Obama campaign hires former NJDC chief


WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Obama re-election campaign has hired Ira Forman, the ex-chief of the National Jewish Democratic Council, as its Jewish outreach director.

Forman, who was the NJDC’s executive director, will coordinate the campaign’s outreach to the Jewish community, according to a source with the campaign.

“I am truly honored to be able to work toward President Obama’s re-election,” Forman said in a statement. “This President deserves the backing of our community for his outstanding support for the U.S.-Israel relationship and his strong record on domestic priorities and shared social values.”

As the campaign works to court Jewish voters — some of whom have expressed discontent with the way Obama has handled the Middle East peace process — Forman will likely play a key role. An Obama campaign official noted that Forman is viewed as one of the nation’s foremost experts on how the Jewish community votes.

“Nobody knows the intersection of the Jewish community and Democratic politics better than Ira Forman, a nationally respected leader in both areas,” the official said.

The hire of Forman, the source added, “shows the campaign’s commitment to working with the Jewish community and keeping the lines of communication open through dialogue and outreach.”

Forman worked for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in the late 1970s, and later worked in the Clinton administration before beginning his 14-year stint at the NJDC.

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