Jewish groups ready to work on economic recovery with Obama


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Two Jewish umbrella groups said they were looking forward to working with President-elect Obama on an economic recovery plan

"The economic recession is having a tremendous impact on Jewish social service agencies," said William Daroff,  vice president for public policy and director of the United Jewish Communities’ Washington office. "While demand is up significantly for the services that we provide, the economic resources available to provide those services are tighter than ever. We look forward to working with the President-elect and Congressional leadership in crafting an economic recovery plan that helps suffering families, and the social service agencies that provide necessary help to them in their time of need."

The Jewish Council for Public Affairs encouraged Congress to back the Obama plan.

"We agree with the president-elect that time is of the essence and we move swiftly before our nation’s economic situation worsens ," said JCPA president and CEO Rabbi Steve Gutow, "but no plan can be implemented without considering the needs of the nation’s most vulnerable."

"We are pleased President-elect Obama’s plan includes aid for all Americans as well as takes steps to reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil, which benefits not only us at home, but the state of Israel. We encourage Congress to provide its support."

Daroff  and JCPA Washington Director  Hadar Susskind were two of a number of representatives from Jewish organizations present at the president-elect’s economic speech at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. on Thursday. Orthodox Union director of public policy Nathan Diament, American Jewish Committee Legislative Director and counsel Richard Foltin and Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism Drector Rabbi David Saperstein were also among those in attendance.

Obama said in his speech that Congress must take "dramatic action" on an economic stimulus package. His plan will include a doubling of the production of alternative energy in five years, expanding of unemployment insurance and health care coverage for those who have lost their jobs, and providing new computers and technology to schools and universities throughout the country.

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