The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) are “the original Jewish social network,” a director said at the opening of its convention in Denver, where Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz put in a pitch for Obama.
Kathy Manning, chair of the Board of Trustees of JFNA, said, “Social connections are one of the things that bind us together as Jewish people [and] helps it fulfill its mission with purpose, meaning and Torah.”
She told 3,000 delegates that the economic downturn has "fundamentally changed the North American Jewish community.... [as] many former donors have had to deal with the loss of jobs, homes, healthcare and savings."
Wasserman Schultz, a Congressman from Florida, said "your priorities are my priorities, too." She and the JFNA have launched Jewish American Heritage Month, promoted breast cancer education for young women, supported the over 125,000 elderly, low-income Holocaust survivors in the United States, and led the effort to build a Jewish Chaplains memorial in Arlington National Cemetery.
The leading Congresswoman used the podium for a campaign pitch for President Barack Obama, praising what she called his administration's commitment to the special relationship between the U.S. and Israel.
She added, "Democrat or Republican, we can all agree on the importance of strong U.S. support for Israel."
Skype enabled the convention to go worldwide, linking it with Jewish communities in Iceland, China, Tunisia, India, Russia, Latvia, Ukraine and Belarus.