Meet the Candidate Series brings politicians to the Jewish community

by | Oct 18, 2012 | Uncategorized

Tim Kaine

Tim Kaine

Local voters have had two opportunities this month to rely on more than sound bites to inform their decision on Election Day, and to let politicians know the Tidewater Jewish community cares about its organizations, Israel and domestic policies.

Through its Meet the Candidate series, the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater hosted former Virginia Governors George Allen (R) and Tim Kaine (D) at the Sandler Family Campus. Allen appeared at noon on Wed., Oct. 3. and Kaine spoke with the community on Fri., Oct. 12, also at noon. The men are vying for a United States Senate seat in one of the most closely watched races in the country; the new Senator could determine the direction the government will take for the next four years.

The events were free and open to the community and followed a similar format. After introductions from community members Jeff Brooke (Allen) and Jody Wagner (Kaine), the politicians presented their credentials and beliefs, their positions on Israel, and their arguments as to why they would make the better choice for Senator. Moderator Joel Rubin then joined the candidate onstage, directed the discussion and asked questions submitted previously online or during the event from audience members.

“From the CRC’s commitment to Motivate, Educate and Advocate and, we think it’s important that our community hears from the candidates about what they stand for, and how they may vote on certain issues when they’re elected, so that we can be good and effective advocates,” says Megan Zuckerman, CRC vice-chair. “It’s vital too, that the candidates know about our agencies, like Jewish Family Service and Beth Sholom Village, and what our community does.

“I think it is also very important that we hear their opinions in person rather than reading about them or just guessing, particularly their views on Israel and social policy—both which affect us as a community,” Zuckerman says. “I hope this series of appearances makes people motivated to take part in future CRC programming, so they’ll be well-informed when issues and events come up— especially Jewish issues.”

The CRC will hold one final Meet the Candidate event on Thurs., Oct. 25, 7 pm at the Sandler Family Campus. The CRC’s 2nd Congressional District of Virginia Forum features incumbent Rep. Scott Rigell (R) and challenger Paul Hirschbiel (D). Joel Rubin will moderate the free event. Questions for the politicians may be submitted at

Videos of Kaine’s and Allen’s CRC appearances can be found at www. Video of the upcoming forum will be posted before election day. For more information, visit, or contact Robin Mancoll, CRC director, at 757-965-6120 or

by Laine Mednick Rutherford