US lawmakers launch congressional black-Jewish caucus
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US lawmakers launch congressional black-Jewish caucus

Group from both parties will work to bring African-Americans and Jews together to back hate crimes legislation and combat white supremacy

Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Mich., flanked by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., and Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., launches the black-Jewish caucus at the annual American Jewish Committee Global Forum in Washington D.C. on June 3, 2019. (AJC via JTA)
Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Mich., flanked by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., and Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., launches the black-Jewish caucus at the annual American Jewish Committee Global Forum in Washington D.C. on June 3, 2019. (AJC via JTA)

WASHINGTON  — Three black and two Jewish members of the US House of Representatives from both parties launched a black-Jewish caucus.

“The African-American and Jewish communities have a history of standing together for the promotion of social justice and civil rights,” Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Mich., said Monday at the annual Global Forum of the American Jewish Committee.

“To encourage and nurture this unique partnership, I have formed the Congressional Caucus on Black-Jewish Relations with the hopes of strengthening the trust and advancing our issues in a collective manner.”

The caucus, launched after an AJC-convened meeting in January, will work to bring blacks and Jews together to back hate crimes legislation and combat white supremacist ideology and actions. White supremacists carried out two lethal attacks on synagogues since last October, in Pittsburgh and in Poway, California.

The other members are Reps. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., Will Hurd, R-Texas and John Lewis, D-Ga., a revered veteran of the 1960s civil rights marches.

Along with Lawrence, present at the AJC event were Zeldin and Wasserman Schultz, who are both Jewish.

“It is clear our communities are still the target of hate and discrimination, and we will not stand idly by,” Zeldin said.

“White supremacy threatens both our communities and the Caucus will build on our common fight for a better world,” Wasserman Schultz said on Twitter.

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