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Volume 13, Number 26
July 12, 2010

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In This Issue
Interfaith Encounter
Iran Initiative
Israel Advocacy Initiative
International Human Rights
Save Darfur
This Week in Washington
COEJL
JCPA Programs

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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.


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Interfaith Encounter
Presbyterian Church: Less Contentious Approach to Peacemaking.  For the past several months, both Jewish and Presbyterian leaders have worked together to combat several anti-Israel initiatives put forward at last week's General Assembly that were viewed as anti-Israel.  This effort represented a groundbreaking grassroots mobilization that involved JCRCs, rabbis, affiliates of national agencies and our Presbyterian allies across the country.  The Jewish Week, here, praised the JCPA's leadership in avoiding conflict, and instead engaging the Jewish community with the Presbyterians.  The compromise report is discussed in the Jewish Journal here.  A report by the LA Times highlighting the cooperation between Jewish and Presbyterian groups in reaching the compromise language can be read here.  The JCPA's statement, which was joined by 12 other national Jewish organizations, can be read here.  For a statement from Presbyterian leaders and other articles, visit our Facebook page, here
Iran Initiative

Iranian Government to Send Clerics into Schools.  In an attempt to quell political opposition and western influence, the Iranian Department of Education plans on sending 1000 clerics into its schools.  The move is seen as a response to the protests held last summer over the country's stolen elections, in which many of the country's youth participated.  "Last year's protests, Mr. Khoini said, showed that despite efforts to Islamize universities for several years, youths had already developed their own political and cultural views." Click here to read the complete New York Times article.


Op-ed: Iran Endangers Israel and the West.  Iran's attempt to infiltrate South America goes back to 1994 and it has opened six new embassies in the area during the last five years.  Throughout the years Iran has worked closely with Hezbollah cells in the region.  "By forging new and successful alliances in Latin America, most notably with Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, Tehran has gained an advantage it has never before enjoyed -- proximity to the United States."  Click here to read the complete op-ed from Daniel S. Mariaschin, Executive Vice President of B'nai B'rith International.

JCPA/Jewish Federations
Israel Advocacy Initiative
Obama and Netanyahu Meet in Washington.  Last week, President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu met in Washington, D.C. to discuss Iran, peace negotiations and nuclear technology.  President Obama made important statements on the U.S.-Israel relationship and Israel's security interests.  Robert Satloff of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy argues that "the real task of U.S.-Israeli relations in the weeks ahead is to build on Tuesday's success to align the two leaders' strategic priorities in advance of that critical decision."  Click here to read Robert Satloff's complete analysis of last week's meeting.

Israeli Government Publishes New Gaza Policy. 
In June, the Israeli Security Cabinet decided to revise its policy on the Gaza Strip in order to provide relief for the civilian population, while preventing the entry of weapons and other materials that can be used by the Hamas terror regime to harm the citizens of the State of Israel.  Click here to read the complete report on the new policy issued by the Prime Minister's Office. 
International Human Rights
Take Action for Global Women's Equality.  Take part in the Week of Action urging the Senate to ratify the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).  The United States remains the only democracy, and one of only 7 UN members, to not ratify this treaty in the 30 years since its adoption.  Women are still regularly denied economic, political, or even educational opportunities throughout the world, while still being subject to violence and abuse without even the chance for justice.  U.S. ratification of CEDAW is an important step in ending this discrimination.  To take action, the National Jewish Council of Women, a JCPA member agency, has a letter on their webpage you can sign and send to you Senator.  Click here today. 
Save Darfur
Second Warrant Issued to Sudan Leader for Genocide.  Today, Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a second warrant for the arrest Sudanese President, Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir, considering for three counts of genocide committed against the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups.  Al Bashir is accused of genocide by killing, genocide by causing serious bodily or mental harm and genocide by deliberately inflicting on each target group conditions of life calculated to bring about the group's physical destruction.  This second arrest warrant does not replace or revoke in any respect the first warrant of arrest issued against Al Bashir on 4 March 4, 2009.  For the full press release, click here.
This Week in Washington
This week in Washington.  Congress returns from the July 4th recess this week where they are expected to continue working on the Child Nutrition Reauthorization and financial regulation legislation.  The Supreme Court has ended their term for the summer and is not in session.  The President is in Washington this week.

Child Nutrition Reauthorization to be Considered in the House. 
The House Education and Labor Committee is expected to vote on their version of the Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill on Wednesday, July 14th. "The Improving Nutrition for America's Children Act of 2010", introduced by Chairman George Miller (D-CA) is expected to pass. The bipartisan bill enhances the nutritional quality of food served in school-based and preschool settings, and makes improvements to child nutrition programs including the school lunch program, school breakfast program, and summer feeding initiatives. In addition, the House version of the bill increases funding by approximately $8 billion over the next 10 years. Once passed out of Committee, funding for the bill needs to be identified before it can be voted on by the full House of Representatives. For more details on the legislation please see FRAC's summary of the bill here. In addition, click here to contact your Member of Congress and ask him or her to make a solid investment in child nutrition programs.

Mattis to Take Over CENTCOM.  Marine Corps General  James Mattis has been appointed by President Obama to replace General Dave Petraeus as head of the US Central Command (CENTCOM).  CENTCOM oversees all US military activities and personnel in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, including Iraq, Iran, and Pakistan (Israel is part of European Command).  Petraeus stepped down last month to take over direct command of the war in Afghanistan after General Stanley McChrystal was fired in the wake of controversial comments made about the Obama Administration. 
COEJL

Final Show Down on Energy Policy. The next three weeks present a final summer shot at getting energy and climate change legislation passed this year. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to meet with committee chairs this week to prepare for a floor debate. Three pieces are expected to be considered in the upcoming legislation - a response to the oil spill disaster, a clean-energy bill to boost renewable sources of energy, and a piece that COEJL's remained focused on to price greenhouse gas emissions by controlling the emissions of carbon dioxide. It is under discussion whether that  carbon cap would apply to utilities only, which contribute to 40% of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., or to the manufacturing sector as well. It is not clear when this week Senator Reid will hold his meeting, but the August recess continues to loom as an informal deadline for action on major legislation before the November elections.


Gulf Oil Spill Disaster Update. On Wednesday, the House Natural Resources Committee will vote on overhauling the regulation of offshore drilling in light of the Gulf of Mexico disaster. H.R. 3534, introduced by Chairman Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), would reorganize offices within the Department of the Interior in order to provide greater efficiency, transparency, returns, and accountability in the administration. The hearing will be webcast live on the Committee's website. On another note, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the federal government's appeal to reinstall the moratorium on offshore deepwater drilling. The appeal was previously rejected June 22 by U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman. While this technically makes it legal for drilling to resume, Thursday's ruling does not resolve the case. After Feldman overturned the moratorium in June, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced he would issue a new, refined moratorium that reflects offshore conditions. 

Interfaith Statement and Rabbinic Report Back on the Gulf - Friday at Noon. The Religious Action Center of the Reform Movement, a JCPA member agency, has an open online petition to write President Obama and express concern about the ongoing oil spill disaster in the Gulf. The petition identifies key points of action to ensure a comprehensive and effective response to the crisis. Go here to sign on.  You can also hear directly from the head of the Religious Action Center, Rabbi David Saprestein, as well as the head of the Conservative Movement's Rabbinical Assembly Julie Schonfeld this Friday, July 16th at Noon (9AM PST) as they talk about their recent interfaith trip to the Gulf of Mexico region. They will share their experience and help us better understand the ongoing impacts of the oil disaster and what we can do as Jews to help.  You can join the call by dialing (507) 726-4200 and using participant pass code 160219#. Please RSVP by Thursday, July 15th to dmarks@coejl.org.

JCPA Programs
News from the Mission to Birhmingham.  Last month, Jewish and African American representatives from communities across the country came together in Birmingham to discuss Jewish-African American community relations and new avenues for cooperation in areas like poverty reduction. The participants heard from speakers, relived the march across the famous Edmund Pettus Bridge taken by Dr. King, Rabbi Heschel,  and other activists, revisited the sites of the civil rights movement, and volunteered painting houses in the neighborhood. The relationships formed at this event are already leading to new cooperative projects in the home communities.  Click here to read news from the mission, as well as one of the participant's blogs and the JCPA's thoughts.
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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