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Latino Daily News

Tuesday June 14, 2011

Latino-Jewish Congressional Caucus is Launched on Capital Hill

Latino-Jewish Congressional Caucus is Launched on Capital Hill

Photo: Latino-Jewish Caucus Launches

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

AJC, together with members of the U.S. House of Representatives, will launch the Latino-Jewish Congressional Caucus at an event tonight on Capitol Hill. The establishment of the Latino-Jewish Caucus was strongly supported by AJC’s Latino and Latin America Institute.

Caucus co-chairs Reps. Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), and Debbie Wasserman-Shultz (D-FL) will address the June 14 reception. Also slated to speak are the Israeli and Mexican ambassadors to the U.S. Dozens of Latino and Jewish leaders will be in attendance.

“The Latino-Jewish Congressional Caucus will provide for further collaborative engagement between U.S. Latinos and Jews on domestic and foreign policy issues of joint interest and concern,” said Dina Siegel Vann, director of AJC’s Latino and Latin American Institute. The AJC institute was created in 2005 to advance the global advocacy organization’s collaborative relations with the largest and fastest growing minority in the U.S.

Others who so far have joined the caucus include Reps Shelly Berkley (D-NV), Joe Baca (D-CA), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Charles A. Gonzalez (D-TX), Michael Grimm (R-NY), Pedro Pierluisi (D-PR), Jared Polis (D-CO), David Rivera (R-FL), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Brad Sherman (D-CA), and Albio Sires (D-NJ).

“The strong ties between the Latino and Jewish communities make this Caucus a perfect forum to address a variety of policy issues such as religious freedom, anti-Semitism, and the growing influence of Iran and its proxies in the Western Hemisphere,” said Rep. Ros-Lehtinen, chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. “I thank the American Jewish Committee for its leadership and assistance in organizing today’s celebration of the launching of the Caucus.”

AJC has pioneered American Jewish relations with Latino communities for decades, working to deepen mutual understanding and to collaborate on key public policy issues, such as immigration reform, free trade agreements with Colombia and Panama, and support for Israel.

“The Latino-Jewish coalition is more critical than ever,” said Siegel Vann. “The Latino-Jewish Congressional Caucus certainly can provide significant impetus to creating new joint initiatives and furthering cooperation.”