Greater Miami Jewish Federation Hosted Roundtable
The Greater Miami Jewish Federation was recently selected to host a White House Roundtable where Peter Appel, Administrator of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation, served as the White House representative. A variety of Jewish leaders in the Miami community were invited to share their thoughts and discuss important issues of concern to the community.
Daniel Staffenberg, Director of Principal Gifts for Federation, moderated the informal discussion.
The top three issues discussed were:
- Funding of vital social services in light of proposed “discretionary funding” cuts. Of particular focus was the Older Americans Act, protecting Medicaid, and the vulnerable. Discussed was the impact of Medicaid cuts to provide ongoing care, accessibility and quality of service.
- Military cooperation and aid to Israel. Participants thanked the White House for its solid work on funding projects such as Iron Dome (mobile air defense system designed to intercept short-range rockets and artillery shells) and cooperating with Israel Defense Forces. Members of the Roundtable asked the Administration to strongly enforce the Iran Sanctions Act and make it a priority to enforce the enacted sanctions as Iran remains the biggest threat to Israel’s security.
- Continuing charitable donations and direct IRA rollover to charities. In light of the continuing stress put on fundraising for organizations across the country, concerns were addressed about not reducing the incentives for charitable giving. Federation has leveraged the direct IRA rollover with donors and would encourage its continuation.
The White House Roundtable is a grassroots program aimed at opening the lines of communication between the communities and the Administration. The White House representative serves as the community’s “voice” where he or she will report back the issues of concern to the White House.
Appel encouraged the leaders and professionals to maintain an active voice and to continue advocating on matters of importance to the Miami Jewish community. “I am here to listen to you as a representative for President Obama. I am just a couple of steps away from the President and urge you to keep in contact,” Appel said.
The White House Roundtable was an initiative of the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation.