Ari Fleischer

Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer will visit Northeast Ohio to discuss the importance of the Republican share of the Jewish vote during a special town-hall event on Wednesday, Oct. 2.

The Republican Jewish Coalition is sponsoring the event, titled "A Blueprint for Victory: How to continue making inroads in the Jewish community and what the lessons of 2012 mean for the future." The program will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Embassy Suites in Beachwood.

After working as press secretary for 2 1/2 years under President George W. Bush, Fleischer joined the Republican Jewish Coalition board. He said he is a big believer in the cause of the organization.

"I'm a minority in a minority community," Fleischer said. "I'm a Republican in the Jewish community, but it's actually a sneakily growing community."

The Republican share of the Jewish vote jumped nationally from 22 percent to 32 percent in 2012, a nearly 50-percent increase from 2008 and the largest gain for Republicans since 1972. Fleischer credits this large increase to the grassroots effort of the Republican Jewish Coalition during the 2012 presidential campaign, which included extra outreach to voters in battleground states.

"It was highly targeted to Jewish percents in the battleground areas," Fleischer explained. "I think it's one of the reasons (presidential candidate George) Romney was able to reach a record-breaking high of Jewish votes in modern politics. Republicans could learn a lesson from the Republican Jewish Coalition about how to win votes in groups that are not bedrock Republicans."

During the event Fleischer, along with Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matt Brooks, will also discuss conflicts in the Middle East and America's role in Middle Eastern countries such as Syria.

"I hope people will learn how important it is to be resolute as a nation, and how particularly in the Arab Middle East it's important for America to be seen as a leader that means what it says. That's how the peace is set," he said.

Fleischer said he hopes there will also be time to take questions from members of the audience.

"(The) RJC is a very grassroots organization. To be successful you've got to go out and meet people, bring in new people and communicate. You want to hear directly from people, you want to hear what's on their minds," he said.

kmott@cjn.org

WHAT: "A Blueprint for Victory: How to continue making inroads in the Jewish community and what the lessons of 2012 mean for the future."

WHEN: Wednesday, Oct. 2 at 7:30 p.m.,

WHERE: Embassy Suites, 3775 Park East Drive, Beachwood

WHO: Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer and Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matt Brooks

MISC: RSVP required. To register, call Barbara Efraim at 202-349-9586 or email befraim@rjchq.org.

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