"The most important political office is that of private citizen."
For decades, Jewish voters have taken to heart Brandeis's point by engaging vigorously in civic life. This engagement, whether as advocates or volunteers, donors or door-knockers, has benefited our country and our community.
The Jewish Council for Education & Research (JCER), a federal Super PAC, was created to develop and disseminate information to voters in the United States around issues of concern to the Jewish community. JCER is motivated by a deep love for the Jewish community and by a desire to ensure that Jews have access to accurate information as they engage in the electoral process. But civic engagement doesn’t have to be a painful experience. JCER uses humor, viral video, celebrity, and social media to break through the election year clutter and reach millions of voters..
In 2008 JCER supported Barack Obama, primarily by mobilizing younger Jewish Obama supporters to communicate with people in their personal networks who were undecided or leaning McCain. Our premier initiative was The Great Schlep, a call for young people to convince their grandparents (particularly in Florida) to vote Obama.
In 2012, JCER is supporting President Barack Obama’s re-election effort with a series of high-profile initiatives in the spirit of the The Great Schlep. JCER will confront the scare tactics used to peel away Jewish voters from the Obama campaign and reenergize those in his base whose enthusiasm may have diminished from four years ago. Recognizing that the Jewish community is not one-size-fits-all, JCER is creating cross-platform initiatives to develop the community’s narrative about Obama and to shore up support for his campaign in key swing states.
Mik Moore is recognized as one of the leading political and communications campaign strategists in the American Jewish community. He is known for developing and implementing innovative efforts to harness the power of online media to create social change. Mik co-created The Great Schlep, which mobilized Jewish support for then-candidate Barack Obama; Haik U Glenn Beck!, an interfaith response to Beck’s attack on social justice oriented churches; and Al Tirah USA, a call for civil civic engagement, featuring Rabbi Sharon Brous, in response to the rise of the Tea Party. Before starting his own firm in 2011, Mik was the Chief Strategy Officer at Jewish Funds for Justice. Links to his projects, published writing and television appearances, and firm portfolio can be found at www.mikmoore.com.
Ari Wallach is the founder of Synthesis Corp., a consulting firm based in New York City that provides strategic counsel converging at the intersection of memes, technology and innovation. Clients include CNN, Friendfactor, Seed Media Group, UNHCR, Tides, US State Department and the Ford Foundation. He was also co-founder of award winning "The Great Shlep" - the cutting edge campaign to get Jewish grandparents to vote for Obama. He is the founder of re:think media, a cross-platform producer of public affairs content, and founding director of INFORUM -- one of the nation´s largest non-partisan public affairs forums for young people.
Ari has worked with the Democratic National Committee, Clinton/Gore 96, and the US Institute of Peace, all in Washington, DC. Ari is also currently a member of the boards of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), 5ivepoints, blankonblank.org and the Coalition for the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL).
Ari was born in Guadalajara, Mexico and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area by the artist Susan Wallach and the late Raul Wallach. Ari's father, a Polish-born partisan with the Jewish underground in W.W. II, was hailed by Senator Harry Reid
as a "national treasure" upon his passing. Ari holds a B.A. with Honors in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. He currently lives in New York City.
Mira Oreck is a dedicated and dynamic professional who has been working for over a decade recruiting and mobilizing individuals behind a cause or campaign. Born and raised in Vancouver, BC, Mira lives in Brooklyn, NY where she recently earned her Master’s Degree in Urban Policy Analysis and Management at The New School.
Mira has worked as a political organizer in Canada and the United States at the local, state and national levels. Her major accomplishments include playing a critical role in electing the current Mayor of Vancouver, Gregor Robertson; developing a green jobs strategy for the Rockefeller Brother’s Fund in New York City; and leading a workshop for the youth wings of eight Pakistani political parties. As the former Executive Director of Canadian Jewish Congress Pacific Region, Mira led the organization to embrace issues of social justice facing Canadians, including environmental sustainability, affordable housing and Muslim-Jewish relations. Mira has worked to strengthen democracy all over the world and believes passionately that government can be a force of good.
Emma Goldberg is a high school student passionate about communications and new media. Born and raised in New York, she attends the Abraham Joshua Heschel School. She pursues her interest in digital strategies through her role as Social Media Coordinator for STAND, a national student anti-genocide coalition. Interested in the mechanics of social change, Emma researched the efficacy of teen Jewish service programs as an intern for Ma'yan and created quality assurance review software that the Educational Alliance uses to track city audits. She serves on Teen Ink's youth advisory board and has worked as an assistant creative writing teacher for young students through New York's Writopa Lab. Her works have been published in Wears the Trousers, The Huffington Post, Teen Ink, and several other school and online publications. Emma was the recipient of a 2011 Bronfman Youth Fellowship, Auburn Seminary's 2010 Lives of Commitment Award, and Columbia Scholastic Press Association's young journalist award.