The American Jewish Congress announced on Tuesday that it has picked Joel Rubin, who served as the liaison to the Jewish community for the Democratic presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), as its next executive director.

Rubin, 49, a co-founder of the American Jewish lobby group J Street, is AJCongress’s first Washington-based director in a decade.

Jack Rosen, president of the 102-year-old organization, said in a statement, “The Jewish community is facing significant risks, including to the safety of our community, the delegitimization of Israel and the rising tide of global hate that affects us all. At the same time, momentous domestic challenges, such as racial injustice, have not been effectively addressed. We American Jews understand what it means to advocate for a better world for both ourselves and our neighbors, and as we enter a new era in our organization’s history, I look forward to strengthening our presence on these critical issues with [this] hire.”

Rubin said he was “honored to join the American Jewish Congress and Jack Rosen at this critical inflection point in both our community and our country’s history. The American Jewish community has faced many significant challenges over the past century, and the American Jewish Congress has been at the forefront of resolving them. I’m excited to get to work in helping this great American Jewish institution to both confront the new challenges of our time and shape the Jewish voice of tomorrow.”

The vice mayor of Chevy Chase, Md., Rubin served as a legislative assistant to Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), and was a deputy assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs under U.S. President Barack Obama.

He downplayed criticism that the Sanders campaign had anti-Semitic surrogates, including Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), and former Women’s March leader Linda Sarsour.

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