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Volume 13, Number 25
July 06, 2010

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In This Issue
Steve in Newsweek
Iran Initiative
Israel Advocacy Initiative
Civility Campaign
Interfaith Coopearation
This Week in Washington
COEJL

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The JCPA Needs you!  With a nationwide network of JCRCs and Federations and the strength of 14 national Jewish organizations, the JCPA is the Jewish community's most effective advocate for the issues that matter most.  Our annual Leadership Appeal campaign seeks to raise $200,000 in 2010.  We know you care about the JCPA and the work that we do on behalf of the Jewish community here, in Israel and around the world.  Your support is crucial to our success.  To make a gift to the JCPA, please click here.  If you can multiply your gift by planing a parlor meeting in your home for friends and colleagues, contact Dana Hartman, Development Associate at 212.684.6953 or dhartman@thejcpa.org.

We thank you for your generous support!


About Us

The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) is the united voice of the organized Jewish community.

For more than sixty years, the JCPA has identified issues, formulated policy, developed strategies and programs, and given expression to a strongly united Jewish communal voice. JCPA's has an unparalleled capacity to mobilize grassroots activism, through our network of 14 national and 125 local member 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.


Our Supporters

Steve Gutow #20 Rabbi in newsweek
JCPA President Steve Gutow was named the 20th most influential Rabbi in America by Newsweek!  In their annual list of the 50 most influential Rabbis in the United States, Newsweek also honored rabbis from some of our member agencies and our leadership including rabbis Eric Yoffie, David Saperstein, Menachem Genack, Jack Moline, and Steven Wernick.

We congratulate not only these rabbis but all the rabbis named by Newsweek and those honored to learn from and with them.  To read the entire article, click here.
Iran Initiative

Obama Signs Iran Sanctions Bill into Law.  On July 1, 2010 President Barack Obama signed into law tough new sanctions intended to deter Iran from its pursuit of acquiring a nuclear weapon.  The president stated, "There should be no doubt. The United States and the international community are determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons."  The Jewish Council for Public Affairs' Rabbi Steve Gutow, president, and Josh Protas, Washington director, were among a select group of Jewish leaders and dignitaries invited to the White House on Thursday as President Obama signed the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act into law. Read the complete Washington Post article here.  To read the JCPA press release click here.

UJC of MetroWest Campaigns for Iran Divestment.  In June, UJC of MetroWest co-sponsored a bipartisan press conference on the state's most recent efforts to divest from companies that do business with Iran.  UJC of MetroWest also co-sponsored a rally, led by NJ teens, in front of the Honeywell headquarters.  "Honeywell has been targeted because it is the only company with headquarters in New Jersey doing business in Iran."  Read the UJC MetroWest press release on the bipartisan press conference here, and read the New Jersey Jewish News article on the rally here.

JCPA/Jewish Federations
Israel Advocacy Initiative

Chicagoans Hold Candlelight Vigil for Gilad Shalit.  On the eve of the 4th anniversary of Gilad Shalit's abduction by Hamas, 500 Chicago residents gathered at Chicago's Federal Plaza.  "Orli Gil, consul general of Israel to the Midwest, asked vigil participants to put themselves in the place of Shalit's family and loved ones. 'Imagine their fears, their hopes, their despair,' she said."  To read the complete story from the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago click here, and to watch a YouTube video of the vigil click here.

Israel Holds 14th Annual Exhibition on CleanTech.  Last week, the city of Tel Aviv hosted the 14th  International Summit and Exhibition for Renewable Energy and Water Technologies, Recycling and Environmental Quality, Infrastructure and Green Building.  The exhibition provides a platform for businesses, researchers and professionals to display new technologies and innovations in the world of Clean Technology.  Although a small country, Israel is seen as one of the world leaders for new, environmentally sustainable technology. Learn more about the CleanTech exhibition by clicking here

Civility campaign

Civility Campaign Kicks Off.  Last week, the JCPA launched our much anticipated Civility Campaign, building upon a resolution adopted earlier this year at the annual Plenum in February.  The resolution encourages continued disagreement and debate, but calls on all sides to avoid the acrimony and vitriol that has too frequently marred our current political environment. In a conference call led by JCPA Vice President Ethan Felson, and our new Civility Fellow Michelle Shaland, the 20 member Steering Committee of prominent and diverse lay, religious, and academic leaders, decided to move forward with the creation of four committees: 1) National Civility Code/National Consultation 2) Resources and Training for Jewish Institutions 3) Jewish Texts Study and 4) Inter-Group/Inter-Faith. 

The members of the Steering Committee are: Robert Siskin, Chair, Batya Abramson-Goldstein, Rabbi Saul Berman, Rabbi Rachel Cowan, Dr. David Ellenson, Louise Greilsheimer, Rabbi Doug Kahn, Geoffrey Lewis, Noam Neusner, Abby Rapoport, Jane Schiff, Dr. Carl Sheingold, Rabbi Melissa Weintraub, Dr. Jack Wertheimer, Professor Amy-Jill Levine, Blu Greenberg, Dr. Erica Brown, Rabbi Jack Moline, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, Dr. Conrad Giles, JCPA Board Chair, Ex Officio.

INTERfaith and intergroup cooperation
JCPA Senior Vice President Martin Raffel in Kazakhstan.  Last week, Martin participated as a public member of the US delegation in the OSCE high-level conference on tolerance and nondiscrimination in Kazakhstan's capital city, Astana.  On Wednesday, June 30, he presented a statement (" intervention") on the value of interfaith and intergroup coalition work (community relations) in reducing bigotry and stereotyping.  You can read an excerpt from his presentation here. The US delegation included former JCPA Executive Director Hannah Rosenthal, who now serves as the State Department's special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism, and Farah Pandith, the State Department's special representative to Muslim communities.  Also participating in the meetings as NGOs were officials from the ADL, AJCommittee, B'nai B'rith, and the NCSJ.
This Week in Washington
This Week in Washington. Members of Congress have returned to their districts this week for the July 4th recess.  When they return next week, they are expected to address lingering economic and unemployment concerns.  The Supreme Court finished their term last week and is not in session.  The President is in Washington this week and met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Obama and Netanyahu Meet in Washington.  On Tuesday this week, President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu met at the White House to discuss the peace process and Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons.  "The US will never ask Israel to take steps to undermine its security interests," said President Obama. "We are committed to Israel's security."  To read the complete Jerusalem Post story on the meeting click here.  To read the full White House transcript from the press conference click here.

Department of Justice Sues Arizona Over Immigration Law. This week, the US Department of Justice filed a suit in federal court to stop the implementation of the controversial immigration law passed in Arizona earlier this year.  Calling it unconstitutional, the government claims the law violates the "supremacy clause" in the constitution allowing federal law to supersede state law.  The law has been criticized by many for encouraging racial profiling.  Click here to read more. 
COEJL
EPA Rule Would Reduce Power Plant Pollution. A proposed pollution-reducing rule would target power plant pollution that drifts across the borders of 31 eastern states and the District of Columbia according to the Environmental Protection Agency. If enacted, the rule would reduce power plant emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides to meet state-by-state emission reductions. By 2014, combined with other EPA and state level actions, the rule would reduce sulfur dioxide emissions by 71 percent over 2005 levels and nitrogen oxide emission levels would drop by 52 percent.

Oil Coming Ashore Depends on Wind. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has modeled historical wind and ocean currents to project the likelihood that surface oil from the spill will impact US coastline.   The report states, "Whether or not oil comes ashore will depend upon wind and ocean currents at the time. In addition to these and other natural factors, booms and other countermeasures could be used to mitigate the actual coastal contact."  The model shows where oil may be likely to travel, thereby giving coastal states and communities information about potential threats of shoreline impacts. According to the report's modeling, the oil is more likely to move east than west and the coastlines most like to be impacted extend from the Mississippi River Delta to the western panhandle of Florida where there has been and will likely continue to be oil impacts.

Holding BP Accountable for Oil Spill Waste Management. The US Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a directive stating that BP will be held accountable for approved waste management plans and its efforts will be overseen by the EPA to ensure that waste is being properly handled and in compliance with EPA standards.
Contribute to JCPA

The JCPA Needs you!  With a nationwide network of JCRCs and Federations and the strength of 14 national Jewish organizations, the JCPA is the Jewish community's most effective advocate for the issues that matter most.  Our annual Leadership Appeal campaign seeks to raise $200,000 in 2010.  We know you care about the JCPA and the work that we do on behalf of the Jewish community here, in Israel and around the world.  Your support is crucial to our success.  To make a gift to the JCPA, please click here.  If you can multiply your gift by planing a parlor meeting in your home for friends and colleagues, contact Dana Hartman, Development Associate at 212.684.6953 or dhartman@thejcpa.org.

We thank you for your generous support!

Contribute Now!

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