407-645-5933 ext. 236 marisa.west@shalomorlando.org

The Federation’s Jewish Community Relations Council serves as the political advocacy arm of our Jewish community, creating relationships and access to our elected officials and those who are running for public office at all levels.

Last week, our JCRC organized a small roundtable discussion with Florida Gov. (and Republican U.S. Senate candidate) Rick Scott at the Rosen JCC in Southwest Orlando. During our discussion, we had the opportunity to engage with the governor on a wide range of issues of concern to our community, including security funding, education, healthcare and gun violence.

This afternoon, we welcomed Democratic Commissioner of Agriculture candidate Nicole “Nikki” Fried to the Maitland Jewish Community Campus. Fried shared her thoughts and heard from community members about many of the areas the ag commissioner deals with every day, including consumer protection regulations throughout the state.

We are entering a critical period of engagement with candidates for office. With the primary coming up on Aug. 28 and the general election on Nov. 6, Florida will once again be a hotbed for political activity. It is vitally important that we demonstrate our mutual commitment to advocacy during this period so that those who are elected on Nov. 6 take office with the knowledge that the Central Florida Jewish community is serious about public policy.

We have extended invitations to many candidates, including all the major candidates for governor of Florida, and I am excited to announce that three of those candidates have already committed to visiting with the Greater Orlando Jewish community:

Jeff Greene (D), candidate for governor of Florida
9 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 16
The Roth Family JCC Youth Lounge


Chris King (D), candidate for governor of Florida
1:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 20
The Roth Family JCC Auditorium


John Mina, candidate for Orange County sheriff
6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30
The Roth Family JCC Auditorium

We expect that these will be just some of many such events with candidates across the political spectrum, for many political offices. Remember: The more we interact with our candidates of all parties and levels of government, the more responsive they will be to our community needs after taking office. I hope that you will join me for each of these substantive discussions over the next few weeks. Bring questions, concerns and, most importantly, a commitment to civility.

Keep an eye out for announcements as we schedule more opportunities to meet with candidates, and as always, stay in touch!