WASHINGTON — Three black and two Jewish members of the U.S. House of Representatives from both parties — including Republican Lee Zeldin of Long Island’s North Shore — launched a black-Jewish caucus this week.
The caucus, organized after a meeting convened by the American Jewish Committee 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, Calif.
“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 AJC’s annual Global Forum here. “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 other members are 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.