior defense and foreign policy analyst for the RNC and Bush-Cheney 2004.
Footlik is supporting Clinton and served as her liaison to the Jewish community. He has also served as senior Middle East adviser for John Kerry’s presidential campaign in 2004. In 2008 Footlik lost a Democratic primary election for a congressional seat in suburban Chicago.
The founding president and CEO of Global Policy Initiatives, Footlik was special assistant to President Bill Clinton and his liaison to the American-Jewish community. He now serves on the board of trustees of the American Council of Young Political Leaders and the board of American Friends of the Rabin Center, and is a founding board member of SAFE (Securing America’s Future Energy).
According to CRC director Linda Scherzer, the two men will be asked to deal with such issues as: Which candidate is better for Israel? Who is better positioned to defeat ISIS and global terrorism? Who will take a stronger stand in stamping out anti-Semitism and the anti-Israel boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement? How will each candidate handle the domestic issues of concern to the Jewish community, such as the safety net for elderly people, people with special needs, and Holocaust survivors, as well as reproductive rights and the environment?
“These are issues that resonate historically with the Jewish community,” said Scherzer. “Anyone can turn on the television and get political analysis 24 hours a day. What makes this different is that these two analysts are guys who are Jewish and will look at these candidates through the lens of Jewish issues.”