Public Policy

Our Work

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce delivers a speech on Iran’s nuclear threat to the AJC Board of Governors Institute in Los Angeles.


AJC Los Angeles builds strong and enduring relationships with political and influential thought leaders at the local, state and national levels. Our advocacy efforts actively advance AJC’s policy agenda by championing domestic policies and legislation that advance Israel’s security, the well being of the Jewish people, and democratic values for all.

Our advocacy efforts include:

  • Countering anti-Semitism at home and abroad;
  • Strengthening Israel's security by advocating for aid for the Iron Dome missile defense system and other critical defense support;
  • Preventing a nuclear-armed Iran;
  • Promoting U.S. energy security and independence;
  • Combating the Boycott, Divestment, & Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel;
  • Advocating for bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform; and
  • Supporting legislative and judicial efforts to establish civil marriage equality for same-sex couples. 

Public Policy Committee

Ira Handelman, Co-Chair   Shelley Rivlin, Co-Chair  
Siamak Kordestani, Assistant Regional Director

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Member Senator Chris Coons addresses AJC Los Angeles on U.S.-Israel relations and Congressional efforts to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran.


Assemblyman Richard Bloom presents AJC Los Angeles President Dean Schramm and Chairman Cliff Goldstein with a resolution honoring the chapter on its 70th Anniversary.

AJC Los Angeles' Public Policy Committee advances the AJC’s policy and legislative agenda through outreach, advocacy, and by cultivating positive relationships with elected and appointed officials at the local, state, and federal levels. While AJC advocates for a wide range of issues critical to our mission, we currently focus on four priorities that are key to preserving a secure Jewish future and democratic values:

Iran's Nuclear Threat

AJC alerted the world to Iran’s nuclear aspirations years before many others recognized the threat. We continue to advocate for the denial of Iran’s nuclear capability through high-level global diplomacy and governmental channels. AJC actively promotes global support for heightened economic sanctions, increased political and diplomatic isolation, and for keeping all options credibly on the table. AJC Los Angeles addresses Iran's nuclear threat through advocating for increased sanctions at the local, state, and national level, through education and awareness campaigns with southern California thought leaders and with partnerships with ethnic communities concerned about the spread of nuclear weapons. 

Israel's Peace & Security

AJC’s diplomacy at the highest levels of government around the world promotes greater understanding and builds coalitions to support the security and standing of Israel. AJC Los Angeles strengthens Israel's peace and security through outreach, education and advocacy at the local, state and federal level.

Anti-Semitism at Home and Abroad

Jewish populations in Europe face the worst wave of anti-Semitism on the continent in a generation. At American universities, the BDS (Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions) Movement against Israel and campus anti-Semitism have fostered a climate where Jewish students do not feel welcome or secure. AJC Los Angeles combats anti-Semitism by engaging European diplomats to enact policies to protect Jews in Europe. AJC Los Angeles has played a significant role in working with the leadership of the University of California both to respond to anti-Semitism on UC campuses and to develop tangible steps to deter and prevent further expressions of on-campus anti-Semitism. 

Immigration Reform

National conflict over immigration undermines America’s strength and our country’s commitment to democratic and humanitarian values. With our shared immigrant experience, the Jewish people understand that upholding the rights of immigrants is vital to a strong America. AJC promotes a fair and just immigration policy consistent with our position that a strong America is vital for global freedom and security. AJC Los Angeles advocates for immigration reform through partnerships with civic and religious organizations that cross political and ethnic divides and through vigorous advocacy work with local, state and federal legislators.

Energy Security

AJC began advocating for a reduction in U.S. dependence on foreign oil in the 1970s. We continue to actively support legislation for diversifying fuel options, adopting more stringent fuel economy standards, and expanding exploration and development of domestic resources. AJC Los Angeles promotes energy security through policies that reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

For more information or to become involved with AJC-LA's Public Policy Committee, please contact Siamak Kordestani, Assistant Regional Director, at or (310) 282-8080.