OU/IPA Mission to Washington, DC
Leading members of the Rabbinical Council of America participated this past week in the joint OU/IPA mission to Washington. This annual event has become a highlight of our partnership with the OU, in light of its evident impact on lawmakers and administration officials in our nation’s capital.
Highlights of the 24 hour mission included a visit to the Judaic Treasures of the Library of Congress, a fascinating talk by Dr. Charles Krauthammer on current developments in the Middle East, and high level briefings at the White House. Especially valuable presentations were made by Karl Rove (senior advisor to the President); Elliot Abrams (Middle East affairs); Noam Neusner (White House liaison to the Jewish community), and senior officials of the office of faith-based initiatives. A variety of Senators addressed the group at lunch, and small group meetings were held with selected congressman.
The purpose of the mission was (a) to become more deeply aware of various policies and realities of direct concern to the Jewish and Orthodox community; and (b) to convey to those in positions of power our concerns and priorities as a community. What was fascinating to many of us was the extent to which government officials and representatives at the highest level in the land valued our speaking out on critical issues and values clarification in public life.
The Rabbinical Council of America will continue to develop and strengthen its efforts to become a more prominent spokesman and lobbyist on the issues of direct concern to our organization, our congregations, and our value-system, not just in Washington but in public life and the public square.
Among RCA members who participated, were Rabbi Hersh Weinreb, Rabbi Dale Polakoff, Rabbi Basil Herring, Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, Rabbi David Fine, Rabbi Neil Turk, Rabbi Edward Davis, Rabbi Menachem Genack, Rabbi Moshe Krupka, and Rabbi Leonard Matanky. Thanks in particular to Nathan Diament of the IPA for organizing this event.