Twenty-three Jewish organizations, including a variety of north suburban synagogues, are partnering in a 7:30 p.m. Monday candidate forum at B'nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim, 1201 Lake Cook Road in Deerfield. The North Shore Jewish Community Candidate Forum is the major Jewish community event of the general election cycle and includes contenders for Congress and Illinois state House and Senate.
The forum is non-partisan and all candidates were invited. Rep. Bob Dold (R-Ill.) declined because "unfortunately, we could not come to an agreement with the organizers over the format," Dold spokesman John McGovern said. A forum organizer told me they offered to change the format to Dold's liking because they wanted Dold to attend the event.
The meet-the-candidate forum is not a debate: questions--about Middle East and domestic issues-- were to be given to the candidates in advance with no follow-ups. The forum will be moderated by BJBE Rabbi Brian Stoller, a former press secretary for former Sen. Peter Fitzgerald (R-Ill.)
Jewish community issues play an important role in the 10th congressional district race, where Dold is running against Democrat Brad Schneider.
Dold and Schneider debated in a session broadcast Sunday on ABC7 Chicago sponsored with the League of Women Voters of Illinois. They also debated Sunday at Lake Forest High School.
McGovern noted that while Dold declined the Jewish community forum at BJBE, he has attended a variety of Jewish related events: most recently in September and October that included a JUF Leadership Reception in Washington; attending a Jewish National Fund Tree of Life Gala in Wheeling and meeting with AIPAC national committee members in D.C.; speaking at a congregation in Deerfield; and attending the North Suburban Synagogue Beth El Men's Club Candidate Forum.
Below, the lineup for the North Shore Jewish Community Candidate Forum
For U.S. House seat 9th District: Jan Schakowsky (D) -- Timothy C. Wolfe (R)
For U.S. House Seat 10th District: Brad Schneider (D).
For Illinois: Senate Seat 9th District: Glenn Farkas (R) -- Daniel Biss (D)
Senate Seat 29th District: Arie Friedman (R) -- Julie Morrison (D)
Senate Seat 30th District: Don Castella (R) -- Terry Link (D)
House Seat 16th District: Vincent Romano (R) -- Lou Lang (D)
House Seat 17th District: Kyle Frank (R) -- Laura Fine (D)
House Seat 18th District: Eric Lieberman (R) -- Robyn Gabel (D)
House Seat 57th District: Jonathan L. Greenberg (R) -- Elaine Nekritz (D)
House Seat 58th District: Mark Shaw (R) -- Scott Drury (D)
House Seat 59th District: Sidney H. Mathias (R) -- Carol Sente (D)