4 Jewish Community Leaders that Ran for Office and Won
Running for office takes major courage. Regardless of your background, deciding to run is not an easy decision. This year, we saw all different kinds of people step up and run despite the rise of hatred and bigotry — and they won in historic numbers. This includes these 4 RFS candidates that ran with their Jewish faith, families, and communities in mind, and won.
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Joe Vogel — Maryland House, District 17, MD
On the eve of the Holocaust, Joe Vogel’s great-grandparents were forced to leave their families behind and flee Europe on the eve of the Holocaust. Fast forward to when Joe was three years old, his family immigrated from Uruguay to Rockville, Maryland. Joe’s values were forged during this upbringing — and have been informed by his Jewish faith, which has ingrained in him a commitment to repairing the world, an unwavering devotion to pursue justice, and a sense of duty to serve his community.
Joe is gay, Jewish and Latino, and each of those aspects of his identity shape his perspective — and this year, he also became the first member of Gen Z elected to the Maryland General Assembly.
Dani Isaacsohn — Dani Isaacsohn, District 24, Ohio House, OH
Dani Isaacsohn’s grandfather was on one of the last boats out of Hitler’s Europe — an unfortunate part of history that is not lost on him as a Jewish American. Dani is deeply grateful for the opportunities this country and Cincinnati have given his family.
He is a former community organizer who runs Cohear, a successful small business focused on community engagement. Dani serves the community as a board member of several national and local nonprofits, including the Jewish Community Relations Council, Women of Cincy, Heartfelt Tidbits, Bonds of Union, Public Allies, and the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project, where he serves as the founding President of the Board. Dani was elected to the State House to represent District 24 on November 8th, 2022.
Adam M. Swartz — Dallas Justice of the Peace, Precinct 3, Place 1, TX
Adam Swartz is a homegrown community advocate, attorney, and girl dad. Born and raised in North Dallas with a service heart, he has spent his career fighting for everyday people in the public arena. This is what led Adam to run for (and win) Dallas Justice of the Peace for Precinct 3, Place 1.
Currently, Adam serves on the board and steering committee of the North Texas Jewish Democratic Council and on the Texas Civil Rights Project’s Dallas Area Voting Rights Committee. He has worked as an Election Clerk in 4 of the past 5 Dallas County elections, and within the Election Protection “boiler room” on Election Day to help protect the voting rights of Dallas County citizens.
Noah Arbit was steeped in the teachings of his Jewish faith, including the biblical phrase “tzedek, tzedek tirdof,” or “justice, justice shall you pursue.” Those words became a lifeline for Noah in 2014, as he found himself in a Michigan courtroom, barely 18 years old, testifying against the sexual predator who had assaulted him and many others. It was this difficult experience that compelled Noah to seek out a path to pursue justice and become an advocate for others.
In the aftermath of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting — the worst terrorist attack on American Jews in U.S. history — Noah founded the Michigan Democratic Jewish Caucus to empower and mobilize members of Michigan’s Jewish community to take on hate, antisemitism, and extremism. After years of leading his community, Noah is ready to serve District 20 in the Michigan House.