Signaling an intensified effort to compete for the Jewish vote, the Obama campaign appointed Daniel Shapiro as a senior policy adviser and Jewish outreach coordinator on Tuesday. Shapiro, who has long advised the campaign on issues connected to the Jewish community and Middle East policy, is taking on a heightened role as the campaign ramps up its staff ahead of the Democratic convention and the general election race this fall. The biggest staffing addition - who Illinois Sen. Barack Obama will tap as his running mate - is also expected to be announced in the coming days, with the convention beginning next Monday. "The Obama campaign is reaching out aggressively to the Jewish community through the creation of Jewish Community Leadership Councils in cities around the country," the campaign stated in making the announcement of Shapiro's appointment, noting that he joins National Jewish Vote director Eric Lynn, who has also long been working on these issues for the campaign. "Senator Obama is the candidate who best represents the Jewish community's values and ideals, and he will pursue the policies in the Middle East that will best serve US interests and protect Israel's security," Shapiro told The Jerusalem Post. "I am excited to join his winning team." Shapiro, who accompanied Obama on his recent trip to Israel, has worked as a Washington lobbyist as well as in several Congressional offices and the National Security Council during the Clinton administration. A former deputy chief of staff to Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Florida), he has also been a staff adviser to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) and former House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Lee Hamilton (D-Indiana). "It reaffirms that the campaign gets that they need to make a commitment to outreach in the community. They need to spend money and dedicate staff and resources," said Steve Rabinowitz, a Democratic strategist who works with the Jewish community. "Things are going fine," he said of the campaign's Jewish outreach. "The campaign totally gets that it has work to do with the community and they're continuing to do that work."