Delegation from N.J. Jewish Business Alliance meets with congressional leaders in D.C.

Group of 10 spends time with Gottheimer, Kean, Kim and Smith — as well as representatives from other top elected officials

The New Jersey Jewish Business Alliance sent a 10-member delegation to the nation’s capital last week, meeting with congressional representatives and other high-level officials to share information and advocate for the value and importance of their individual businesses and the state’s Jewish community at large.

NJJBA Executive Director David Rosenberg said the delegation was able to express a variety of views and concerns directly to four members of the New Jersey congressional delegation:

  • U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-5th Dist.);
  • U.S. Rep. Tom Kean Jr. (R-7th Dist.);
  • U.S. Rep. Andy Kim (D-3rd Dist.);
  • U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-4th Dist.).

“Many other Jewish groups visit Washington,” Rosenberg said, “but no one else focuses specifically on business; in the current climate, many of us have faced challenges from haters of Israel and antisemites; our congresspersons have now heard about it directly from the businesspeople most affected.”

In addition to the face-to-face meetings with the congressmen, the delegation also met with high-ranking staff members of U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Reps. Frank Pallone (D-6th Dist.), Bill Pascrell (D-9th Dist.); Mikie Sherrill (D-11th Dist.) and Jeff Van Drew (R-2nd Dist.).

They also met with the staff of Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-La.).

“We had great meetings in Congress and with significant agency representatives, and were able to carry and return messages of support to Washington from friends of the Jewish business community, and of our members and partners,” Rosenberg said.

“We also had the opportunity to express concerns about the growing threat of antisemitism, which has profoundly affected our businesses, as well as threatening Jewish students around the state.”

Part of the day was spent with officials from the Small Business Administration, which provides loans, disaster assistance, counseling and training to small businesses throughout the U.S.

“It was a pleasure to meet with significant operatives at the SBA, where so many NJJBA members get support of various kinds,” Joseph Krausz, chief administrative officer at Schiff Food, said.

Nathan Herzog, a board member of the alliance and president of Royal Wine Corp., based in Bayonne, said the trip had impact.

“Going with the NJJBA to Washington is always an eye-opener; it’s important to have our voices heard in the halls of Congress. With every trip, we meet important dignitaries and staff, and we know those meetings are beneficial to both sides.”

Rosenberg said the trip was a success.

“We are proud to say that Jewish-owned businesses, which are almost uncountable in the state, employ upwards of 35,000 New Jerseyans of every background and faith,” he said. “We believe it is crucial to go visit Washington at least once a year, both to reinforce in our legislators’ minds our important role in the state and the national economy, and to express our ideas and concerns about issues relevant to the Jewish people, our businesses and our families.”