Jewish Republican, Democrat operatives battle ahead of midterm elections

No. 44 on The Jerusalem Post's Top 50 Most Influential Jews of 2022: Republican Jewish Coalition head Matt Brooks, Jewish Democratic Council of America head Halie Soifer.

 Matt Brooks and Haile Soifer. (photo credit: RJC/JDCA)
Matt Brooks and Haile Soifer.
(photo credit: RJC/JDCA)

Matt Brooks and Halie Soifer are extremely busy these days. With the November midterm elections around the corner, the Republican Jewish Coalition and the Jewish Democratic Council of America are fighting for the Jewish vote in any battleground district that could make a difference.

Matt Brooks and the Republican Jewish Coalition

Brooks, who is executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC), began his political career as state chairman of the Massachusetts College Republicans while still an undergraduate at Brandeis University. He joined the Republican Jewish Coalition in 1988 as political director. He took a leave of absence from the RJC to serve as the national field director for Victory ’88 Jewish Campaign Committee, designing and implementing campaign strategy on behalf of the Bush-Quayle ’88 campaign. He was appointed executive director of the RJC in 1990. 

In the past year, the RJC has devoted considerable resources into expanding opportunities for Jewish voters to interact with and support Republican elected officials, strengthening the bond between the Jewish community and the GOP. 

This November, the RJC focused on two key issues: advancing the US-Israel relationship and the prospects for peace in the region under the Abraham Accords; and warning against a return to the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran. Brooks will also lead a messaging line that will highlight the high inflation and the humanitarian crisis at the border. To date, RJC has endorsed 62 candidates for the Senate and House of Representatives who are in key battleground districts that will determine which party controls Congress. The group will be spending more than $2 million on independent expenditures supporting candidates in critical races in the 2022 cycle.

Matthew Brooks (R) and Halie Soifer (C) speaking at AJC's global forum plenary session, June 2019 (credit: MARTIN SIMON)Matthew Brooks (R) and Halie Soifer (C) speaking at AJC's global forum plenary session, June 2019 (credit: MARTIN SIMON)

Halie Soifer and the Jewish Democratic Council of America

Halie Soifer started as executive director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA) in June 2018 and became CEO in December 2020. Prior to her work with JDCA, she served in government and on campaigns for nearly two decades. She worked in the Obama administration as senior policy adviser to then-ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, as Florida Jewish vote director for the 2008 Obama campaign, and as national security advisor for four members of Congress, including now-Vice President (then-senator) Kamala Harris and Chris Coons.

“At JDCA, we’re continuing to build a national movement to ensure that elected officials represent Jewish values, and that the Democratic Party continues to serve as the political home for the vast majority of American Jews,” Soifer said.

In the 2022 midterms, JDCA has endorsed 115 House, Senate and gubernatorial candidates, and plans to endorse more before election day.

“There is more at stake in this election than which party controls Congress, such as the future of our democracy, reproductive rights, gun safety, economic justice and climate change,” said Soifer. In the past year, she said, the organization grew considerably.

“We now have chapters in each swing state around the country. And our staff, which started with just me four years ago, is now 15-members strong.”