J Street to Launch National Field, Grassroots Program

August 18th, 2009

WASHINGTON - J Street, the pro-Israel, pro-peace lobby, today announced plans to establish a National Field and Grassroots Program in early 2010 and launched a search for a National Field Director.  The new program will complement J Street’s existing DC lobby, its legally independent PAC and its growing network of political activists and donors.

J Street intends to explore over the next 2-3 months how best to work with other organizations, looking in particular at what role the activists, chapters and rabbis associated with Brit Tzedek v’Shalom can play in this new initiative.

J Street is the largest pro-Israel, pro-peace organization in the United States, representing a network of over 100,000 supporters online.  Its legally independent political action committee, JStreetPAC was the largest pro-Israel PAC in the 2008 election cycle, delivering nearly $600,000 in contributions to its endorsed candidates. The new Field and Grassroots Program will be a project of the J Street Education Fund, part of the J Street family of organizations.

Jeremy Ben-Ami, Executive Director of J Street, issued the following statement:

“J Street is excited to explore how a national grassroots operation can enhance our existing work, building support and momentum for U.S. efforts to promote peace and security in the Middle East.

Organizing and mobilizing pro-Israel, pro-peace supporters at the grassroots is essential to opening up space in American politics and in the Jewish community for vibrant discussion when it comes to Israel.

I am very excited in particular to explore what role Brit Tzedek v’Shalom chapters, activists and rabbis can play in this effort and what lessons they have learned over seven years as we design and launch a new national field effort.

I have been impressed at Brit Tzedek’s tremendous growth and achievements, mobilizing nearly 50,000 activists in 41 chapters and over 1,000 rabbis while building a strong network of relationships with community-based organizations such as JCRCs, boards of rabbis and synagogues.

I look forward to seeing whether and how the energy and excitement they have generated can fit together with J Street’s campaign to bring peace and security to Israel and the Middle East."

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