Who’s meeting with Obama? Just about everybody (UPDATED with info on Conference of Presidents)


Who was at Thursday afternoon’s meeting of Jewish organizational representatives and Barack Obama’s transition team? Pretty much everybody. According to a source, there were representatives of 29 Jewish organizations present at the D.C. get-together. Some quick observations on the guest list:

  • A broad spectrum of pro-Israel organizations were invited, from the more dovish Brit Tzedek v’Shalom and J Street to the more hawkish Zionist Organization of America;
  • Among those present was Jewish Funds for Justice’s Mik Moore, whose stature rose this fall as his separate, campaign-related organization, the Jewish Council for Education and Research, released "The Great Schlep" video and led other activities helping Obama in the Jewish community;
  • There was no official representing the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations — but COP executive vice chair Malcolm Hoenlein tells JTA the group was invited but no one could make it because the organization doesn’t have a Washington representative and was busy with meetings in New York this week. He said he had already discussed key issues with the transition team in advance of Thursday’s meeting.

A variety of domestic and international issues were discussed, including economic recovery legislation, church-state matters, judicial appointments, energy independence, Iran, the Midlde East peace process and U.S. participation in the Durban II conference.

Obama transition team reps present included Dan Shapiro, Middle East adviser to the transition team; Michael Strautmanis, chief of staff to assistant to the president for intergovernmental relations and public liaison Valerie Jarrett; Tom Perez, co-chair of the transition teams on health care and justice; Tonya Robinson, from the justice and civil rights transition team; and Eric Lynn, a senior adviser to the inaugural committee who worked on Jewish outreach during the campaign.

Here’s the guest list:

Diana Balser, Brit Tzedek v’Shalom
Jeremy Ben Ami, J Street
Herbert Block, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
Abba Cohen, Agudath Israel
Abe Cooper, Simon Wiesenthal Center
William Daroff, United Jewish Communities
Debra DeLee, Americans for Peace Now
Nathan Diament, Orthodox Union
Dan Ehrenkrantz, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College
Wayne Firestone, Hillel
Ira Forman, National Jewish Democratic Council
Eric Fusfeld, B’nai B’rith International
Marla Gilson, Hadassah
Sadie Goldman, Israel Policy Forum
Richard Gordon, AJCongress
Jess Hordes, Anti-Defamation League
Richard Foltin, American Jewish Committee
Mort Klein, Zionist Organization of America
Peter Knobel, Central Conference of American Rabbis
Sammie Moshenberg, National Conference of Jewish Women
Laura Kam, The Israel Project
Mark Levin, NCSJ
Mik Moore, Jewish Funds for Justice
Tom Neumann, Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
Mark Pelavin, Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism
Marilyn Rosenthal, American Israel Public Affairs Committee
Levi Shemtov, American Friends of Lubavitch
Hadar Susskind, Jewish Council for Public Affairs
Amy York, Chicago Jewish Federation

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