WASHINGTON (JTA) — Ira Forman, who led President Obama’s reelection campaign in the Jewish community, was appointed as the State Department’s envoy to combat anti-Semitism.
The State Department announced the appointment on Monday — the same day it released its 2012 report on religious freedom that recorded a “continued global increase in anti-Semitism.”
Secretary of State John Kerry tapped Forman to replace Hannah Rosenthal, who left last year to direct the Milwaukee Jewish federation.
The envoy travels the world to press governments to address institutional and popular manifestations of anti-Semitism.
Forman in his first foray as envoy will accompany a group of U.S. Muslim imams on a tour of Auschwitz — a practice initiated by Rosenthal. He then will head to the International Conference of the Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism in Jerusalem at the end of this month.
The longtime director of the National Jewish Democratic Council, Forman led the Obama campaign’s effort last year to push back against Republican and conservative depictions of Obama as hostile or indifferent to Israel. He was especially active in Florida.