Hoping to capitalize on President Bush's support of Israel, the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) revived its local chapter. The group held its first organizational meeting last month at Temple Bat Yahm in Newport Beach -- the county's most Republican-registered city and home of the Lincoln Club for locally prominent GOP insiders.
More than 100 Jewish Republicans heard from Matt Brooks, national director of RJC, which in 1998 sponsored then-candidate George W. Bush on a trip to Israel. The interest group's aim is to raise the awareness in elected officials about hot-button issues with American Jewry, says Scott E. Gluck, RJC's California organizer and former campaign deputy to defeated gubernatorial candidate Richard Riordan.
An earlier local chapter atrophied without committed leaders, says one political activist. The local GOP lists 24 other politically aligned groups, including Republican Arab Americans and Korean Americans.