A report on the successful first meeting of the RJC in Sarasota, Florida, written by a participant, Jane Lewit.
Several months ago, Bob Lewit, a retired physician from Bethesda, Maryland and a recent transplant to Longboat Key, Florida, saw Peter Wish’s name in the news. He thought that perhaps this was the very Peter Wish he knew during his summers at Camp Paradox in the Adirondacks. So he called Peter to check.
No, this Dr. Peter Wish was not Bob’s old friend, but indeed he was a man deeply involved in Republican politics in the state of Florida. A perfect match for Bob. And from this chance encounter, Bob and Peter developed the idea of starting a Sarasota chapter of the Republican Jewish Coalition.
Bob and his wife Jane have been actively involved in the RJC for over a decade, where they connected to many capable and committed Jewish Republicans nationwide. At the last two leadership events prior to the 2014 election, they had met with Reince Preibus, chairman of the RNC, and Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., who delivered a keynote address. Prime candidates addressed the group including: congressional candidates Cory Gardner (CO) and Tom Cotton (AR), and governors Scott Walker (WI) and John Kasich (OH). As polls showed their races teetering on the edge of victory or defeat, they came to the RJC for needed support.
The first meeting of the Sarasota Chapter of the RJC was held at the Sarasota Yacht Club on January 21, 2015. Attendees were excited to come together with over 50 fellow Jewish Republicans. They were encouraged to learn that the Republican Jewish vote had expanded from 8% in the 1990’s to 33% in 2014. While every vote is important, more significant is the RJC’s financial support in House, Senate, and gubernatorial elections nationwide. Politicians, candidates, analysts, and journalists, meet with the RJC knowing it is a powerful and effective organization.
The Sarasota chapter came into being with strong support. It will be holding monthly meetings in season. The next meetings are scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 19 and Thursday, March 26, both at 11:30 a.m. at the Sarasota Yacht Club.
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