The chase is over, and United Jewish Communities is the winner.
Ever since he took office in January, major Jewish groups have been trying to land President Obama as a speaker at their annual conferences. So far, the furthest Jewish groups could reach in the administration were Vice President Joe Biden and the National Security Advisor James L. Jones.
On Friday, the UJC, which is being renamed the Jewish Federation of North America, announced that Barack Obama would be their keynote speaker at the General Assembly, scheduled for the second week of November in Washington.
“We are honored to be hosting President Obama at the GA,” said Dede Feinberg, the North America chair of the General Assembly.
This will be Obama’s first appearance at a Jewish community event, although he did hold a small meeting with a small group of Jewish leaders in July.
Although not officially announced yet, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is also expected to speak at the GA. An announcement from Jerusalem confirming the appearance is expected in the next few days.
Nathan Guttman, staff writer, was the Forward’s Washington bureau chief. He joined the staff in 2006 after serving for five years as Washington correspondent for the Israeli dailies Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post. In Israel, he was the features editor for Ha’aretz and chief editor of Channel 1 TV evening news. He was born in Canada and grew up in Israel. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Obama To Address UJC General Assembly