January 26, 2020 - Mike Bloomberg Major Speech on Jewish Identity and Values, Support for Israel


Bloomberg 2020

January 26, 2020


Pledges strong action against anti-Semitism, as President Trump has politicized America’s long-standing bipartisan support for Israel and set a divisive tone as incidents of anti-Semitism and hate crimes rise 

Speech Coincides with Campaign’s Launch of United for Mike, a Nationwide Effort to Rally Support Among Jewish Americans

MIAMI  During a major address at Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center and Tauber Academy, Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg discussed his Jewish identity and values and how his heritage will inform his presidency. He also addressed the dangerous rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes in the United States. President Trump has politicized America’s long-standing bipartisan support for Israel and set a divisive tone as incidents of anti-Semitism and hate crimes rise. Mike delivered his remarks as part of the launch of “United for Mike,” a nationwide outreach effort to rally support among Jewish Americans in support of Mike’s commitment to rebuild America and defeat Trump.

“I’ve spent a lot of time in synagogues in my life, but my parents taught me that Judaism is about more than going to shul,” Mike said in his speech. “It’s about living our values – including our obligations to help others, to ‘repair the world’ in the tradition of Tikkun Olam and to revere the miracle that is the state of Israel, which, for their generation, was a dream fulfilled before their very eyes.”

Nachum Segal, host of “JM in the AM,” opened the program. Other speakers included Abigail Pogrebin, National Director for Jewish Outreach for Mike Bloomberg 2020; best-selling author Rabbi Joseph Telushkin; and Patricia Halfen Wexler, co-founder and managing director of Starlight Ventures. Mike was introduced by Phil Levine, former mayor of Miami Beach, FL. 

“As the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors and a Venezuelan who witnessed my community disintegrate under Chavismo, I am keenly aware of the importance of having a safe, welcoming, and thriving place to call home,” said Halfen Wexler. “This is why it is crucial – at this time of increasing partisanship - that we vote for a proven leader like Mike Bloomberg who is a pragmatic, compassionate, and reasonable executive who can bring our country together.”

During his remarks, Mike reaffirmed his lifelong support for Israel, including a commitment to provide unconditional military aid to Israel if elected president. He also outlined his policy to stop Iran’s effort to become a nuclear power. 

“As president, I will work to make the strongest deal possible to constrain the Iranian regime’s aggression and territorial ambitions, and put an end to their nuclear program, because the world must never allow Iran to threaten Israel and the whole region with a nuclear attack,” Mike said.   

Mike also assailed President Trump for politicizing America’s long-standing bipartisan support for Israel and his role in the rising incidents of anti-Semitism and hate crimes. 

“When the President calls his supporters ‘real Americans’ – an echo of the language that nativists, anti-Semites, and the KKK used for many decades, - and when he is silent – and even supportive, through his words and tweets, as racist groups spread hate, he undermines our fundamental national values,” Mike said.

Mike said he would take strong action as president to reduce the number of anti-Semitic attacks and hate crimes by labeling them as “domestic terrorism” and charging those responsible. He also pledged to launch a national, coordinated effort led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice to crack down on violent extremist groups. Mike also wants to expand the Department of Education’s and Department of Health and Human Services' “Stop Bullying Campaign” which was started in 2012 and works to end harassment in schools, including anti-Semitic activity. 

Mike has been a longtime champion of Jewish causes in the U.S. and in Israel. He has provided support to UJA and his own synagogue, Temple Emanu-El, as well as Temple Shalom, his hometown synagogue in Medford, Mass. Mike donated to the renovation of the Magen David Adom emergency medical center in Israel in honor of his father and dedicated the pediatric wing of Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem in honor of his mother. In 2019, Bloomberg Philanthropies launched a program to spur innovation in 12 Israeli cities, building on its work in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Be’er Sheva, which started in 2015. In 2014, he was awarded the inaugural  Genesis Prize, a $1 million award that annually recognizes an honoree who has attained excellence and international renown, and whose actions and achievements embody the character of the Jewish people through commitment to Jewish values, the Jewish community and/or the State of Israel. 

United for Mike is the national coalition of Jewish Americans who are supporting Mike Bloomberg 2020. As part of this outreach, Mike Bloomberg 2020 is announcing today that dozens of Jewish leaders from across the country will help build support for Mike’s candidacy by serving on the United for Mike Leadership Council. United for Mike will be hosting “Bagels for Bloomberg” events in communities around the country to share Mike’s record and vision with Jewish Americans.   

Members of the United for Mike Leadership Council include:


Ari Ackerman, Founded Bunk 1 national family camping portal. Incoming Co-Chair Young Leadership UJA-Federation of NY.

Alisa Doctoroff, Past president of UJA-Federation NY, current Chair of Jim Joseph Foundation. 

Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, Former head of the Rabbinical Assembly -- the National Union for the Conservative movement.

Marc J. Shapiro, Consultant to JP Morgan Chase & Co. Chairman of the Houston United Way Campaign.


Jack Bendheim, Chairman, President and CEO of PHIBRO Animal Health Corporation. Former Deputy Chair of AIPAC. 

Brian Bilzin, Founding partner of Bilzin Sumberg, a Miami based law firm. Former chair of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation.

Elise Scheck Bonwitt, Attorney and mediator based in Miami. Currently serves as the vice chairman of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation.

Matthew Bronfman, Chairman and CEO of BHB Holdings. Chair of AJC’s ACCESS young leaders program.

Mark Charendoff, Immediate past president of the Jewish Funders Network (JFN).

Martine Fleishman, Immediate past Regional Chair of UJA Federation of NY's Westchester Division.

Phil Goldfeder, Senior Vice President for Public Affairs at Cross River Bank. Former New York State Assemblyman. 

Jonathan Greenspun, Managing Director, Mercury. Former Commissioner of the Mayor Bloomberg’s Community Assistance Unit.

Harold Grinspoon, founder of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. Creator of the PJ Library.

Ezra Katz, Chief Executive Officer and founder of Aztec Group, Inc., the premier real estate investment and merchant banking firm in Florida. Former President of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. 

Fred Kreizman, Executive VP Capalino+Company. Former Board Member of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation.

Jeffrey Letwin, Chairman of Allegheny Port Authority, Co-chair steering committee to rebuild Tree of Life Synagogue and planned memorial. 

Bradley Laye, Past President and CEO of The Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas

Phil Levine, Former Mayor, Miami Beach. CEO Royal Media Partners.

Daniel Lubetzy, Founder and Executive Chairman, Kind, LLC. Co-founded the OneVoice Movement. 

David Nazarian, CEO/Founder Nimes Capital. Board Member of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Max Rose, NY Congressman (CD-11). Served as first lieutenant platoon leader in Afghanistan.

Peter May, President and Founder at Trian Partners; Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Trustees of The Mount Sinai Health System.

Marcia Ricklis, Executive Committee Member of UJA-Federation of New York.

Rabbi Yehuda Sarna, A graduate of the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, he has devoted his rabbinic career to working with students, including interfaith initiatives. Serves as the chief Rabbi of the United Arab Emirates.

Cindy Shapira, Chair of the Board of Governors of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. Immediate past chair of Jewish Federation, Pittsburgh.

John Shapiro, Immediate Past President, American Jewish Committee (AJC)

Nancy Spielberg, Nancy is a writer and film producer, including “Above and Beyond” and “Who Will Write Our History.” 

Dorothy Tanenbaum, Co-Chair of the Jewish Funders Network. Chair of the board of the Jewish Education Project, New York.

Jim Tisch, President and CEO Loews Corp. Past Chairman of the Board of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. 

Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, Well-known speaker and author of 16 books on Judaism, including the bestselling Jewish Literacy, The Book of Jewish Values, and The Rebbe. 

Enid Weisman, Mayor of Aventura, Florida. Dedicated educator. 

Patricia Halfen Wexler, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Starlight Ventures.

Sam Yebri, Partner at law firm of Merino Yebri LLP. Co-founder of “30 Years After,” a grassroots civic organization that has engaged thousands of Iranian-American Jews in American civic and Jewish life.

Richard Yulman, former chairman of Serta Mattress Company. Volunteer leader with the Greater Miami Jewish Federation.