Articles about the RJC from Politico, JP Updates and Politico, plus the RJC Board of Directors in Notes and links.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie reacts to a question during a Republican Jewish Coalition meeting in Las Vegas. Photograph by Steve Marcus/Reuters
Chris Christie apologizes for ‘occupied territories’ remark
By Kenneth P. Vogel, Politico
March 31, 2014
LAS VEGAS – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie apologized to Sheldon Adelson in a meeting Saturday for stepping on a fault line in Middle East politics during a speech he gave earlier in the day, according to a source familiar with the conversation.
Invoking a 2012 trip he and his family took to Israel, Christie recalled in the speech: “I took a helicopter ride from the occupied territories across and just felt personally how extraordinary that was to understand, the military risk that Israel faces every day.”
While the story was intended to forge common cause with Adelson and the several hundred donors to the Republican Jewish Coalition to which Christie was speaking, his use of the term “occupied territories” set off murmurs in the crowd. The term refers to lands in which Palestinians live where Israel maintains a military presence, including the West Bank.
But the term is rejected by some conservative Zionists like Adelson who see it as validating Palestinian challenges over Israel’s presence. Other supporters of Israel oppose the use of the term as well.
Not long after his speech, Christie met with Adelson privately in the casino mogul’s office in the Venetian hotel and casino, which hosted the RJC meeting.
The source told POLITICO that Christie “clarified in the strongest terms possible that his remarks today were not meant to be a statement of policy.”
Ron Dermer, an American-born political consultant, is the Israeli ambassador to the United States. Sometimes called “Bibi’s brain” because of his close association with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Dermer also has deep ties to the Republican Party establishment and reportedly helped influence the neoconservative “freedom agenda” of President George W. Bush. From IPS’s Right Web
Republican ‘Jewish Coalition’ Shows Shabbos The Middle Finger
By Jacob Kornbluh, JP Updates
March 24, 2014
The Republican Jewish Coalition is all about Judaism and Israel until it comes to the the values of the Jewish people. This year, a range of high ranking 2016 Republican presidential candidates as well as Israeli Ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer will address a group of rich Republicans on Shabbos.
According to a program for the RJC’s spring leadership conference, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker will address the entire conference, which is open to donors who give more than $1,000 a year to the group, on Saturday morning, while Ohio Gov. John Kasich will speak at a luncheon hosted by the group’s National Women’s Committee. Kasich and Walker will also attend a “Discussion and Photo Op” for the RJC donors who meet a $5,000 annual donation level or greater.
Ari Fleischer, former press secretary for George W Bush, long-time confidant of Adelson and a director of RJC.
In addition to the presidential hopefuls, Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer will address attendees at Sabbath dinner on Friday night, while former Vice President Dick Cheney will be the keynote speaker at a dinner Saturday night, with Rep. Billy Long (R-Mo.) serving as master of ceremonies and entertainment provided by Australian Motown group Human Nature. Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer will hold a “communications workshop” on Saturday for the group’s donors focused on selling the group’s ideas, while Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) will host a late night dessert reception for young leaders.
Ironically, only the Saturday morning speeches- that are supposed to get the biggest coverage of the entire conference – are open to the press.
The RJC was already called out last summer for holding the RJC’s summer get together on Shabbos. As reported in Haaretz, “Kornbluh blasted the RJC’s “insensitivity towards one of its largest voting blocs, Orthodox Jews” and described its decision to convene on Shabbat “appalling and unconscionable.””
What brings us to ask: Is there anything Jewish about the RJC other than the name?
By Kenneth P. Vogel, Politico
March 31, 2014
LAS VEGAS — Luxury buses pulled up to the front entrance of the private hangar here where Sheldon Adelson keeps his corporate jets, dropping off Republican donors to hear Jeb Bush speak.
But Adelson arrived late — and in more extravagant style, pulling right into the massive structure in his Maybach limousine with dark tinted windows trailed by a second Maybach carrying glaring bodyguards.
The grand entrance was vintage Adelson. And it kicked off a Republican Jewish Conference four-day retreat this past weekend in which the 80-year-old casino mogul wowed his guests with a distinct blend of megawatt GOP politics and Vegas opulence, keeping them — and the political class, as a whole — waiting and wondering about what would come next.
The guessing game is creating anxiety among Republican Party elites eager to avoid a repeat of 2012, when Adelson and his family dumped more than $20 million into a super PAC supporting Newt Gingrich’s long-shot GOP presidential campaign. The Adelsons went on to give even more money to help Mitt Romney, but by the time he was the party’s nominee, the damage was done. The infusion to boost Gingrich roiled and prolonged the primary and hurt the party’s chances of winning the White House.
When Adelson summoned Bush and Govs. Chris Christie of New Jersey, John Kasich of Ohio and Scott Walker of Wisconsin to Las Vegas for the annual spring RJC meeting, GOP stalwarts hoped it might mean the megadonor was committing to get behind one of the establishment favorites for 2016, and not going rogue again.
But interviews with Adelson intimates, an analysis of his political alliances and reporting from the Las Vegas retreat suggest that the headstrong billionaire isn’t a new man, but the same gambler he has always been: a true wild card.
“If anybody tells you what Sheldon is going to do, or how or why he is going to do it, they don’t know Sheldon. Sheldon makes up his own mind,” said Ari Fleischer, a longtime Adelson confidant. Fleischer, an RJC board member, was scheduled to lead a board discussion about what Republicans are doing to improve on their 2012 effort.
The possibility that Adelson might use his checkbook to upend the 2016 primary “is worrisome,” Fleischer conceded, though he stressed the same could be said of other very wealthy Republicans.
The new big-money political landscape — in which a handful of donors can dramatically alter a campaign with just a check or two — explains both the eagerness of busy governors to make pilgrimages to Las Vegas, and the obsession with divining Adelson’s 2016 leanings.
All manner of national media flocked to Adelson’s Venetian casino and resort hotel, which hosted the RJC meeting. But reporters were kept away from Adelson by coalition staff, as well as casino and personal security, and his team turned down interview requests, including for an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
As Adelson whizzed around his Venetian kingdom on a motorized scooter during the retreat, he was often trailed by GOP operatives, politicians and fellow donors eager to assess his state of mind, advise him on what he should do or just lavish him with praise and gratitude.
The son of poor Jewish immigrants, Adelson was raised in a working-class Massachusetts town. He amassed a fortune estimated at $40 billion today by following his gut and bucking conventional wisdom, forging a business- and family-travel industry in Las Vegas and rushing into the uncertain middle-class gambling market in the Macao region of China.
He donates huge sums to Israeli causes and has ramped up his domestic political giving in recent years, culminating in an unprecedented $100 million spending spree in 2012. Despite his paltry success rate, he has said he intends to spend even more in future campaigns.
Matt Brooks, Executive director of RJC. His name and photo appear on the Jewish-Americans for Sarah [Palin] website but as Jewish Forward was hard-pressed to find more than one member of this organisation, and it wasn’t Brooks that may just be the web’s licence for a loose relation with facts and truth. He was quoted in a Guardian article for opposing Republican candidate Ron Paul because Paul’s right-wing views on Israel were not right-wing enough, i.e. absolutely supportive, on Israel.
At a closed-press Saturday night gala, Adelson quipped that he couldn’t oblige a request from the RJC for a $50 million contribution because the group’s executive director, Matt Brooks, didn’t have change for $1 billion.
Neither Adelson’s speech nor his private conversations over the weekend provided those closest to him with any clearer sense of which way his gut was leading him in the 2016 presidential race, leaving all grasping at clues.
“His priority is Israel. So, if you look at his vetting process, I haven’t sat in any of the meetings, but I assure you that the first question is ‘tell me where you are on the safety and security of the state of Israel,’” said GOP bundler Fred Zeidman, a Houston private equity investor who is friendly with Adelson.
All the prospective candidates who turned up in Vegas stressed their support for Israel in speeches and private meetings with Adelson. There were several veiled swipes at GOP politicians and prospective presidential candidates with more noninterventionist foreign policy perspectives, like Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas, who are considered unlikely candidates for Adelson’s support. Yet most of the governors who were invited to Vegas have fairly limited foreign policy chops.
Walker conceded as much in a Saturday speech, explaining foreign affairs is “not an area that governors typically look at,” though he mentioned that he is commander in chief of the Wisconsin National Guard. He also sought to forge cultural common ground with RJCers by explaining that he lights a menorah at the governor’s mansion during Hannukah and named one of his two sons Matthew — which means “gift from God” in Hebrew.
Christie’s efforts at playing the Israel card backfired when he inadvertently used a term for disputed Middle East territory during a Saturday speech that offended Adelson and some of his guests. The New Jersey governor apologized in a private meeting in the casino mogul’s Venetian office shortly afterward.
The foreign policy deficit may, in fact, be a side effect of another factor Adelson has identified as important, according to sources close to him — “executive experience.” That could potentially rule out prospective candidates with more hawkish foreign policy attitudes, like Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.
Kasich of Ohio played straight to Adelson.
“Hey, listen, Sheldon, thanks for inviting me,” Kasich told Adelson during a Saturday luncheon speech.
“Sheldon and I were kind of talking about his background. I come from a little town outside of Pittsburgh called McKees Rocks — it was very blue collar,” Kasich said, in one of several Adelson-related non sequiturs.
Even when he discussed his effort to clamp down on prescription drug dissemination, he said Adelson — who took as many as 25 medications in a day in 2001 to manage pain from a neurological condition, and whose wife, Miriam Adelson, is a physician who specializes in treating drug addiction — “is someone who knows about this.”
Some possible candidates who seem to meet Adelson’s criteria either weren’t invited or didn’t come to Las Vegas, including former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. He has both executive experience and a track record of supporting Israel, but seems to face electability hurdles similar to those that hamstrung Gingrich.
Mel Sembler, a director of the RJC , founder donor of Freedom’s Watch, former ambassador, and mired by allegations of serious abuse of teenagers at Straight, Inc., a residential drug treatment program for teenagers which he founded with his wife. from Huff Post, 2007
Yet late last year, when Adelson at a Zionist Organization of America dinner presented the Adelson Defender of Israel award to Huckabee, he called the ordained Southern Baptist minister “a great politician,” as well as “a great person, a great American and a great Zionist.” Since then, the two have met privately twice — once with their spouses — and are “very good friends [who] share a deep commitment to Israel,” according to a source close to Huckabee.
Mel Sembler — a Florida mall developer, former U.S. ambassador to Italy and major GOP rainmaker — in 2012 urged Adelson to halt his Gingrich super PAC funding stream for the good of the party, as did fellow RJC board member Zeidman. As Sembler boarded a bus taking donors from Adelson’s Palazzo hotel to the Bush speech at the private hangar Thursday night, he suggested that Adelson may have recalibrated his approach based on the 2012 failure. “Sheldon has his own mind, but he’s learned. He’s learned a lot. He’s matured.”
Notes and links
The RJC Board of Directors
Sheldon G. Adelson is principal owner and Chairman of the Board of the Las Vegas Sands Corp., the parent company of the Sands, The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada and the Venetian Macao Limited in Macao, China.Adelson, born in 1934 to Jewish Ukrainian immigrants, grew up in the working-class Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. As a young adult, Adelson worked as a mortgage broker, investment adviser and financial consultant. Throughout his life, Adelson has built over fifty different companies, including the Computer Dealers Exposition (COMDEX), designed to bring computer manufacturers and resellers together. Adelson has received honorary degrees and other awards and has been a guest speaker at numerous universities including the University of New Haven, Harvard Business School, Columbia Business School, Tel Aviv University, and Babson College. Mr. Adelson and his wife, Miriam, are supporters of charitable causes in Israel and in Jewish communities abroad. They have been long-time donors to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority. Adelson’s $25 million donation to Yad Vashem was the largest private donation ever made to the organization. On January 1, 2007, Sheldon Adelson established the Adelson Family Charitable Foundation, which is expected to dispense upwards of $200 million annually to Jewish and Israeli causes, the largest by far of any existing private foundation with that aim. The Foundation’s first gift was a pledge of $25 million a year to Birthright Israel.
Jeffrey Altman is a partner in Whiteford Taylor Preston LLP’s Washington, DC office, where he specializes in representing trade associations, foundations, professional membership societies, and other nonprofit organizations, and also heads up the firm’s Political Law Compliance practice group. Mr. Altman received his J.D. in 1974 from Tulane University, where he was associate editor of the Tulane Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif. He is a member of the DC Bar and is authorized to practice before a variety of federal courts and agencies.
Isaac (Yitz) Applbaum is a Senior Advisor to the Mayor of Jerusalem for Public Private Partnerships and a venture capitalist with over 20 years experience in investing in early stage technology companies. He is a Founding General Partner of Opus Capital, an early stage venture fund with over $500mm under management, as well as an Advisor to SecureKey Technologies and to the Westly Group, a leading Clean Energy Venture Fund in Silicon Valley. Prior to Co-Founding Opus Capital, Isaac was a Partner and Managing Director for Israel at Lightspeed Venture Partners, an early stage venture capital firm with over two billion dollars under management.
Mr. Applbaum was the founder and CEO of Concorde Solutions Inc. (CSI) which he sold to Bank of America in 1998, becoming a Senior Vice President of the bank with responsibility for running the E-ventures group and an advisor to the strategic investments group. Mr. Applbaum remains active in his community, currently serving as President of the Board of the California-Israel Chamber of Commerce. He sits on the Board of Directors of The Western Wall Heritage Foundation. The Koret Israel Economic Development Funds, the Shalem Institute, and the American Action Network. Mr. Applbaum is a member of the Young Presidents Organization.
Wayne Berman. After more than 25 years in the nation’s capital, Wayne Berman holds an almost unmatched position at the crossroads of policy, politics and campaign finance.
Berman’s government service helped establish him as one of Washington’s quietly influential insiders on both domestic and foreign policy. President George Bush appointed Berman Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Policy in January 1989, a post from which he was the principal adviser to the Secretary of Commerce, served as the official US liaison to foreign business groups and oversaw more than 60 projects that resulted in new export orders for US goods.
Berman spent his time out of government building his own business and managing others. He is the founder of Berman Enterprises, a lobbying and business consulting firm, which merged with Ogilvy Government Relations in January 2004. He is the Vice Chairman of JLT America, a London based international insurance brokerage.
Berman has played a substantive political role in just about every Republican presidential campaign of the last generation. He was a senior advisor to the Bush/Cheney transition in 2001, the vice presidential campaign director for Dole/Kemp and deputy director of the Republican National Convention in 1996, director of congressional relations during the Bush/Quayle campaign in 1988 and a deputy director of the Bush/Reagan transition team in 1981. He has served in a variety of fundraising capacities in every Republican presidential race since 1992.
Kenneth J. Bialkin’s practice with the firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom encompasses a broad range of corporate and securities law matters, including activity in U.S. and international merger and acquisition and corporate finance transactions, and SEC enforcement matters. He has extensive experience representing insurance companies, broker-dealers, investment and commercial bankers and other financial institutions.
Mr. Bialkin has previously served as chairman of the Anti-Defamation League, Chairman of the American Israel Friendship League, and President of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York. He has served as a strong advocate for Israel and the American Jewish community in the face of adversity of the years.
Ronald Bloom is an executive at Crown Realty, a leading commercial real estate development company. He is active in California GOP politics.
Joshua Bolten served as Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush from April 2006 until the end of President Bush’s administration in January 2009. He previously served as Director of the Office of Management and Budget and Deputy Chief of Staff under Bush. Mr. Bolten currently teaches classes on the federal budget, international trade and financial regulation at Princeton University. He is a co-chair of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.
Elliott Broidy has been an independent investor since 1991. Through his private investment company, Broidy Capital Management, he invests in marketable and private equity securities. Mr. Broidy has made direct investments in many private companies and is generally active in the oversight of such companies.
Mr. Broidy is a member of the Young Presidents Organization. He is a member of the Board of Counselors for the USC Marshall School of Business’ Center for Investment Studies. Also at The University of Southern California, Mr. Broidy is a member of the Board of Directors of the Associates and is a trustee of the USC Hillel Foundation. Mr. Broidy serves on the Board of Trustees of Wilshire Boulevard Temple, as well as the Board of Governors of Hebrew Union College. He has committed time and contributed financially to several other educational institutions.
His wife Robin is a former executive of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. Robin and Elliott have two daughters and reside in Los Angeles, California.
Matthew Brooks serves as Executive Director of both the Republican Jewish Coalition, an organization dedicated to enhancing ties between the Jewish community and the Republican Party, and the Jewish Policy Center, a think-tank that examines public policy from a Jewish perspective.
Matt began his political career as State Chairman of the Massachusetts College Republicans while still an undergraduate at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA. Matt managed the Jack Kemp for President campaign in Massachusetts, as well as directed projects in New Hampshire and New England. Matt became the Political Director of the Republican Jewish Coalition in 1988. Taking a leave of absence from the RJC, Matt served as the National Field Director for Victory ‘88 Jewish Campaign Committee, designing and implementing campaign strategy on behalf of the Bush-Quayle ‘88 campaign. Matt was appointed Executive Director of the RJC in 1990. Matt was twice selected (in 2006 and 2008) by the Jewish Forward as one of the 50 most influential Jews in America.
In addition to his duties leading the RJC, Matt also serves as the organization’s principal spokesman. In this role Matt has been a frequent guest on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and has been quoted extensively in publications such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and other major newspapers.
Matt has a B.A. in Political Science from Brandeis University. He received an MBA at Georgetown University in March 1996.
Matt resides in Virginia with his wife, Deborah, and two children.
Victor Chaltiel is the Founder and Chairman of Redhills Venture LLC, a venture capital firm that invests in technology-based startups. He also is Founder and Chairman of HealthDataInsights Inc., a company that reduces healthcare costs by fighting fraud, waste and abuse. He was a candidate in the 2011 Las Vegas Mayoral Election.
Norm Coleman served in the U.S. Senate (R-MN) from 2003-2009 and served as mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota from 1993-1998.
Lewis M. Eisenberg, For many years, Mr. Eisenberg was a partner of Goldman Sachs & Co. In 1990, he founded Granite Capital International Group, an investment management company headquartered in New York City. Mr. Eisenberg also served from 1995 to 2001 as Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The Port Authority is also, of course, the owner of the World Trade Center, and Mr. Eisenberg led the agency through the first three months of recovery and clean-up after the terrorist attacks of September 11. He was recently named a member of New York’s Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Authority, which will spearhead the rebuilding of Ground Zero.
His community and charitable activities include leadership in health and healthcare related institutions. He is on the Planning Board of UJA/United Jewish Federation.
Mr. Eisenberg is a long-time Republican activist and was recently elected Finance Chairman of the Republican National Committee. He has raised millions of dollars for the Republican Party and Republican candidates. He served on New York Governor George Pataki’s transition team and was a key advisor to New Jersey Governor Christine Whitman. He and his wife Judy have three daughters and seven grandchildren.
Michael David Epstein is President of Sensormatic Mid-Atlantic Region and is a partner in a real estate firm and a data development firm in the Washington, D.C. area. Mr Epstein is very active in the Jewish community; he serves in a leadership capacity in the Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), Aish HaTorah, the Jewish National Fund, and the State of Israel Bonds.
Dr. Jeffrey Feingold is the Florida Chair of the Republican Jewish Coalition. He is the founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of MCNA Dental Plans, a Dental Managed Care Organization. Dr. Feingold is also the founder, President and CEO of the Dentaland Organization, which owns and operates seven comprehensive dental healthcare facilities. He is the Chairman of the Jewish Leadership Council of the Republican Party of Florida.
David M. Flaum, National Chairman, Board of Directors, is a leading real estate developer in upstate New York and is the founder and CEO of Flaum Management Company, Inc. of Rochester, New York. He serves on the Board of directors of the University of Rochester Medical Center and is on the Board of Trustees of Syracuse University.
Ari Fleischer. As former White House press secretary, Ari Fleischer was the primary spokesperson for President Bush and delivered the daily White House briefings from 2001 to 2003. He previously served as the senior communications advisor and spokesman for the Bush-Cheney presidential campaign. In his almost four years working for George W. Bush, he served as spokesman during the historic presidential recount, September 11, two wars and the anthrax attack. His best selling book, Taking Heat, details his years in the White House and reached #7 on the New York Times best-seller list.
Prior to joining Governor Bush’s campaign, Mr. Fleischer was the national spokesman and communications director for Elizabeth Dole’s presidential campaign. In November 1994, Mr. Fleischer was hired as communications director by the House Committee on Ways and Means after Republicans took control of the Congress. He also served as press secretary to New Mexico Senator Pete Domenici from 1989 to 1994. From 1983 to 1989, Fleischer served as press secretary to two members of Congress from New York, and worked on several political campaigns.
Mr. Fleischer is a native of Pound Ridge, New York, and a 1982 graduate of Vermont’s Middlebury College. Now president of his own firm, Ari Fleischer Communications, Inc., he resides in Westchester County with his wife, Becki, and their two children.
Richard J. Fox, former Chairman, RJC Board of Directors, is Chairman of the Fox Companies, one of the major building, development and real estate management companies in eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey. He is also Chairman of Planalytics, Inc.. a planning and forecasting company that links strategic marketing and sales management through unique data analysis and client solution teams. Over the years, Mr. Fox has been active in government, business and community affairs. He is chairman of the Board of Governors of Temple University and has been a leader in the Federation of Jewish Agencies of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Jewish Committee.
Mr. Fox is a long-time Republican activist. In 1985 he was one of the founders of the RJC and served as its first chairman. In 1980 Fox was the Pennsylvania State Chairman of the Reagan/Bush campaign. In 1988 he served as national finance chairman of Jack Kemp’s presidential campaign.
Sam Fox is the immediate past chairman of the Republican Jewish Coalition and most recently served as U.S. ambassador to Belgium. He is the Chairman and CEO (founder) of Harbour Group, Ltd., a privately owned company specializing in the acquisition and development of manufacturing companies for long-term investment.
His extensive community and charitable activities include leadership in the St. Louis Art Museum, the St. Louis Area Council Boy Scouts of America, Washington University, BJC Hospital, the Fox Family Foundation, Opera Theater of St. Louis, the St. Louis Science Center, the St. Louis Symphony and the St. Louis Zoo.
He served in the U.S. Armed Forces in the Naval Reserves. He and his wife Marilyn are the parents of five children
Steven L. Friedman has been a partner at Duane Morris LLP since 2005. With over 30 years of trial experience, Mr. Friedman’s practice focuses on sophisticated corporate and commercial litigation. He sits on the joint advisory panel of the United States-Israel Science and Technology Commission. He served for over a decade on the National Board and as local chairman of the American Jewish committee. Mr. Friedman is a close friend to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and served as General Counsel to the Likud Party of Israel in the United States from 1988 to 1999. He also serves as a Board member of the College of Judea and Samaria in Ariel, Israel.
David Frum is the author of five books, including two New York Times bestsellers: The Right Man: The Surprise Presidency of George W. Bush (2003) and co-author with Richard Perle of An End to Evil: What’s Next in the War on Terror (2004). He is also the founder of FrumForum.com (formerly NewMajority.com), a political group blog. David Frum was born in Toronto, Canada in 1960. He received a simultaneous BA and MA in history from Yale in 1982. He was appointed a visiting lecturere in history at Yale in 1986; in 1987 he graduated com laude from the Harvard Law School, where he served as president of the Federalist Society.
Dr. Joel M. Geiderman is the Co-Chair of the Emergency Department at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. In 2000 he received the Jewish Healthcare Foundation’s “Avas Chesed” award. In 2004 he was honored by the Sheba Medical center in Tel Aviv as a “Medical Visionary.” Dr. Geiderman has been a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council since 2002. He is an expert of the subject of medical ethics as they relate to the Holocaust.
Marc S. Goldman, Boca Raton, FL, is an independent businessman. After selling his third-generation family business, Farmland Dairies in 1999, he has pursued a number of initiatives in culture, business and real estate. He has been associated with several movies and Broadway shows. He is involved with FIRST, a program founded by Dean Kamen, that encourages students to participate in science and technology. He serves on the board of Herbal Water.
Dr. Jeffrey Gunter, MD is a dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon with clinics in Southern California and Nevada.
Cheryl Halpern is active in the Republican Party in New Jersey and nationally. She has served as the Coalition Chairman for the New Jersey Republican Party and has coordinated ethnic outreach programs in the state. She has served as a member of Team 100, the RCLC and the Inner Circle. She also served as national chairman of the RJC for eight years.
Her wide range of community activities includes participation on the board of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the executive committee of the New Jersey Regional Advisory Board of the Anti-Defamation League, and the New Jersey – Israel Commission. She served as a member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which has oversight responsibility for non-military international broadcasting by the United States.
She and her husband live in Livingston, New Jersey. They have three children.
Phyllis Greenberg Heideman is the managing partner of Heideman Nudelman & Kalik, PC, in Washington, D.C. She is very active in Jewish communal affairs, currently serving as co-chair of the Israel Forever Foundation, as a member of the B’nai B’rith International Board of Governors, and as chair of the March of the Living International Advisory Board.
Joel Hoppenstein has had a fifteen-year career in the practice of law, specializing in government relations. His principal focus had been on financial transactions, amongst which he helped to structure the tobacco settlement between 46 U.S. states and the tobacco companies. He has also assisted, along with his partner John Sears, in helping to sell the Taba Bay Sonesta Hotel to the Egyptian government for $50 million after the Camp David Accords. He also assisted Mordechai Yona and the Heftsiba group obtain financing from the International Financial Corporation (IFC) for a timber concession in Liberia.
Presently, Mr. Hoppenstein is in the process of obtaining a patent to enable corporations to limit their liability when faced with legislative or judicial threat. A native of South Africa, he received his undergraduate degree from American University, and his law degree from Georgetown University, both in Washington, DC.
Mr. Hoppenstein resides in Miami Beach, Florida, with his wife Monica, and their four children. Monica’s father, Rafael Samudio, was Columbia’s Minister of Defense, and in that capacity traveled to Israel. Additionally, Joel’s father was a South African diplomat who established trade ties between the Republic of South Africa and Israel in the 1970s.
Mark Isakowitz is president of the government relations and consulting firm Fierce, Isakowitz & Blalock. He has worked on numerous presidential, gubernatorial, and congressional campaigns in past years. In 2000, Mr. Isakowitz was a member of the Bush-Cheney Transition Advisory Team.
Sheldon B. (Shelly) Kamins has enjoyed a diverse professional and business career and has volunteered with distinction in the realms of political activism and philanthropy. After graduating from the Georgetown law school in 1972, he entered the practice of law, specializing in business transactions. In 1981, he left his law partnership and became the co-owner of a real estate development, management and leasing company. The company successfully developed millions of square feet of commercial projects and Mr. Kamins also participated in a wide variety of other business ventures. He continues to advise and participate in entrepreneurship, deal structuring, economic innovations, finance and on seizing nascent business opportunities.
Mr. Kamins has held leadership positions in diverse civic and charitable endeavors. He served as Chairman of GOPAC, a national political organization focused on the education of candidates. He was Maryland Finance Co-Chair for Bush-Cheney 2000 and for Bush-Cheney 2004. He is Chairman of the RJC PAC, and has also served as Chairman of the Jewish Policy Center, where he remains a member of its Board of Directors. Mr. Kamins has served as the National Vice President of Philanthropy for the renowned Weizmann Institute of Science and served three years as Washington, DC Chairman. He also served on the Finance Advisory Board of the George and Barbara Bush Endowment for Innovative Cancer Research at M.D. Anderson Cancer Research Center. President George W. Bush appointed Mr. Kamins to a six year term on the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where he also served as Chairman of the Audit Committee.
Mr. Kamins is married to Diane Sembler-Kamins and divides his time between Florida and Washington, DC, with children and grandchildren in both cities.
David Kaplan is Co-founder and Co-CEO of Shepherd Kaplan LLC, an independent SEC registered investment advisory firm. Shepherd Kaplan provides investment and fiduciary services to institutional and private clients. The firm manages in excess of $9 billion. Mr. Kaplan is a member of the Board of Overseers of the Boys and Girls Club of Boston.
Fred Karlinsky is a partner in the law firm Colodny, Fass, Talenfeld, Karlinsky & Abate, P.A., where he specializes in insurance law and governmental consulting. He is a major GOP activist and fund-raiser in Florida and is an adjunct professor at Florida State University College of Law.
George Klein,Former Chairman, Board of Directors, is Chairman and CEO of Park Tower Group, a major real estate company based in New York. Known as a community leader, he has also been active in Republican affairs for many years and has served as an advisor to several Republican presidential administrations.
Mr. Klein is one of the founders of the RJC and has served as national chairman. He continues to guide the organization to this day as an honorary chairman.
Eliot Lauer is a partner of the Litigation Department of the international law firm of Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP, and has been with the Firm since 1974. He has extensive experience representing clients in complex civil and criminal matters in federal and state courts and is an experienced federal and state appellate advocate. He has tried criminal and civil cases involving commodities fraud, transactions in government securities and commodity futures, market manipulation, accountants` and other professionals` liability, false advertising, contract and agency disputes involving real estate, product liability and other commercial transactions.
Mr. Lauer is admitted to the New York State and District of Columbia Bars, the United States District Court both for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the United States Supreme Court. He received his law degree (cum laude) from the Fordham University School of Law, and his bachelor’s degree from Yeshiva College.
Mark L. Lezell is the founder of Lezell Law, PC, in Washington, DC, a law firm helping business find funds and operate effectively. He previously was a partner of Ropes & Gray. Mr. Lezell has extensive experience counseling, structuring, and negotiating a variety of business ventures. Additionally, his decades of active participation in the political process have facilitated the advocacy of legislative policy matters before the U.S. Congress and the Administration.
Mr. Lezell has been in private practice for more than 30 years. Before embarking on a career in private practice, he was an attorney with the Office of Chief Counsel, Division of Corporation Finance, and legal assistant to Commissioner Irving M. Pollack of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, he was a law clerk to Chief Judge Aubrey E. Robinson, Jr., U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia. He obtained his B.A. from Michigan State University in 1969 and received his J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law, in 1973. He also holds an LL.M. in Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center, 1976.
Linda Lingle was the governor of Hawaii from 2002 to 2010. Prior to her tenure as governor, Lingle served as Chair of the Hawaii Republican Party from 1999 to 2002. She accompanied President George W. Bush as part of his honorary delegation to Jerusalem for the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the State of Israel.
Marc Lipschultz is a Partner of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., one of the world’s largest private equity firms. He is one of the leaders of the energy industry group. He is a member of the Board of the American Enterprise Institute.
Earle I. Mack served as US ambassador to Finland during the second term of President George W. Bush. Prior to that, he was a senior partner in The Mack Company, established about a century ago. The firm, headquartered in Fort Lee, New Jersey, invests, develops, and manages income-producing commercial real estate. He is an accomplished businessman who serves on the Board of Directors of Mack-Cali Realty Corporation, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and Di Gorgio/White Rose Foods Corporation, among others.
Mr. Mack has a long history of philanthropy and public service. He is chairman of the Board of Directors of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, serves on the boards of two prominent organizations which fight prostate cancer, and was a member of the building development committee for the New York City Holocaust Memorial Commission.
Mr. Mack is an active supporter of the arts. He is Chairman Emeritus of the New York State Council on the Arts and a member of the Board of Directors of the New York City Ballet. In addition, he serves as a member of the Deans Council of the Tisch School of the Arts, as a Board Member of the Friends of Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, and as a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Friends of the Paris Opera & Ballet. He has been co-producer of two feature films that have won awards at the Cannes Film Festival.
His political involvement includes serving as chairman of the New York Victory 2000 committee, and chairing the finance committee of the New York Victory 2000. He has also served on the Republican National Finance Committee. He has been a member of the RJC Executive Committee and is now a Vice Chairman of the RJC.
Mr. Mack is very involved in thoroughbred horse racing and is the owner and breeder of thoroughbred racehorses in New York, New Jersey, Kentucky, Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, Pennsylvania, California, Louisiana, France, England, Canada, Argentina, and Chile.
Bernard Marcus is one of the founders of The Home Depot Inc., North America’s largest home improvement retailer. He is active in many civic and charitable concerns. In 1991, he and with his wife, Billi, established the Marcus Institute in Atlanta, an affiliate of Emory University, which provides programs for children and adolescents with disorders of the brain, and their families. An 1998 the Marcus Institute joined forces with the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore. The Kennedy Krieger Marcus National Foundation was created to further enhance the lives of this special population through national advocacy, professional training, and research. Mr. Marcus is the Chairman of the National Foundation.
He also is serves on the Board of Directors of The City of Hope, a cancer research center in California, and The Shepherd Center, which treats people with spinal cord injuries, brain injuries and multiple sclerosis. He is a member of the Board of Governors for the American Jewish community and the Board of Trustees of the Atlanta Jewish Federation.
Ken Mehlman served George W. Bush as the field director for his 2000 campaign and later became the White House Director of Political Affairs. He managed the Bush presidential re-election campaign in 2004. Ken Mehlman served as chairman of the Republican National Committee from 2005-2007. A native of Baltimore, Mr. Mehlman received his undergraduate degree in 1988 from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1991.
Alan Miller founded Universal Health Services, Inc. in 1978. Universal Health operates acute care, behavioral health, ambulatory surgery and radiation oncology treatment centers. It is the largest for-profit hospital company in the U.S.
Larry Mizel is the Chairman and CEO of MDC Holdings, Inc. He was one of the founders of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and was elected Chairman of the Board in 2003.
Ronald Plotkin is CEO of Directional Marketing at Monster Worldwide. He is a longtime supporter of Republican candidates and resides in Thousand Oaks, CA.
Phil Rosen is one of the premier corporate and property attorneys in the United States. He heads the Property Group and is one of the coordinators of the Corporate Department of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, one of the largest and most successful law firms in the world. Mr. Rosen is also one of the most prominent young leaders on the Jewish communal scene. He is Founding and Current Vice Chairman of the Board of Yeshiva College, Chairman of the Board of American Friends of Likud and an active member of numerous other organizations. Mr. Rosen is also one of the key power brokers in the Israel business and political communities.
A prolific writer, his articles appear in many newspapers, magazines and websites in Israel, the U.S. and around the world. A prolific speaker as well, Mr. Rosen speaks on Jewish and Zionist topics regularly across the Jewish community. He and his wife, Malki, have four children: Rachel, Miriam, Isaac and Joseph and live in New York.
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Alan Sager is the main proprietor of 54 SUPERCUTS hair stylist franchises. He also is a lecturer in government at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a past President of the Jewish Community Council of Austin, Texas.
Richard Sambol is the past president of The Sambol Companies in the construction industry. He was awarded the State of Israel Peace Medal in 1999, and was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2003 to serve as a council member for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Leonard Sands is the chairman and CEO of Alchemy Worldwide LLC. Mr. Sands serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Homeland Housewares, LLC. He has over two decades of extensive experience in marketing, manufacturing, and sourcing.
Robert I.(Bobby) Schostak is the Michigan Republican Party Chairman and Co-Chairman and CEO of Schostak Bros., a family-owned commercial real estate development firm and a diversified restaurant holding company. Schostak is widely recognized as running one of the most successful state Republican party operations in the nation. In the 2012 election cycle, Schostak raised more than $28 million for the Michigan GOP, more than any state party in the nation. Schostak also helped defend conservative majorities in the Michigan legislature and Michigan Supreme Court, while leading the efforts to defeat a union ballot initiative to enshrine collective bargaining rights in the Michigan Constitution. With cooperation from the RNC, Schostak is currently developing a sophisticated grassroots network that will identify supporters precinct-by-precinct and is looked at as the future of grassroots political systems.
As co-chair and CEO of Schostak Brothers, (est. 1920), Schostak has been active in commercial real estate since 1976. Schostak Brothers currently operates commercial properties in 19 states as a full-service real estate development, management, leasing and consulting company.Bobby and his wife Nancy have been married for 35 years. They have three children and two granddaughters.
Martin Selig owns a real estate development firm operating in Seattle, Washington. Mr. Selig is a longtime supporter of Republican candidates.
Mel Sembler has served as United States Ambassador to Australia and to Italy. He has also served as Chairman of the Board of the Sembler Company, a commercial real estate development and management company. He has served on the Board of Directors of several banks, including the First Union Bank. Mr. Sembler accompanied President George W. Bush to Israel as a part of his honorary delegation marking Israel’s 60th anniversary of statehood. He is the co-founder of the Drug Free America Foundation.
Diane Sembler-Kamins, National Women’s Committee Chair, is active in serving her community and is passionate about her political activities. Diane was President for the Pinellas County Jewish Day School and served 6 years as Vice President for Development. Diane has served her local Jewish Federation in many capacities. She also served the national organization as a solicitation trainer. She was co-chair of Jewish Outreach for the State of Florida in the Bush 2004 race. Diane has served on the Temple Beth-El Art Festival committee, a large weekend art show supporting the Temple, for the past 35 years.
Florence Shapiro served as a member of the Texas State Senate, where she served as the Chair of the Senate Education Committee. Prior to her election to the state senate, Shapiro was a schoolteacher and small business owner.
Dr. Richard Sherman is a clinical psychologist. He has served as President of the California Board of Psychology. In the past, he has served as a corporate consultant, in addition to teaching at several universities in California.
Paul Singer is the founder and CEO of the hedge fund Elliot Management Corporation and the Paul E. Singer Family Foundation. He is a longtime supporter of the Harvard Graduate School of Education and VH1 Save the Music Foundation. He is a member of the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation. Singer accompanied President George W. Bush as part of the honorary delegation to Jerusalem for the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the State of Israel. –
Walter Stern is the Chairman Emeritus and Board member of The Hudson Institute. He is also the Vice President of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He is Vice Chairman and a Director of Capital International, Inc, a private equity firm.
Allan Tessler is the Chairman of Epoch Holdings Corporation, an investment management firm. Mr. Tessler is also the lead Director and Chairman of the Finance Committee of The Limited Brands, Inc, a director of TD Ameritrade, and was a director of Interactive Data Corporation until November 2006. He is Chairman of the Board of Hudson Institute and the former President and Trustee of the Jackson Hole Land Trust. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. He is a past president of the Grand Teton Music Festival. He served in the United States Navy, where he attained the rank of Lieutenant, Junior Grade.
Ron Weiser is the past chairman of the Michigan Republican Party. From 2001-2004, he served as Ambassador to Slovakia under President George W. Bush. He is the founder of McKinley Associates, a national real estate investment company, and served as its Chairman and CEO. He has previously served on the University of Michigan President’s Advisory Board, as Treasurer and Chairman of Artrain USA, and as chairman of numerous non-profit fundraising events. Currently, Weiser serves as the National Finance Chairman for the Republican National Committee.
Bradley Wine is Co-Chair of Morrison & Foerster’s Government Contracts Practice. He has advised numerous Republican candidates and campaigns over the course of his career.
Fred Zeidman is the Chairman of Seitel, Inc., a member of the New York Stock Exchange that is a leading provider of seismic data and related geophysical expertise to the petroleum industry. He is the former CEO and President of Intersystems, Inc., and the founder of Houston Venture Capital Association. Mr. Zeidman is very active in community and political affairs. President George W. Bush appointed him to chair the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council in March 2002. Mr. Zeidman holds leadership positions in the Anti-Defamation League (Southwest Region), the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), Jewish Federation of Greater Houston, and the American Jewish Committee. He serves as co-chairman of the finance committee of the Republican Party of Harris County, Texas and serves on the finance committee of the Republican Party of Texas. He was vice-chairman of the Dole/Kemp presidential campaign in Harris County and has been a key Jewish advisor to Texas’ Republican congressional and senatorial delegations.
Mr. Zeidman attended Washington University and received an MBA from New York University. He lives in Houston, Texas with his wife and children.