Bush Set To Tap New Jewish Liaison

By Nathan Guttman

Published December 29, 2006, issue of December 29, 2006.
  • Print
  • Share Share

President Bush has hired a new liaison to the Jewish community, appointing Jeremy Katz to take over for Jay Zeidman, the Forward has learned.

Katz will be the sixth White House liaison for the Jewish community since Bush took office in 2001. The new liaison started off at the White House as an assistant to chief of staff Josh Bolten and is currently serving as special assistant to the president on policy. According to sources in the Jewish community, he will take on the liaison duties and keep his special assistant post.

The White House has yet to announce the nomination, but Jewish activists have been informed of the upcoming change.

Unlike his two predecessors, Katz is an appointed officer — a staffer whose appointment was formally announced by the president — giving him more of a senior status within the White House.

The liaison to the Jewish community is usually seen in the White House as the point man to the Jewish organizations and groups around the country and as the main address for Jewish activists on issues of domestic policy. Foreign policy concerns of the Jewish community are usually addressed to the National Security Council staff.

Zeidman, the outgoing liaison, will be leaving his post shortly to join the presidential campaign of Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona, where he will be part of the finance and fundraising team. He was appointed to the post in March, and his latest task was organizing the presidential Hanukkah reception last week and the president’s meeting with Jewish educators. His father is Fred Zeidman, who is chairman of the Holocaust Memorial Council and one of Bush’s prominent donors. An employee of a major Jewish organization said this week that the frequent turnover of liaisons to the Jewish community should not be seen as a sign of dissatisfaction from the individuals filling the job, but rather as a common White House practice.

Rabbi Levi Shemtov, Washington director of the American Friends of Lubavitch and one of the Jewish communal activists who maintains working relations with the White House’s liaison office, welcomed the nomination of Katz, stressing the importance of his ties with senior White House officials. “With Jeremy’s West Wing office and his appointment as special assistant to the president,” said Shemtov, “he’ll be only steps away from [former liaison and now deputy assistant to the president for domestic affairs] Tevi Troy and Josh Bolten, who can help him with his role.”






Find us on Facebook!
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
  • A boost for morale, if not morals.
  • Mixed marriages in Israel are tough in times of peace. So, how do you maintain a family bubble in the midst of war? http://jd.fo/f4VeG
  • Despite the escalating violence in Israel, more and more Jews are leaving their homes in Alaska to make aliyah: http://jd.fo/g4SIa
  • The Workmen's Circle is hosting New York’s first Jewish street fair on Sunday. Bring on the nouveau deli!
  • Novelist Sayed Kashua finds it hard to write about the heartbreak of Gaza from the plush confines of Debra Winger's Manhattan pad. Tough to argue with that, whichever side of the conflict you are on.
  • "I’ve never bought illegal drugs, but I imagine a small-time drug deal to feel a bit like buying hummus underground in Brooklyn."
  • We try to show things that get less exposed to the public here. We don’t look to document things that are nice or that people would like. We don’t try to show this place as a beautiful place.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.