WASHINGTON, April 10, 2013 – A relatively new group, The Young Jewish Conservatives, brings politics, religion, and thoughtfulness to legions of new individuals hungry for real “change.”
The group is “Young Jewish Conservatives,” and like Outkast’s “Miss Jackson,” they are for real. I was privliged to speak before them at the March CPAC 2013 event.
The Jewish community still leans liberal, but there is a new generation ripe for a shift.
The big story across America is that young people are becoming more socially liberal. Yet since the Jewish community was already liberal, the only way for young Jews to rebel is to move rightward.
At the very least, many young Jews, even liberal ones, are not “reflexively” liberal. This provides the Young Jewish Conservatives with an opening they have taken full advantage of.
Some will question the need for this group, since the Republican Jewish Coalition has been around since 1985. Yet there is always room for another right-of-center advocacy group.
Gay Republicans have the Log Cabin Republicans, a moderate group, and GOProud, which tends to be more conservative.
Black moderate Republicans have the Hip Hop Republicans, while the National Black Republican Assembly leans further to the right. The Frederick Douglass Foundation splits the difference.
Even issue oriented voters have various options, as “values voters” have Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum, Tony Perkins with his Family Research Council, and Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition.
The Republican Jewish Coalition has deep connections to Capitol Hill, and works very well with the Republican establishment. Their membership tends to be older, and their focus is on electing mainstream Republican politicians to office. Israel is a major priority.
The Young Jewish Conservatives are exactly as their name describes. The conservative ideology is significantly more important than the GOP elephant. YJC are the grassroots upstarts. While many of their supporters are Orthodox Jews passionate about Israel, significant emphasis is paid to conservative staples such as tax cuts.
Yitz Tendler runs the organization, which he co-founded with Rabbi Ben Packer. The Friday night Sabbath Dinner had well over 100 attendees. Speakers included many of the “young guns” that are working tirelessly to reverse the advantage Democrats currently have with young voters.
Two of these young guns are Ben Shapiro and Joel Pollak. They are both Andrew Breitbart disciples who are carrying on his works in the wake of his untimely death.
Shapiro and Pollak are both Orthodox Jews, although their styles are quite different. Pollak speaks in a calm voice, while Shapiro is a hard-charging battering ram. Shapiro managed to relate the week’s Torah portion to the conservative ideology.
James O’Keefe is Irish, but as the guy who brought down ACORN, he enthralled the Jewish crowd on how to become conservative citizen activists.
One surprise guest was Colonel Allen West. He put on a Yarmulkah (Jewish skullcap) and gave a passionate speech about how the audience could become the next generation of leaders. Colonel West’s knowledge of Jewish history was impressive, and when he speaks about leadership, everybody in a room listens. As a black conservative, Colonel West identifies with Jewish conservatives facing ideological bigotry from the left.
During the events, my remarks went something like…
“A Senator recently held a thirteen hour filibuster. So what? Jews do that every year. It’s called the Chabad Telethon.”
“Never rely on a Palestinian GPS tracker. I took one wrong turn, ended up at a cemetery, and a very sinister voice said ‘You have reached your final destination.’ I got so angry I threw it out the window which was good because five seconds later it exploded.”
“There’s a medical procedure not just for Jewish liberalism but for all liberalism. It’s called ‘cranial-glutial extraction surgery.’”
“I am to the right of Attila the Hun, which in modern terms for you young people means I am just slightly to the left of Ben Shapiro.”
After 24 hours of meals, prayers, and speeches, the next step was to let the world know about the Young Jewish Conservatives.
They are tough, smart, tenacious, and serious about providing an authentically conservative voice to the American political discussion. They also have a great sense of humor.
This is all within the bounds of being Jewish, a totally consistent position.
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