D.C. Fly-In by guest writer board chair, Jeffrey Handelman

Four hundred Jewish leaders gathered in Washington, D.C., to advocate for emergency supplemental aid to Israel, passage of the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, and procurement of increased funding for FEMA's Nonprofit Security Grant Program. Jewish Federation of NENY was represented at this week's Jewish Federations of North America Advocacy Fly-In. The local delegation included board chair, Jeffrey Handelman; chair-elect and campaign chair, Mindy Holland; Endowment Board of Governors chair, Jesse Holland; community member and business leader Jason Packer, and secretary of the Endowment Board of Governors, Dr. Robin Solomon.

The group met with members of representatives Elise Stefanik's office as well as Paul Tonko’s. The larger statewide delegation heard from senators Chuck Schumer and Kristen Gillibrand, both strong supporters of Israel, as well as a host of other members of Congress who shared a message of strong support for Israel in its fight against Hamas, and promises to do whatever they can to ensure the safe return of the more than 100 hostages still in Gaza. In addition to the lobbying activities, four musicians from the area impacted on October 7 shared stories of their recollections from that day, and a family member of some of the hostages relayed the horrific details of their capture. Two of his family members returned from Gaza last month, one remains in captivity.