If elected, Brog would increase Jewish representation in the Republican Party. There are currently only two Jewish members in the Republican caucus, Lee Zeldin of New York and David Kustoff of Tennessee. Zeldin withdraws from Congress and runs as a Republican candidate for Governor of New York. Max Miller, a former White House aide to Trump, won the GOP primary in Ohio’s 7th District last week. Brog’s goal is to form a group of Jewish House members to combat rising anti-Semitism and work together on issues of common concern.
Jewish upbringing and family background
Brog was born and raised in Margate City, outside of Atlantic City, New Jersey, to secular parents. His father, Eugene, only visited the Temple Beth El synagogue twice a year – on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Eugene’s parents were immigrants from Poland and Lithuania, who lost family members in the Holocaust. This trauma caused Eugene to lose his faith, but he instilled in his children the pride of being Jewish.
Brog is a bit more observant. He does not work on Saturdays to mark Shabbat as a day of rest, a commitment he keeps during this campaign. He occasionally visits local Orthodox, Young Israel Aish HaTorah and Chabad synagogues. “I feel like I’m continuing my father’s search and trying to achieve the mission he gave me to connect with my faith, to be a Jew who practices and takes his faith seriously” , did he declare.
After graduating from Princeton University and Harvard Law School, where he was classmates with former President Barack Obama and Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, Brog spent a few years in Israel working for a law firm – Meitar, Littman Nechmad (today Meitar, Liquornik, Geva & Leshem) – specializing in commercial and high-tech law.
Brog discovered he was a third cousin of Ehud Barak, Israel’s former prime minister, in the late 1990s. The two shared a great-grandfather, Simon. Brog had previously admired Barak, who was then the Labor leader, a distinguished soldier in Israel’s history and a champion of peace in the Middle East. Barak changed his surname from Brog to Barak in 1972, using the Hebrew word for lightning.
The two first met when Barak visited the United States as prime minister in July 1999 and met with a group of Jewish members of Congress and their aides. As Barak greeted everyone, Brog introduced himself as his cousin. Barak “put his arms around me, pointed at me, and didn’t say to anyone in particular, ‘That’s my cousin, my cousin,'” Brog recalled. Brog stayed in touch with his family in Israel, including Barak’s brother Avinoam, who still goes by the Brog surname.
Brog began studying Zionism as a high school student in Atlantic City after reading the book “The Revolt” by Menachem Begin, who was the leader of the Irgun, the Zionist paramilitary group, and later became the sixth Prime Minister of Israel, whom he found in his school library after researching an autobiography of former President John F. Kennedy for an assignment. “It really touched me and made me a Zionist,” he said.
Leading America’s Largest Pro-Israel Group
After serving as policy director during Specter’s short-lived presidential campaign in 1996, as well as the senator’s senior adviser and chief of staff, Brog wrote a book, “Standing with Israel: Why Christians Support Israel,” which was based on his experience of journey through central Pennsylvania. and meet evangelical Christians. While writing the book, Brog visited pro-Israel churches across the country and listened to a series of talks given by Pastor John Hagee, a televangelist and founder of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas.
Brog befriended Hagee, who asked for his help in launching CUFI. Brog saw it as an opportunity to change the way Israel was viewed in Congress as just a Jewish issue and to broaden the base of support for Israel.
At the time, the Republican Party was at a crossroads, with foreign policy isolationists Pat Buchanan and Ron Paul attracting a lot of conservative support that could have influenced the party’s stance on Israel. Brog and Hagee saw it as their mission to build evangelical support for Israel as a way to win over conservatives for at least a generation. CUFI now has over 10 million members and has successfully lobbied for pro-Israel legislation, including the passage of the Taylor Force Act, which cuts off US funding to Palestinians as long as the Palestinian Authority provides subsidies to families of terrorists.
In July 2015, Brog left CUFI and was hired to lead a new group called Maccabee Task Force, an initiative started by the late Sheldon Adelson and Israeli-American media mogul Haim Saban, to combat anti-Semitism on campuses. academics. Brog said Adelson was committed to providing students with the support and resources they need to fight anti-Semitism and took it as a personal project.
Brog is still chief executive of the Maccabee task force, with the blessing of Dr Miriam Adelson, and has said he will take time off if he wins the primaries and the campaign heats up.
Brog wants to become a leading voice on Israel in Congress
Brog said he brings a lifetime of dedication and deep knowledge to spearhead pro-Israel causes. “I don’t just want to be a friend of Israel,” he said. “I want to be a leader over Israel and a champion of Israel.”
He said both sides lack people who understand the issues enough and have the ability to get into the details of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict so they can fend off anti-Israel statements and organize their caucuses to defend Israel when needed. . “We have to be very quick to reach out and expand our coalition to all people of good will who love Israel and hate anti-Semitism,” he said.
He looks at Ritchie Torres, a first-term progressive congressman from New York who became a leading voice on Israelas a potential friend in Congress.
David Krone, head of global public policy for Apollo, said he found Brog a key ally in an attempt to convince House Republicans to support legislation known as the Awareness Act. anti-Semitism that the Senate passed in 2016. The bill was blocked in the House by former Rep. Bob Goodlatte, then Chairman of the House Judiciary. Brog introduced Krone to the management of CUFI who joined in support of legislation which later became the federal definition of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) combat anti-Semitism on campus.
Krone described Brog as “a thoughtful curator” who “will sit down and talk to people and listen to them”. He said it’s a qualification you “can’t ask for more than that” and that’s what’s lacking in America.
Brog said he was not actively seeking Trump’s endorsement in the primary, but would welcome it if granted. He said he supported Trump’s policies and gave him credit for leading the Republican Party in the direction he wanted to see, standing up for the working class. But Brog has made it clear that he has a very different personality from Trump. “I’m more of a consensus builder and I don’t like attacking people,” he said.
Brog said he told his wife he wanted to be a congressman, “but I don’t want it enough to compromise my family, my faith, or my integrity.”