Chabad emissaries meet with lawmakers, Obama officials

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Congressional leaders and top Obama administration officials met with representatives of Chabad-Lubavitch.

Lawmakers meeting June 21 with several hundred Chabad emissaries from across the United States and the world included Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the majority leader in the U.S. House of Representatives, who spoke of how Chabad rabbis have assisted him in his Jewish learning, and Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), the House minority whip, who spoke of his friendship with Cantor and bipartisan commitment to the U.S.-Israel relationship.

A number of other lawmakers briefed the rabbis on their favored issues. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) spoke of her commitment to passing a bill that would allow Holocaust survivors to seek restitution through the courts on World War II-era insurance policies.

Also addressing the "Living Legacy" conference, organized by American Friends of Lubavitch, were Jeremy Bash, the chief of staff to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta; Bruce Reed, Vice President Joe Biden’s chief of staff; Holocaust memoirist and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel; and former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle, now the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate.

The keynote speech, delivered June 20, was by Talmud scholar Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, with a response by Israel’s Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yonah Metzger.

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