Lawmakers launch bipartisan congressional black-Jewish caucus

Black and Jewish lawmakers from both parties team up to form black-Jewish caucus to promote hate crime laws and battle white supremacy.

Ron Kampeas, JTA ,

Launching of black-Jewish caucus
Launching of black-Jewish caucus
Courtesy of AJC

Three black and two Jewish members of the U.S. House of Representatives from both parties launched a black-Jewish caucus.

“The African-American and Jewish communities have a history of standing together for the promotion of social justice and civil rights,” Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Mich., said Monday at the annual Global Forum of the American Jewish Committee. “To encourage and nurture this unique partnership, I have formed the Congressional Caucus on Black-Jewish Relations with the hopes of strengthening the trust and advancing our issues in a collective manner.”

The caucus, launched after an AJC-convened meeting in January, will work to bring blacks and Jews together to back hate crimes legislation and combat white supremacist ideology and actions. White supremacists carried out two lethal attacks on synagogues since last October, in Pittsburgh and in Poway, California.

The other members are Reps. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., Will Hurd, R-Texas and John Lewis, D-Ga., a revered veteran of the 1960s civil rights marches.

Along with Lawrence, present at the AJC event were Zeldin and Wasserman Schultz, who are both Jewish.

“It is clear our communities are still the target of hate and discrimination, and we will not stand idly by,” Zeldin said.

“White supremacy threatens both our communities and the Caucus will build on our common fight for a better world,” Wasserman Schultz said on Twitter.