Scott Sipprelle, who is challenging Rep. Rush Holt in a hotly contested 12th district race, was among the speakers Oct. 3 at the launch of the central New Jersey chapter of the Republican Jewish Coalition.
About 275 enthusiastic supporters turned out for the launch at the Excelsior in Manalapan.
Greg Menken, the coalition’s New York regional director, said with the addition of the new chapter RJC had 30,000 members in 46 chapters. The new chapter encompasses Middlesex, Monmouth, Mercer, Ocean, and parts of Somerset and southern Union counties.
Sipprelle’s supporters hope to make inroads among Jewish voters by highlighting Holt’s support of the left-leaning Israel advocacy group J Street and his signature on a letter urging Israel to ease its blockade of Gaza in order to allow in more humanitarian aid.
In his talk, Sipprelle covered his views on health care, his opposition to the Islamic center planned near Ground Zero, and his support for school vouchers. His mention of the “Gaza 54” letter drew boos from the audience.
In his remarks on Israel, he said the weakened state of the economy poses a security threat both here and in Israel.
“We have lost respect in the world,” said Sipprelle. “We need to stand with Israel when Israel needs us most.”