GOP conference to meet in &mdash yes &mdash S.F.

For the first time in its history, the Republican Jewish Coalition will hold its California state conference in San Francisco.

"We chose San Francisco because our Northern California chapter is growing and we want to continue to build it," said Larry Greenfield, the California director of the RJC and a Los Angeles resident.

There are 10 RJC chapters in the state. The Northern California chapter, which started about five years ago with a few dozen members, now has 1,500.

The conference will be held April 4 to 6 at the Hotel Kabuki on Post Street. It begins with a Shabbat dinner April 4, followed by two days of panel discussions, lectures and question-and-answer sessions.

Speakers will include Ron Nehrin, California Republican Party chairman; Evan Sayet, conservative pundit and humorist; Debra Saunders, San Francisco Chronicle columnist; and authors David Meir Levi, Daniel Pipes and David Frum.

"David Frum is a wonderful Jewish intellectual," Greenfield said. "We've really organized quite a range of topics, speakers and discussions."

The evening of April 5, the RJC has planned a banquet dedicated to celebrating Israel's 60th birthday.

Greenfield also predicted there will be a lot of informal discussion about John McCain's viability in the upcoming presidential election.

"The conference is really meant to attract a range of demographic groups, all interested in the rising Jewish conservative movement," Greenfield said.

Many Jewish Republicans are former Democrats who have moved right of center, even in the Bay Area, he said.

"Yes, the Bay Area has a more prominently left-wing culture, but not necessarily among the Jewish community," Greenfield said.

"I think the growth of the RJC in the Bay Area has benefited from a strong antithesis to how far the left has gone with anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism and anti-Americanism.

"We're a natural home for disaffected Democrats."

The three-day RJC conference costs $345. For a complete schedule and to register, call the Los Angeles Republic Jewish Coalition office, (310) 478-0752 or email [email protected].

Stacey Palevsky

Stacey Palevsky is a former J. staff writer.