Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas meets with several hundred employees from many of the department’s components in a town hall event held at Citizenship and Immigration Services in Denver, March 15, 2016. (Official USCIS photo by Karissa Marcum)

DHS Secretary Nominee Mayorkas Holds Listening Session with Jewish Leaders

Homeland Security Secretary-designate Alejandro Mayorkas participated in a virtual listening session with 20 Jewish leaders who shared their priorities for the upcoming year and ways in which they hoped to work alongside the Biden-Harris administration.

Secretary-designate Mayorkas highlighted his shared faith and heritage with the attendees, speaking on the strong bond he holds with his synagogue, and emphasized the ways in which the Department of Homeland Security can work closely with Jewish leaders to ensure the immigration system is just and our nation is secure from threats both foreign and domestic.

Secretary-designate Mayorkas and the participants also discussed their shared priority of combating anti-Semitism and creating strong working relationships with the leaders of Jewish communities. Several in the group also applauded the selection of a Jewish, Cuban refugee to lead this pivotal federal agency, stressing the diversity of race and background that exists in the American Jewish community.

The participants and Secretary-designate Mayorkas promised to keep an open line of communication to continue discussing ways to meet the needs of the American people in this moment of crisis and beyond.

Secretary-designate Mayorkas was joined in the meeting by:

  • David Bernstein, Jewish Council on Public Affairs
  • Rabbi Jacob Blumenthal, Rabbinical Assembly / United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
  • Stosh Cotler, Bend the Arc
  • William Daroff, Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations
  • Nathan Diament, Orthodox Union
  • Michael Fleishman, American Israel Public Affairs Committee
  • Jonathan Greenblatt, Anti-Defamation League
  • Mark Hetfield, HIAS
  • Sheila Katz, National Council of Jewish Women
  • Ilana Kaufman, Jews of Color Initiative
  • Abby Levine, Jewish Social Justice Roundtable
  • Michael Masters, Secure Community Network
  • Mark Mellman, Democratic Majority for Israel
  • Hannah Morris, J Street
  • Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
  • Julie Platt, Jewish Federations of North America
  • Joel Rubin, American Jewish Congress
  • Halie Soifer, Jewish Democratic Council of America
  • Hadar Susskind, Americans for Peace Now
  • Dr. Janice Weinman, Hadassah

Read more at the Office of the President-elect

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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