Jewish community leaders join national gathering to lobby in DC

Lehigh Valley Jewish community leaders Vicki Wax, Bruce Reich, and Aaron Gorodzinsky traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with elected officials as part of the Jewish Federations of North America fly-in to show our support for Israel.

Our Jewish Federation was there to urge Congress to act on three critical priorities for us: 1) Move forward with the Israel Security Supplemental Appropriation Act to provide Israel with $14.3 billion in emergency aid, 2) Increase funding for the nonprofit Security Grant Program from $350 million to $500 million and approve a one-time supplement of $1 billion for this fiscal year, and 3) implement the Antisemitism Act of 2023, which calls for using the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) official definition of antisemitism to determine whether an act is considered antisemitism. The IHRA definition has been officially recognized by over 80 countries and by 31 states in the United States.

Gorodzinsky, Wax, and Reich advocated for local and national community priorities and strengthened relationships with decision-makers in Congress. They met at the Capitol with Senator John Fetterman, Senator Robert Casey, U.S. Representative Susan Wild, and others, including Senators Rick Scott, Ben Cardin, Gary Peters, and Katie Britt, and Representatives Elise Stefanik, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Ritchie Torres, and Michael Lawler.

Dignitaries took to the podium to address the full gathering of Jewish Federation representatives. Among those speakers were Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Michael Herzog; Admiral John Kirby, spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State; and families of the hostages who remain captive by Hamas.

Look for a more in-depth article on this event in the next issue of Hakol.