One of the most impactful moments in Benjamin Gettler’s life was his first trip to Israel in 1965, where he realized he could sit idle while his people in Israel needed support from the United States. President Jimmy Carter’s stance against supporting Israel was one of the major factors leading to Gettler’s position as a devoted republican. Gettler also knew Ronald Reagan from his previous time working for the Screen Actor’s Guild, and was able to rally strong Jewish support for Reagan. This support contributed to Reagan winning the Presidency in 1980. Gettler himself was an avid fan of President Reagan. He traveled with his wife Dee for Reagan’s inauguration, and twice was invited to visit with President Reagan at the White House. On one occasion, Gettler was able to get to President Reagan’s candy jar and take some jelly beans, which he kept for the rest of his life.
Gettler supported, corresponded with, and befriended many republican politicians, including Jack Kemp, Conrad Burns, Rob Portman, Steve Forbes, and Brad Wenstrup. He attended every Republican National Convention from 1980-1992, and was regularly called upon for campaign contributions or campaign leadership roles. His connections to politicians helped him to move agendas important to the Jewish Community, in particular JINSA, as well as gave him an ability to voice his concerns of legislation that would affect his business.
After his death on June 4, 2013, United States Representative Brad Wenstrup delivered a touching tribute to his friend before the House of Representatives, recalling their time together playing pickup basketball, Gettler’s philosophies, and honoring his legacy of philanthropy and political participation.