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December 08, 1995 - Image 48

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-12-08

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Explore the Alternatives
to Promote Good Health

Front, Left to Right: Kim L. Miller, M.D. and Robert C. Levine, M.D.
Rear, Left to Right: David Brownstein, M.D. and Jeffrey E. Nusbaum, M.D.

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Jewish-Christian
Group Opens

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein's effort to
build bridges between Jews and
Evangelical Christians jumped
into the political arena with the
formal establishment of the Cen-
ter for Judeo-Christian Values in
Washington.
The center, which will be the
Washington hub of Eckstein's In-
ternational Fellowship of Chris-
tians and Jews, was announced
at a Tuesday news conference
featuring Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-
Conn., and Sen. Dan Coats, R-
Ind.
"The inclusion of those leaders
as honorary co-chairs is a micro-
cosm of what this center is all
about," Rabbi Eckstein said in an
interview. "One is an Orthodox
Jew, one an Evangelical Christ-
ian, one a Democrat and the oth-
er a Republican. The Center is
really intended to grasp the cen-
trist positions our two communi-
ties share, positions that haven't
been grasped because of the po-
larization of our politics."
Rabbi Eckstein has tapped
longtime Jewish activist Chris
Gersten as executive director of
the Center. Mr. Gersten served
as director of the National Jew-
ish Coalition, the central group
for Jewish Republicans; later, he
served as director of the Office of
Refugee Resettlement in the
Bush administration.
The Center has also been en-
dorsed by Christian Coalition di-
rector Ralph Reed and former
education secretary William Ben-
nett; Rabbi Eckstein has also re-
ceived encouragement from some
Jewish leaders like Rabbi David
Saperstein, director of the Reli-
gious Action Center of Reform
Judaism, a group that has
strongly opposed the Christian
right agenda in Washington.
Rabbi Eckstein said that the
Center will be "somewhere be-
tween an advocacy group and a
think tank" in function.
"Our first goal is to identify a
variety of values that we share
as Christians and Jews," he said.
"Then we will delineate and ex-
plore public policy positions that
stem from those shared values
and inform the public about those
positions."
In other words, the group will
lobby Congress and engage in
grassroots political advocacy.

Lobby Reform
Impacts Jews

Jewish groups were generally
pleased with the lobby reform leg-
islation finalized by Congress —
even though the new law, which
broadens the definition of "lobby-
ing" in ways that will include Jew-
ish groups with more generalized
functions, will be a bureaucratic

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