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Beth Jacob members have always been committed to supporting Israel, and have been a significant presence at the AIPAC Policy Conference for many years.  More recently, our dedication to Israel advocacy has gone beyond the AIPAC framework. 

AIPAC is not allowed to raise money for political candidates.  The Friends of Israel committee (FIIC) is a private network of people who give of their time and resources to engage political candidates and members of congress.  The relationships developed between these private citizens and the candidates they support foster understanding of the issues most important to Israel.

The FIIC was created by Beth Jacob members to secure bipartisan support for Israel in the U.S. Senate and House representatives. Through regular meetings with senators and congressmen, the committee fosters understanding of the issues most important to Israel among those who have the power to make a difference. Involvements in the FIIC allows members to advocate for Israel in a forum that leads to proven results in Congress, and to stay informed on the political process in real time. 

Beth Jacob’s Friends of Israel Committee is a group of 30 families that regularly meet with pro-Israel candidates, committing to make significant monetary contributions to their election campaigns.  The committee typically raises $25,000 for each pro-Israel senator it hosts, and $15,000 for each House member.

Fundraisers give committee members the opportunity to meet with candidates in an informal, intimate setting, and engage them during Q&A sessions.  Marc Rohatiner, who heads the committee, often invites YULA and Shalhevet students who have a firm grasp of the issues dear to Israel. 

“Their attendance has an impact on candidates,” he says.  “Senator Susan Collins of Maine was one of the candidates we hosted, and she couldn’t believe that high school students are that informed and interested.” 

Candidates the committee has hosted include Senator Collins, Congressman Paul Cook of California, Senator Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, and former Representative Claude L’Engle of Florida.

Marc is most proud of the opportunity he and others on the committee have had to develop closer relationships with some candidates, most recently with Congressman Cook, who has met and corresponded with the committee on an ongoing basis.  “Our dedication really makes an impression on candidates,” he relates.

Israel continues to face pressure on many fronts. The Friends of Israel Committee is an excellent and meaningful way to become involved in numerous important causes to ensure that Israel will continue to thrive. 

For more information, please contact Marc Rohatiner at mrohatiner@wrslawyers.com.

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