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Save Darfur
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JCPA speaks to you each week, alerting you to what the community relations field is doing to safeguard the rights of Jews here, in Israel, and around the world and to protect, preserve and promote a just, democratic and pluralistic American society. For three generations, we have brought together diverse voices in the Jewish community to unite a strong Jewish public policy force.

We hope you will continue to enjoy our three weekly emails.


About Us
The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) is the united voice of the organized Jewish community.  For over half a century, the JCPA has served as an effective mechanism to identify issues, formulate policy, develop strategies and programs, and has given expression to a strongly united Jewish communal voice. By virtue of the JCPA's unique position and structure, our ability to reach out and motivate Jews and non-Jews alike to action is unparalleled. Through our network of 14 national and 125 local equal and independent partner agencies, the JCPA serves as a catalyst that heightens community awareness, encourages civic and social involvement, and deliberates key issues of importance to the Jewish community.

JCPA was formally established as National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council (NJCRAC) in 1944 by the Council of Jewish Federations to be the public affairs branch of the organized Jewish community.  The name was changed to the Jewish Council for Public Affairs in 1997 to reflect more accurately the mission of the agency..

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Iran Initiative
Tehran Presses Moscow to Sell S-300. Iranian Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar met his Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov on February 17 in a bid to persuade Moscow into selling the Islamic Republic the state-of-the-art S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems. Russia's Kommersant newspaper reported that the two countries had already signed an $800 million deal for five of the systems, but Moscow had not yet decided whether to ratify the sale…Israel and the United States fear that were Iran to possess S-300 missiles, it would use them to protect its first nuclear power plant, now under construction at Bushehr by Russian contractors. That would make any potential military strike on the plant much more difficult. Read the full article from The Jerusalem Post here.
JCPA/UJC Israel Advocacy Initiative
Hamas Leader Meshal: No Shalit Deal Before Gaza Truce. Exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshal on February 17 accused Israel of thwarting Egyptian efforts to reach a truce in the Gaza Strip by adding conditions to the deal at the last minute. Meshal made his comments in reference to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's insistence that no truce could be reached with Hamas until an agreement has been set for the release of abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit. The Hamas leader said his group would not reverse its stance that the Gaza truce remain separate from any deal to release Shalit, who has been in Palestinian captivity since he was captured by Hamas-allied in a 2006 cross-border raid. To read the full article in Ha'aretz click here.

Laughter Proves the Best Medicine. When Sarhan Mahamid, an Israeli Muslim from Haifa was working as a medic for a private ambulance company, a doctor -- Prof. Michael Sudri at Rambam Hospital -- noticed Mahamid's special sense of humor. He recommend Mahamid to a medical clowning program, and since then he's gone on to become Israel's first Arabic-speaking clown, healing sick kids in Hebrew, Arabic, and gibberish. And he's doing a lot more than just clowning around.  His work at Schneider Children's Hospital in Petah Tikva, also breaks down borders between kids in the hospital when Arabs and Jews share a hospital room: "I can work with both Hebrew speaking and Arabic speaking kids," says Mahamid, known by his clown name 'Dr. Sarhio,' given to him by one of his young patients who couldn't pronounce Sarhan. Read the full story from Israel21c here.
Save Darfur
Sudan and Darfur Rebel Group Sign Accord.  The Sudanese government and the most formidable rebel group in Darfur have signed a declaration of intent paving the way for peace talks over the coming months, the Sudanese ambassador to the United Nations said Tuesday.  The rebel group, the Justice and Equality Movement, signed the accord with a representative of the Sudanese government after a week of talks in Doha, Qatar. The objective is a final peace agreement "within three months," said Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem, Sudan's ambassador to the United Nations in New York, adding that the talks were open to other rebel factions as well.  Click here to read the entire article from the New York Times.
This Week in Washington
This Week in Washington.  This week, President Barack Obama will visit Colorado and Arizona to discuss the next phase in his economic plan.  Members of Congress are in their districts this week for the Presidents Day Recess.  The Supreme Court will not hear oral arguments this week.

Economic Recovery Package.
On Friday, February 13th, the House passed the conference report of The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (HR 1) by a vote of 246-183, while the Senate cleared the package later that evening by a vote of 60-38.  According to estimates from the Congressional Budget Office, 74.2 percent of the bill's $787.2 billion total would go into the economy by the end of FY2010.  President Obama signed the package today in Denver.
JCPA Programs
JCPA Confirms US Attorney General Eric Holder to Address the 2009 JCPA Plenum.  On Monday, March 2nd, Attorney General Eric H. Holder will address delegates at the 2009 JCPA Plenum! Eric H. Holder Jr. was sworn in as the 82nd Attorney General of the United States on February 3, 2009 by Vice-President Joe Biden. President Barack Obama announced his intention to nominate Mr. Holder on December 1, 2008. In 1997, Mr. Holder was named by President Clinton to be the Deputy Attorney General, the first African-American named to that post. Prior to that, he served as U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. In 1988, Mr. Holder was nominated by President Reagan to become an Associate Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Mr. Holder, a native of New York City, attended public schools there, graduating from Stuyvesant High School where he earned a Regents Scholarship. He attended Columbia College, majored in American History, and graduated in 1973. He graduated from Columbia Law School in 1976. While in law school, he clerked at the N.A.A.C.P. Legal Defense Fund and the Department of Justice's Criminal Division. Upon graduating, he moved to Washington and joined the Department of Justice as part of the Attorney General's Honors Program. He was assigned to the newly formed Public Integrity Section in 1976 and was tasked to investigate and prosecute official corruption on the local, state and federal levels. Prior to becoming Attorney General, Mr. Holder was a litigation partner at Covington & Burling LLP in Washington. Mr. Holder lives in Washington with his wife, Dr. Sharon Malone, a physician, and their three children.

To register for the Plenum, please visit www.jcpaplenum.org.
Contribute to JCPA

JCPA speaks to you each week, alerting you to what the community relations field is doing to safeguard the rights of Jews here, in Israel, and around the world and to protect, preserve and promote a just, democratic and pluralistic American society. For three generations, we have brought together diverse voices in the Jewish community to unite a strong Jewish public policy force.

We hope you will continue to enjoy our three weekly emails.

Contribute Now!

Please consider a gift of $500, $100, or any other amount that you can, so that JCPA can enhance our efforts to provide information and resources to your community, and to mobilize our national network in support of Israel and of all the public issues we care about so dearly. Click here to make a contribution to the JCPA. Contributions can also be sent to JCPA, 116 E. 27th, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10016.

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