Nov. 19, 2007 - Kitchen Cafe
Woolworth Building - New York City

JIA President Lou Schwartz addresses the crowd
Legendary Radio Talk Show Host Barry Farber Served as Guest Speaker
Attendees included Advisory Board Members (l. to r.) Sam Dunston, Mark Jaffe, Rocky Choi, Guest Speaker Barry Farber, Sol Mintz and Paul Pops

The JIA Holds its First Advisory Board Planning Meeting & Reception

JIA President Lou Schwartz addesses the Advisory Board

The Jews in America held its first Advisory Board Planning Meeting & Reception held on April 1, 2008 at the Silver Spurs restaurant in New York City. 

The Honorable Henry J. Stern, former New York City Parks Commissioner, was the guest speaker and spoke for over 20 minutes on the importance of an organization like the JIA. The following was excerpted from his speech:

Henry J. Stern, former Commissioner of the NYC Parks Dept., serves as guest speaker
“I think it’s a great idea that Lou Schwartz had when he founded  an organization like this. It’s just people who are proud of their Jewish heritage and want to properly be received. We’re not involved in controversy or anti-Semitism or who did what to whom. We’re a professional Jewish organization with Executive Directors who are quick to call anyone out when they cross the line. We are here to tell people what the Jews have done, to be supportive and to spread the word. We’re not here to protest or to make trouble. Our mission is to see to it that the Jewish community is represented and treated with respect and to let people know what Jews have done because most people don’t know about Jews.  “You’d be surprised at how many people think we have horns. Especially people in other parts of the country who have little or no contact with Jews. They’re not evil people. They’re not mean people. They just don’t know. They just have never met any of us and therefore they believe what they’ve been told. So it’s our vision to give a good account of Jews and call these people’s attention to our enormous achievements. We’re very proud of what we’ve done and we know about the extraordinary record that Jews have compiled in this country the last 350 years since the first Jew, Asser Levy, came to New York City. Now we have to let others know as well. “So here we are, we’re Jews for America. We’re very lucky to be here. Some Jews don’t know that. Some Jews go around denouncing America. They don’t know how good it is for them to be here in America. We’re not that kind of Jew. We’re not self-hating Jews and we’re very happy and proud to be in this great country. I don’t think any of you feel that way because you wouldn’t be here and would probably be more comfortable in another organization. “One of the problems is that some Jewish organizations are so exclusively Jewish that they don’t do anything to reach out to other people and build the ties that we need. So Jews in America is just a great idea for ordinary Jews. You don’t have to win the Nobel Prize to get in. You don’t have to donate fifty thousand dollars to get your name on the wall. All you have to do is come to these great meetings and be committed to the idea of promoting our goal of telling people what it is to be Jewish in America, and how Jews have helped make America as great as it is today.”

It is interesting to note that attending the Jews in America meeting were many non-Jews including those of Asian extraction - Koreans and Chinese- as well as Italo-Americans, Afro-Americans and Hispanics. Politically, there were supporters of Obama and McCain.


Although it was truly a diverse group, the meeting demonstrated a unity of purpose. Almost all of the attendees spoke and participated in the discussions. Most agreed with Advisory Board member Dr. Lorraine Colville who said she had seldom attended a meeting with such a diversified group in harmonious support of our goals and  aspirations -  to make sure that all Americans learn of the vast contributions that Jewish Americans have made not only to the U.S. but to the world.


The meeting also produced a number of committees including membership, fund raising, surrogate and public relations.  

JIA Advisory Board Meeting
Nov. 24, 2008 - Kitchen Cafe
Woolworth Building - New York City

Guest Speaker Mark Broxmeyer Addresses the Crowd
(l. to r.) Dany Esquilin, Henry Stern, Mark Broxmeyer, Lou Schwartz, Stanley Smith and Mark Jaffe