Press Release

Jewish Dems Select Susan Stern as Incoming Chair, Grow Organization in Advance of November Election

March 11, 2024

WASHINGTON – The Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA)’s 34-member Board of Directors has elected Susie Stern, a New York-based Jewish community and Democratic leader, as its next Chair. Stern, who will assume the role on January 1, will succeed former Rep. Ron Klein, JDCA’s founding chair who has served in the role since the organization’s inception in 2017. The announcement of JDCA’s leadership transition comes at a time of expanded operations and growth of the organization in advance of the 2024 election. 

JDCA is the voice and political home of Jewish voters, advocating for policies and supporting Democrats who align with its values. Through advocacy, endorsements, events, direct voter engagement, and digital advertising, JDCA and JDCA PAC will play a significant role in competitive federal elections modeled after its recent success in NY-3, mobilizing Jewish voters and helping to flip that seat from red to blue. 

“I am proud to have the opportunity to lead this incredibly important organization, representing the vast majority of Jewish American voters,” said Susie Stern, Chair-elect of JDCA. “As a founding Board member of JDCA, I have been inspired by our continued growth and impact. Since the 2018 midterms, I have seen firsthand JDCA’s ability to make a real difference in shaping the outcome of elections in support of Democrats who share our values. As chair-elect, I look forward to building on JDCA’s growth to ensure its continued success in President Biden’s second term.”

Named as one of the “Women to Watch” by Jewish Women’s International, Stern has dedicated much of her life to Jewish communities as an activist and political advocate in New York, nationally, and around the world. She was recently appointed by President Biden to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Council, and she was previously appointed by President Obama as Chair of the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships where she helped to focus its work on human trafficking. Stern is currently Chair of Jewish Women for Joe and Vice President of Central Synagogue in Manhattan.

Previously, Stern was Chair of the New York State Commission on National and Community Service, having served under three governors. She also served as Chair of the Board and Campaign Chair of UJA-Federation of New York; Vice Chair and National Campaign Chair of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA); and National Women’s Philanthropy Chair, where she was co-creator of the International Lion of Judah Conference in 1993. Stern was a member of the Executive Committee of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and a founding member of Israel Policy Forum. She also served on the President’s Advisory Council for the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and the Dean’s Advisory Committee at the University of Michigan.  

Ron Klein, Chair of JDCA, said, “Susie Stern has been a distinguished leader in the Jewish community, Democratic politics, and JDCA, which I have been honored to lead for the past seven years and look forward to leading through the 2024 election. JDCA’s mission has never been more critical to our future as a democracy, and I’m confident that under Susie’s leadership, it will continue to grow and become even more impactful.”

New York Governor Kathy Hochul shared, “Susie Stern has been an unwavering leader for New Yorkers, Democrats, and the Jewish community for decades. Her dedication to advancing Jewish values including the defense of democracy and the fight against antisemitism exemplifies the kind of leadership our nation needs. I am immensely proud to have a New York woman leader leading on the national stage, and I congratulate Susie and the Jewish Democratic Council of America on this exciting milestone.”

In addition to the selection of a new chair, JDCA’s Board of Directors has grown to 34 members and comprises Democratic leaders and policy experts, including former U.S. Ambassador to Israel and Egypt Daniel Kurtzer, former Congressman and Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman, former DNC Chair Steve Grossman, and many other Jewish communal and Democratic leaders. 

JDCA’s New Leadership Council (NLC) includes 43 Jewish professionals from across the country who represent the future of Jewish communal and political leaders. JDCA’s NLC, chaired by former Democratic candidate for Congress and President of Arena Lauren Baer, brings a diversity of thought experience to JDCA’s lay leadership and plays a critical role in the expansion of the organization’s work. 

Since 2019, JDCA’s staff has tripled in size, and its existing staff – all of whom have been with the organization for several years – have grown with the organization. Led by CEO Halie Soifer, approaching her sixth year in the role, senior staff members include Chief of Staff Sam Crystal, newly-promoted Chief Program Officer Bobby Saferstein, Senior Director for Development Mil Dranoff, and Deputy Chief of Staff Ben Kanter.

For more information on JDCA’s 2024 strategy and plans, please contact [email protected].


Media Contact
Blake Goodman
[email protected]; (202) 531-6404