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Volume 13, Number 29
August 03, 2010

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In This Issue
Iran Initiative
Israel Advocacy Initiative
Save Darfur
This Week in Washington
COEJL
US Anti-Semitism Efforts

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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 an effective advocate for the issues that matter.  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

Iran Initiative
The Fight for Freedom in Iran. As tensions rise within Iran's Revolutionary Guard, and opposition grows from Iran's citizens, the end of Iran's oppressive regime is possible.  "All we in the West need to do now is become more vocal in our support of the Iranian people and their aspiration for freedom. We need to let them know we are on their side while applying much more pressure on the regime.  After more than three decades of repression, the Islamic government in Iran seems ready to implode."  Read the complete op-ed from Forbes here.

Australia Adopts New Iran Sanctions.  Joining the chorus of global sanctions imposed on Iran, Australia has imposed new, harsh sanctions on the regime.  "The new measures include travel and financial bans against more than 110 businesses and individuals in Iran's financial and transport sectors…. For the first time, Australia will restrict business with Iran's oil and gas sector."  Read the complete story from the Associated Press here.
JCPA/Jewish Federations
Israel Advocacy Initiative

IDF and Lebanon Clash on Border.  Violence broke out on the northern Israeli border with Lebanon on Tuesday.  The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) claimed that the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) opened fire on Israeli troops performing maintenance work on the border.  While Lebanon has claimed that Israel violated UN Resolution 1701 ending the 2006 war, Israel insists that the UN was informed of the border crossing.  Three Lebanese soldiers and a Lebanese journalist were killed.  Read more in the Jerusalem Post here.   See the IDF's statement here

Israel to Participate in U.N. Flotilla Panel.  After discussions with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Prime Minister Netanyahu has agreed to Israel's participation in a United Nations panel set to review the events of the flotilla incident.  Netanyahu stated that, "Israel has nothing to hide.  The opposite is true.  It is in the national interest of the State of Israel to ensure that the factual truth of the overall flotilla events comes to light throughout the world and this is exactly the principle that we are advancing."  Read the complete statement from the Prime Minister's Office here.

JCRC of Greater Washington Crushes Boycott.  In July, a call was made by anti-Israel activists in Maryland to boycott Ahava products at the beauty store, Ulta.  JCRC of Greater Washington quickly organized supporters of Israel to buy Ahava products, including Rona Kramer, a state senator.  Arielle Farber, Director of Israel and International Affairs for the Community Relations Council stated, "they cleaned the shelves out. It was the best Ahava sales weekend the store has ever seen. They had to order an expedited shipment."  Read the complete article from the Jerusalem Post here.

New Video Shows the True Side of the BDS Campaign.  Proponents of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement mask their true intentions as a campaign for peace.  A recent video from StandWithUs exposes the real motivation behind this campaign - the destruction of a sovereign, Jewish state.  View the video here

Welcome to the Tribe, Amar'e.  One of the NBA's biggest stars, Amar'e Stoudemire, is traveling in Israel to discover his Jewish roots.  Just before his flight, Stoudemire tweeted the following message, "This is going to be a great trip. The holy land. Learn about it…ze ha'halom sheli" Hebrew for "this is my dream."  Read more about Stoudemire's discovery of his Jewish roots here.

Save Darfur
U.N. extends Darfur peacekeeping mission.  The United Nations Security Council has renewed the mandate of its mission in the Darfur region of Sudan for another 12 months.  The Security Council heard a report earlier this week from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that fighting has intensified between rebel groups and the Sudanese government. May was deadliest month in Darfur since the U.N. mission deployed there three years ago, and violent incidents in recent months have surpassed the bloodshed in the same period last year.
This Week in Washington

This Week in Washington.  The House adjourned last week for their August recess.  The Senate is in session this week and is expected to vote on Elena Kagan.  President Obama will visit Atlanta and Chicago this week.  

Confirmation Expected for Elena Kagan.  The Senate is planning to hold a vote to confirm President Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan, this week.  If confirmed, Kagan, the current Solicitor General, would replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.  Her nomination has been endorsed by a bipartisan group of Senators.  

"Fair Sentencing Act".  Representatives from the JCPA's Washington office will be in attendance this week at the Department of Justice for a reception horning the enactment of  the Fair Sentencing Act.  Congress passed the act last week, in a move aimed to close the current gap in penalties  between powder and crack cocaine.  Under current law, one convicted of possession of crack receives a far harsher punishment than an equal amount of powder cocaine, a disparity that has fallen principally on minorities.  Ten years ago,  JCPA adopted a resolution calling on Congress to close this disparity in sentencing.  
 
Senators Call Attention to Need for Child Nutrition Legislation. 
Last Thursday, Senator Lincoln (AR-D), Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, held a bi-partisan press conference in support of the Senate's version of the Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill, The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (S.3307). Senator Lincoln,  joined by Senators Lugar (R-IN), Leahy (D-VT), Carper (D-DE), Casey (D-PA), and Klobuchar (D-MN), as well as advocates from the anti-hunger and nutrition community, encouraged Senate Leadership to vote on the bill as soon as possible. There is a chance that the Senate will vote on this legislation prior to adjourning for August recess.

First Lady Michelle Obama wrote an op-ed in Monday's Washington Post supporting the child nutrition bills and calling on Congress to vote on the bill quickly. A copy of the op-ed can be found here.


The JCPA and our partners in the faith community sent a letter to Congressional Leadership today, encouraging them to allocate funding and vote on the bill before the September 30th deadline. A copy of the letter can be viewed here.

Additionally, the JCPA and our faith community coalition partners are circulating a sign-on letter to Joshua DuBois, Executive Director of the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships regarding the child nutrition bill. We hope that Dubois will encourage President Obama to forcefully advocate for this legislation . To view the letter please go here. The letter can be signed by both national and local faith organizations. To sign the letter please send your organizations full name to Elyssa Koidin, ekoidin@thejcpa.org, by COB Wednesday, August 25th.

COEJL
Gulf Coast residents may get a citizen's oversight council to oversee the oil industry. The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation completed markup of the "Securing Health for Ocean Resources and Environment Act"  last week.  Among its requirements would be the creation of Regional Citizens Advisory Councils, the same kind of local community oversight that was established in Alaska's Prince William Sound following the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill. The bill would mandate that the councils-which give communities the power to question drilling and production activities-be set up with funding from the industry, as happened when councils in Prince William Sound and Alaska's Cook Inlet were established 20 years ago.

BP Well-Plugging Effort Stalled. Last Friday, the government's point man for the Gulf oil spill said there has been a delay in a procedure that would help stop the gusher for good. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said debris was found in the bottom of the relief well and it would need to be removed before the work is completed. "It's not a huge problem, but it has to be removed before we can put the pipe casing down," Mr. Allen said. The sediment settled there last week when crews installed a plug to keep the well safe ahead of Tropical Storm Bonnie. They found it as they were preparing for the static kill. They had hoped to start the static kill as early as Sunday, but removing the debris will take 24 to 36 hours.

Rabbis to Join for Discussion on Programming for Parashat Noach and High Holidays. On August 9th, COEJL will host rabbinic leaders from five major Jewish religious streams (Orthodox, Reconstructionist, Conservative, Reform and Renewal) in a conference call to discuss Jewish environmental concepts and provide resources for sermons and programming for parashat Noach and the coming high holidays. The goal is to help leaders engage their communities on Jewish environmental and energy issues. The call will be chaired by Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb of Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation in Bethesda, MD. Rabbinic leaders are invited to join in the call to share their ideas, success stories and experiences. For those rabbinic leaders who would like to participate in the call, please contact COEJL's Program Director, David L. Marks for more details at: dmarks@coejl.org
follow Us anti-semitism efforts
Hannah Rosenthal on Facebook.  Former JCPA head and current US Special Envoy for Anti-Semitism, Hannah Rosenthal, is on Facebook.  Her page is a great resource for learning about ongoing US efforts to combat global anti-Semitism.  You can see it here
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 an effective advocate for the issues that matter. 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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