Jewish, Latino leaders convene unity summit

In the past several years there have been significant efforts to bring Latinos and Jews closer together, particularly in the legislative and advocacy fields.

"With the input of the participating Jewish and Latino leaders, we hope to identity a common agenda and to outline a cooperative framework for years to come," said Dina Siegel Vann, B'nai B'rith's director of Latin American affairs.

"This summit will continue efforts we've already started, including last summer's Capitol Hill dialogue between Jewish and Latino members of the U.S. House of Representatives," said Siegel Vann. "These two communities can work together, not only out of self-interest, but mutually to strengthen the democratic nature of U.S. society."

The program will feature former U.S. Secretary of Housing Henry Cisneros; U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas), chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus; Rabbi Mark Schneier, president of the Foundation for Ethical Understanding; Daniel S. Mariaschin, executive vice president of B'nai B'rith International; noted Hollywood producer and chair of the New America alliance, Moctesuma Esparza; and Elliott Abrams, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and former assistant secretary of state for Latin America.

Other Latino and Jewish academics, national news media representatives, diplomats and prominent Jewish and Latino leaders also will participate.