WASHINGTON, DC – Rabbi Steve Gutow, former President and CEO of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, has joined J Street team for the 2016 election cycle.
As a senior political advisor, Rabbi Gutow will work closely with Congressional candidates endorsed by JStreetPAC to guide them in discussing their support for pro-Israel, pro-peace principles in outreach to the Jewish community and other important constituencies. He will help candidates to tap into the significant backing that exists within the Jewish community for diplomacy-first policies toward the Middle East, like the Iran deal.
“We’re thrilled that Rabbi Gutow will be part of our team for this cycle,” said Jeremy Ben-Ami, J Street’s president and founder. “This will be an extremely important election cycle in determining the future direction of American foreign policy. Bringing decades of experience with progressive politics and the Jewish community, Rabbi Gutow will help JStreetPAC to demonstrate that support American diplomatic leadership isn’t just good policy- it’s also a major political asset.”
“I am pleased and fortunate. In this very important election year, when all American Jews should extend themselves to help this nation be all we wish it to be with regard to both Israel and the Middle East and in general, I feel fortunate to work with others at J Street to help candidates I believe in to succeed in their political contests,” said Rabbi Gutow.
Rabbi Gutow served as president and CEO of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs from 2005-2015, during which time his work focused on fostering working alliances between the organized Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities. He was recently appointed to the President’s Council on Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. For his leadership, Gutow was chosen as one of the 50 most influential American rabbis three times by Newsweek and the 50 most influential American Jews by The Forward.
Before beginning his Jewish communal work, Rabbi Gutow was a Democratic party operative and the founding executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council. He came up in national politics through his native Texas, where he served as coordinative co-chair of the 21st Century Democrats and as executive director of Texas Victory Democrats. There, Gutow also served as the founding director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s Southwestern United States region, organizing the pro-Israel lobby’s efforts in six states and creating chapters in approximately 40 cities.
JStreetPAC is the largest pro-Israel PAC – a distinction it has held since its creation in 2008. The PAC has already endorsed over 100 candidates for the House and Senate in the 2016 cycle, and will be raising over $3 million for those candidates – its highest totals ever.