WASHINGTON (JTA) — A prominent Jewish union leader and one of Bernie Sanders’ oldest friends and advisers are on the board of a movement launched by Sanders to drive the Democratic Party toward more progressive values.
Sanders, the Independent senator from Vermont and the first Jewish candidate to win major party nominating contests, launched “Our Revolution” last week after conceding the Democratic nomination to Hillary Clinton last month.
Larry Cohen, who will be chairman of the 11-person board, according to a release sent to reporters on Monday, was until recently the president of the Communication Workers of America. Cohen also has appeared at a Jewish Labor Committee event.
Huck Gutman, an English professor at the University of Vermont, was for a period Sanders’ chief of staff in his Senate office. He and another Jewish professor at the university, Richard Sugarman, are Sanders’ closest friends in his home state. Gutman has written about the Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai.
Also on the board is Jim Zogby, the president of the Arab American Institute and a Sanders appointee to the committee that drafted this year’s Democratic Party platform. Zogby led an unsuccessful effort to include criticism of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank in the platform.
“Our Revolution” will mobilize “progressives across the country to transform American politics,” the release said.
Also included on the board are leaders from the African-American, Native American and Latino communities, as well as Shailene Woodley, an actor and an environmental activist.