JCRC Congratulates Minnesotan Thomas Nides on Being Named Next U.S. Ambassador to Israel
May 25, 2021
Minneapolis, MN – Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), issued the following statement congratulating Thomas Nides on being named the next U.S. Ambassador to Israel:
“The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC) congratulates Thomas Nides on being named the next U.S. Ambassador to Israel.
“Nides is a native of Duluth, MN, and a graduate of the University of Minnesota. His father, Arnold Nides, served as the president of Temple Israel Duluth and the Duluth Jewish Federation. Nides follows in an impressive line of Ambassadors from Minnesota including Charles Graves (Norway, 1905-06); Laurits Swenson (Norway, 1911-13, 1921-30); Eugenie Anderson (Denmark, 1949-54); Geraldine ‘Geri’ Joseph (Netherlands, 1949-53, Bulgaria 1962-64); Sidney Rand (Norway, 1980-81) Walter Mondale (Japan, 1993-96); Benson Whitney (Norway, 2006-09) and Samuel Kaplan (Morocco, 2009-13); and Samuel Heins (Norway, 2016-17).
“Senator Amy Klobuchar added: ‘Tom Nides grew up in Duluth and has been a good friend since we met as college interns for then-Vice President Mondale. In that job, Tom’s first assignment in governing was saving a Lake Superior fog horn for the City of Duluth. Since then he has served ably – and most importantly, optimistically – in many leadership positions, including at the State Department. During his time with the Obama administration, Tom distinguished himself as a key voice on Israel and an advocate for humanitarian support for U.S. allies. Now more than ever, we need an ambassador committed to fostering enduring peace and stability. I am confident that as ambassador, Tom will further the deep alliance between our two nations and our commitment to lasting prosperity in the region.’
“As we indicated in our letter Monday, there is a tremendous amount of work and need for American leadership in Israel and the Palestinian Territories. In concert with Secretary Anthony Blinken’s current visit to Israel, we hope that the appointment (and hopefully swift confirmation) of Mr. Nides will advance peace and security for Israelis and Palestinians.
“According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Nides is a Managing Director and Vice Chairman of Morgan Stanley. Nides also served as Deputy Secretary of State and Chief Operating Officer of the Department. Appointed by President Obama, he was sworn in on January 3, 2011. For his service, Secretary Hillary Clinton awarded him the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award in January 2013 – the nation’s highest diplomatic honor. Nides serves on several nonprofit boards including the International Rescue Committee, the Partnership for Public Service, the Atlantic Council, and the Urban Alliance Foundation. He is a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is the former Chairman of the Board of the Woodrow Wilson Center, a leading non-partisan think tank. He was appointed to the Chairman position in September 2013 by President Obama.
“Aaron David Miller, the JCRC’s annual event speaker in 2013, praised President Biden’s selection of Nides: ‘He went with a very smart, politically well-connected individual with plenty of government experience. A guy who has a real pro-Israeli sensibility but also is capable of the kind of detachment that is critically important to finding the balance in the U.S.-Israel relationship between protecting Israel’s interests and protecting ours.’
“We look forward to seeing Nides’ bring a Minnesota sensibility to Israel and the region. We wish him success in the position.”
Photo: Tom Nides speaks during the 2015 Concordia Summit in New York on Oct. 2, 2015. (Leigh Vogel/Getty Images North America via www.bnnbloomberg.ca/)
As the public affairs voice of the Jewish community, the JCRC fights antisemitism and prejudice, advocates for Israel, provides Holocaust education, promotes tolerance and social justice, and builds bridges across the Jewish and broader communities.