Senator Menendez to keynote JCRC’s Middle East Institute Mar. 5


New Jersey’s senior U.S. Senator, Robert Menendez, will be the keynote speaker when the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Southern New Jersey presents its 48th annual Middle East Institute on Sunday evening, Mar. 5. The program will be held at Temple Beth Sholom in Cherry Hill.

Menendez’s visit to the community comes at a crucial time. Recently, following the Iranian ballistic missile launch, he spoke out against Iran, strongly condemning the country and calling on the U.S. government not to overlook its actions.

Menendez is currently serving his second full term in the United States Senate. The son of Cuban immigrants, he has risen to become one of the most respected leaders in congress. He has devoted his entire career to public service, having served on the Union City Board of Education, as mayor of Union City, and later as a member of the New Jersey General Assembly. He was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1992 and began his service in the U.S. Senate in 2006.

As senator, he has served as a member of the Senate Finance Committee, Senate Banking Committee, and Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on which he served as chair in the 113th Congress. A leader in international affairs, Menendez has worked for many years to ensure bipartisan support for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship.


Menendez has supported every increase in U.S. aid to Israel, given his understanding that the strategic relationship between the two countries is mutually beneficial. He co-sponsored and signed every letter and piece of legislation dealing with tightening sanctions on Iran. He was the leading Democratic voice ensuring the inclusion of a critical amendment on Iran in the National Defense Authorization Act in 2012. It is well documented that Menendez was one of the most outspoken opponents of the JCPOA, given his adamant stance that Iran cannot be provided a path to obtaining or developing nuclear weapons. Menendez is past recipient of the Jewish Community Relations Council’s highest honor, the 2012 Israel Advocacy Award.

In addition to remarks from Menendez, community members Emily and Milton Gottschalk, who have been actively engaged in numerous organizations and activities in support of the State of Israel, will be presented with the prestigious JCRC Israel Advocacy Award.

“We recognize the importance of educating our local teens about what it means to be a pro-Israel advocate both at home and when they go away to school. Given our strong connection to the State of Israel, we are proud to be this year’s JCRC Israel Advocacy Award recipients,” said Emily Gottschalk.

The Middle East Institute is JCRC’s showcase fundraising and educational program intended to highlight current events impacting Israel and the Middle East. Funds raised from this year’s Middle East Institute will be used to strengthen Israel education and advocacy training for Jewish teens, in partnership with area synagogues and day schools, throughout the community. This year’s event is being co-chaired by Pamela and Robert Benedon and Julie and Gregg Bannett.

Advance general admission and reserved seating is available starting at $36. Special pricing is available for seniors, JCRC Patrons and Life & Legacy members. Sponsorship opportunities and a pre-program VIP reception with Senator Menendez are also available. In addition, all area high school and college students are invited to attend the event free of charge thanks to the generous support of honorees Emily and Milt Gottschalk, and sponsors Steve Beilowitz, Sharon and Adam Sackstein, Eva and Marv Schlanger, and Gigi and Brad Schwartz. Due to limited seating and anticipated demand, advance registration is strongly recommended.

Register online at or email for further information about this event.

For more information about becoming an event sponsor or VIP reception tickets, contact David Snyder, JCRC executive director, at (856) 673-2524 or

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