Jewish leaders meet with Senate Democrats


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Jewish leaders met with more than a third of the Democratic caucus in the U.S. Senate.

Twenty-two senators, led by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), attended Wednesday’s meeting. The caucus has 59 senators.

Among the topics discussed were efforts to pass expanded Iran sanctions by next month and an array of domestic issues. The latter included proposed laws targeting violence against women, objections to the stringent laws in Arizona targeting illegal immigration, efforts to bring about Holocaust reparations in Eastern Europe and the application of the recently passed "CLASS Act," which provides for long-term disability care.

Among the groups represented were the American Israel Public Affairs Committee; Jewish Federations of North America; the Jewish Council for Public Affairs; the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society; NCSJ, which advocates on behalf of Jews in the former Soviet Union; J Street, a dovish pro-Israel group; the National Jewish Democratic Council; and American Friends of Lubavitch.

The meeting took place a day before Jewish Federations of North America flies in leaders from across the country to meet on Middle East policy with top Obama administration officials and congressional leaders. The "fly-in" was planned after tensions erupted in March between the Israeli and American governments over Israel’s settlement policy.

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