Remarks by Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves at the Jewish American Leaders Convening

Dec 7, 2023

Remarks by Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves at the Jewish American Leaders Convening
Thu, 12/07/2023 – 10:54

Investing in communities and workers


Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Office of Public Affairs

Hello everyone! Thank you all for joining us at Department of Commerce for our Jewish American Leaders Convening.

I’d like to first acknowledge the work for our Office for Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships in making today’s convening possible and ensuring that the voices of this community are being heard, listened to, and respected.

I grew up in a Black household on the east side of Cleveland, where a large, vibrant Jewish community also resided. Our families went to the same schools, lived in the same neighborhoods, and embraced one another in fellowship.

In fact, my dad’s closest friend Martin Lax – who I lovingly referred to as an “uncle” – was a survivor of the Holocaust who used the shared power of our communities for the cause of good.

He was emblematic of the larger history of Jewish Americans standing alongside African-Americans in times of strife – in the face of issues like community redlining, along with other acts of hate and discrimination. It’s a legacy that makes me proud to stand with you all today. 

I know that in recent days, our world has faced innumerable challenges both at home and abroad – challenges that impact your community and loved ones especially – making today’s dialogue all the more important.

The Department of Commerce is, and will always be, an ally and a partner in ensuring that hate and bigotry are called to account and that your economic prosperity is safeguarded for generations to come.

Today, we are excited to write a new chapter in America’s economic story, one that celebrates the contributions of Jewish Americans – your fortitude, your love of community, and your enterprising spirit – that have been instrumental in the success of this country. We at Commerce want to ensure that this rich legacy has what it needs to expand and grow.

President Biden understands better than anyone what it means to build an economy that works for everyone. It means training a diverse and skilled 21st-century workforce, promoting job growth in underserved communities, investing in critical and emerging technologies that will supercharge our economy, ensuring that all communities are connected to affordable high-speed internet, and so much more.

And what we need to achieve this vision is partnership. You are the beating heart of all of this work and the reason why it will continue to thrive. As we keep creating opportunities – from grants to apprenticeships to resources and training – your collaboration and ingenuity will play a central role.

I and the rest of the Biden-Harris Administration believe in the power of our communities in realizing President Biden’s economic vision. And today’s convening is a prime example of what happens when our communities work together: we create solutions and shape outcomes that will make this country stronger and more prosperous than ever.

So throughout today’s convening, please do not hesitate to seek out our team in the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships for any questions you might have and also to let us know how our work can better help you. We want to make sure that our resources are available to you when you need them most.

I look forward to our continued partnership.

Bureaus and Offices

Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

Read the full report from the U.S. Department of Commerce: Read More