Jewish Values in Action
Leadership Meetings with Candidates
During election campaigns, JCRCs can organize a private meeting between Jewish leaders and candidates running for office in order to discuss their policy positions and priorities. These leadership meetings are an excellent opportunity to connect with candidates and future decision-makers in a more intimate setting with fewer legal restrictions than other types of election engagement activities, such as candidate forums.
It is imperative that you invite all candidates running for a given office and that the meetings with them have identical agendas.
Since this may be the candidate’s first interaction with the community relations field, it is important to host the meeting at your own facility or another affiliated location, such as a local Federation, synagogue, or Jewish Community Center. Hosting a leadership meeting is a means of demonstrating the organized Jewish community’s civic engagement and power as a voting bloc.
Leadership meetings are usually scheduled for an hour, and feature the following components:
- The JCRC or Federation leader provides an overall introduction to the Jewish community and its priority issues.
- The candidate gives an opening presentation (typically five minutes).
- Community leaders ask candidates five to six policy questions that have been set in advance. Questions should be brief.
- At the end of the meeting, attendees present the candidate with a short packet offering general information about the JCRC and Federation, and an overview of the priority issues. Include a list of the meeting participants with titles and contact information.
Please feel free to use our policy statements. Attendees should also offer to be a resource to candidates and staff should they need any information pertaining to the Jewish community.