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JCPA Insider
Volume 12, Number 25
July 13, 2009

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In This Issue
Iran Initiative
JCPA/UJC Israel Advocacy Initiative
Save Darfur
AMIA Bombing
This Week in Washington

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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
Rights Group Concerned about Fate of Iran Protesters. An international human rights group said July 12 that an Iranian family only learned of the death of their 19-year-old son weeks after he was shot during a demonstration against the country's disputed presidential election. The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said that raised concerns about the fate of what it said were dozens and possibly hundreds of other Iranians who went missing in the postelection turbulence and remain unaccounted for. According to the official death toll given by Iranian police, at least 20 protesters and seven members of the pro-government Basij militia were killed in the unrest that followed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed June 12 re-election. It was unclear if the death revealed Sunday was counted among them. Read the article from AP here.
JCPA/UJC Israel Advocacy Initiative
Israel Gets Ready for Maccabiah Opening Celebrations. Final preparations were underway Monday for the official opening ceremony of the 18th Maccabiah Games, the "Jewish Olympics" that takes place every four years in Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres will be the guests of honor at the opening festivities at the Ramat Gan national stadium. Some 7,300 athletes from more than 50 countries are participating in the games, which will run until July 27. Read the article from Ha'aretz here.

Abbas Says He Won't Meet Netanyahu. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated on Sunday his refusal to resume peace talks with Israel unless Binyamin Netanyahu's government accepted the two-state solution and agreed to freeze all construction in the settlements in the West Bank. Abbas's remarks came in response to an appeal from Netanyahu made during the Sunday cabinet meeting in which the Israeli prime minister called for the two leaders to revive the stalled peace process. Abbas was speaking to reporters in Ramallah after meeting with visiting Romanian President Traian Basescu. "Israel must recognize the two-state solution and stop all settlement activities in order to resume peace talks over final status issues," Abbas said. "The final status issues are settlements, Jerusalem, borders, refugees, water, security and prisoners."  Click here for an article in the Jerusalem Post.
Save Darfur
New Jersey Coalition Responds to the Crisis in Darfur:  Purchase Solar Cookers - End Violence Against Women.  The NJ Coalition is a diverse group of organizations, religious, university, school and grass roots advocates that was formed to provide a network for education and advocacy efforts to address the Genocide in Darfur.  In the fall of 2008, as the Genocide entered its 6th year, the coalition launched a state wide humanitarian project to "adopt" the Oure Cassoni refugee camp in Chad. The Solar Cooker Project, developed by Jewish World Watch, was the model for its work. JWW became a partner in receiving monies raised throughout the state and providing for the distribution within the camps. With the endorsement, by Proclamation, of Governor Jon Corzine, the coalition developed a network for the publication of the Solar Cooker Project.  Schools across the state responded with curriculum developed through the coalition's Genocide Instructional Guide, and with Solar Cooker fund raising events as part of student advocacy and citizenship. Over $30,000 has been raised, and projects continue to be developed.  It is important for other state groups to use these resources to educate, advocate and support fund raising for Solar Cookers. As the crisis continues, we must continue to assure that the innocent people of this tragic and long lasting genocide know that we have not forgotten.

Please visit the New Jersey Darfur Coalition website www.njdarfur.org, to read more about the Solar Cooker Project and how your community can become involved. 
amia bombing
AMIA Bombing Anniversary.Saturday, July 18, is the anniversary of the 1994 terrorist bombing of the AMIA headquarters in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people and injured hundreds.
This Week in Washington

This Week in Washington.  This week, Congress is in session and will consider several large pieces of legislation, including two appropriations bills and the Department of Defense Authorization bill.  The President returns from his foreign travels this week.  On Monday he will meet with key Jewish leaders including JCPA Chair Andrea Weinstein at the White House.  The Supreme Court has adjourned for the term and will return to session in October.

Sotomayor Hearings.  The Senate Judiciary Committee will consider the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor as the Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.  Sotomayor was nominated by President Barack Obama to replace Justice David Souter.  She has served as a Federal District Court Judge and is currently a Judge on the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.  Further information about Judge Sotmayor and her nomination can be found on JCPA's Sotomayor Nomination website.

Hate Crimes.  Senator Harry Reid promised that the Senate will consider the Mathew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act before the August recess.  Currently, the Senate is scheduled to recess on August 10th.   The exact timing of hate crimes bill remains a bit unclear.  This legislation has been a top priority for JCPA for the past decade.  It has been approved by the House and Senate numerous times, but has never been signed into law.  This year, the House voted 249-175 in favor of this bill.  

TAKE ACTION:  Urge your Senators to Support the Mathew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act!  E-mail your Senators by clicking here.

For more information about this bill, please visit JCPA's STOP THE HATE website.

Healthcare. The timeline for healthcare reform continues to change as the House and Senate try to build consensus for one of the President's biggest legislative priorities. The House had initially indicated that they would unveil their full healthcare bill at the end of last week, but concerns raised by Blue Dog Democrats have delayed the process. The timeline in the Senate has also been adjusted. The Senate Finance Committee had initially signaled that they would mark-up their bill (which includes how to pay for healthcare reform and changes to Medicare and Medicaid) before the July 4th recess, and the re-scheduled mark-up that was thought to take place this week is now expected to be moved to the end of July. Instead, this week, the Senate Finance Committee will continue discussions about how to find the revenue to pay for healthcare reform. Once the Finance Committee finishes marking up, the Senate must negotiate a compromise between that bill and the proposal from the Senate HELP Committee, before sending the combined version to the Senate floor where it must garner 60 votes.

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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