They came individually. They came in groups. They came in crowds so big it was hard to get an accurate count. Was it two dozen elected officials, or three, or more?
David Rosenberg at the New Jersey Jewish Business Alliance wasn’t sure what to expect when his group announced it was co-hosting an event with the Jewish Federation of New Jersey on Wednesday night during the League of Municipalities conference — he just knew he had to twice increase the size of the room he was reserving at the Borgata.
Rosenberg was overwhelmingly grateful.
“Thank you everyone for showing up,” he told the assembled group. “Now, with all that is happening all over the world, it’s all the more important for us to come together, stand together.”
There were gubernatorial candidates (Steve Fulop and Jack Ciattarelli) and expected-to-be gubernatorial candidates (Josh Gottheimer). There were U.S. Senate candidates (Andy Kim and Tammy Murphy). There were numerous members of the General Assembly and state Senate (including Michael Testa and Lou Greenwald). And there were numerous mayors and council members from around the state.
And at this event, party affiliation didn’t matter.
“The election is over,” Ciattarelli said. “Now is a time to work together. I’m a competitive guy in September, in October. I compete to win, but, the day after the election, it’s time to work together.”
Gottheimer couldn’t agree more. And he said he has heard a sense of unity toward Israel throughout his many stops at the League.
“From talking to people here, three things are pretty clear: There is strong support for what the president is doing: That we’ve got to crush and kill Hamas and the terrorists, we’ve got to get the hostages home — remember, there are Americans who are hostages — and we have to get humanitarian aid in.
“This is not a complicated fight. This is not a complicated decision.”
Finding ways to help is not as easy.
It all starts with support.
Ciattarelli, ubiquitous at diversity chamber events throughout the year and throughout the League, said he’s all in.
“One thing that always worried me about Trenton is the imperialistic approach that too many people take,” he said. “We don’t talk to people on the front lines. The New Jersey Jewish Business Alliance, they’re on the front lines, and I want to hear what they’ve got to say.”
Rosenberg was thrilled there was a chance to speak with so many politicians during their two-hour event.
“There are a lot of events happening tonight and Atlantic City,” he said. “The people here — the dozens of elected officials and distinguished business leaders — chose ours and made sure to be here. That’s amazing and we really appreciate that.
“In times like these, it’s so important for the Jewish community to see this support.”