(JTA) — Rabbi Steve Gutow, a long-time Jewish communal activist who last served as head of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, will serve as a senior political advisor for the political arm of J Street.
In his newly announced position for the 2016 election cycle, Gutow will work with Congressional candidates endorsed by JStreetPAC to guide them in outreach to the Jewish community and other like-minded constituencies, J Street announced Thursday. He also will help the candidates to tap into the significant backing that exists within the Jewish community for diplomacy-first policies toward the Middle East,
“This will be an extremely important election cycle in determining the future direction of American foreign policy. Bringing decades of experience with progressive politics and the Jewish community, Rabbi Gutow will help JStreetPAC to demonstrate that support for American diplomatic leadership isn’t just good policy- it’s also a major political asset,” Jeremy Ben-Ami, J Street’s president and founder, said in a statement.
Gutow was president and CEO of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs from 2005-2015, during which time his work focused on fostering working alliances between the organized Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities. He was recently appointed to the President’s Council on Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. For his leadership, Gutow was chosen as one of the 50 most influential American rabbis three times by Newsweek and the 50 most influential American Jews by The Forward.
Gutow formerly was a Democratic Party activist and the founding executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council.
JStreetPAC has endorsed over 100 candidates for the House and Senate in the 2016 cycle, and announced it plans to raise over $3 million for those candidates.