Rabbi Hannah Goldstein of Temple Sinai in D.C. was one of 30 Jewish leaders visiting the White House last week in an effort to end violence against women, girls and members of the LGBT community throughout the world.
Goldstein, who was ordained this spring and began working at Temple Sinai in July, described her visit with White House officials as “very heartening.” She said she was pleased to realize that the values of the American Jewish World Service, which organized the event, and the White House “are aligned.”
However, she said, all discussions were off-the-record.
The 3 1/2 hour visit was designed to let Jewish leaders learn about the administration’s strategy toward ending violence against women, girls and LGBT people. The visit was part of AJWS’ new global campaign called We Believe. AJWS plans to work with members of Congress to pass the International Violence Against Women Act, which was introduced last month.
“Around the world, women, girls and LGBT people are abused, assaulted and beaten, and our government must act decisively to help end this epidemic of violence,” said Timi Gerson, director of advocacy for AJWS.
The delegation met with Jamille Bigio, the White House’s director for human rights and gender; Avra Siegel, deputy director of the White House Council on Women and Girls; Matt Nosanchuk, the White House Jewish liaison; Gautam Raghavan, White House public engagement adviser; and Melissa Rogers, special assistant to the president and executive director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
Also attending the meetings was Rabbi Jessica Lott, associate director for Jewish Life and Learning at the University of Maryland’s Hillel.