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Volume 13, Number 34
September 07, 2010

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In This Issue
Emergency Summit on Islamophobia
Iran Initiative
Israel Advocacy Initiative
Civility Campaign
This Week in Washington

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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.  For more information, contact Max Mulcahy at 212.684.9815 or mmulcahy@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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Emergency Summit ON Islamophobia
Religious Leaders Gather in DC to Discuss Islamophobia.  On Tuesday, Muslim, Christian, and Jewish religious leaders came together in Washington for an emergency summit on Islamophobia hosted by the Islamic Society of North America.  JCPA President Rabbi Steve Gutow attended along with  Rabbi David Saperstein of the Religious Action Center, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, Michael Kinnaman of the National Council of Churches, and Rev. Rich Cizik of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good.  The statement they released, which denounces the recent anti-Muslim bigotry and calls for a new era of interfaith cooperation can be read here
You can watch the comments from the religious leaders after their summit here
Iran Initiative
Russian Foreign Minister Urges Iran to Cooperate with IAEA.  Sergei Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister, has called for Tehran to behave with transparency and allow International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors to conduct their monitoring, without disruption.  "Clarity in all remaining issues of the Iranian nuclear program is not only necessary, but would also primarily serve the interests of Iran itself," Lavrov said.  "The report followed Iran's recent decision to strip two inspectors of the right to monitor its nuclear activities after they reported what they said were undeclared nuclear experiments." To read the complete article from the Jerusalem Post click here

Iran Pays $1,000 for Each U.S. Soldier Killed by the Taliban. 
The Sunday Times, a British newspaper, conducted an investigation which revealed that the regime in Tehran has been paying a bounty of $1,000 to Taliban forces for every American soldier killed, and $6,000 for each U.S. military vehicle destroyed.  The report "described how a man it said was a 'Taliban treasurer' had gone to collect $18,000 from an Iranian firm in Kabul, a reward it said was for an attack in July which killed several Afghan government troops and destroyed an American armored vehicle."  To read the complete report from MSBNC click here.
JCPA/Jewish Federations
Israel Advocacy Initiative

Resolve for Middle-East Peace.  In his blog on the Huffington Post, JCPA President Steve Gutow called for resolve to achieve the goal of two peaceful and secure states.  Citing the JCPA's joint statement with the American Task Force on Palestine, Rabbi Gutow said there can be a vocal middle committed to peace along with a strong need for continued US involvement.  The entire piece can be read here

Aluf Benn: Netanyahu Can Deliver Peace.  Aluf Benn, editor at large of Haartez, argues that Prime Minister Netanyahu is truly committed to establishing a peace agreement.  "He is usually depicted as a hard-liner, a hopeless ideologue burdened by a legacy of hawkish sound bites and shackled to a notoriously conservative coalition. But, contrary to popular wisdom, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is proving to be the most dovish leader that Israel has had in many years, one who is using military force cautiously and seeking, at long last, a diplomatic resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." To read Benn's complete op-ed in the Washington Post click here.

Positive Atmosphere after Commencement of Talks.  After last week's opening of direct talks between Palestinian and Israeli leaders, both sides are hopeful for Middle East peace. In a phone interview, Palestinian chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, stated that "the structure that has been agreed to is a good one." Prime Minister Netanyahu has "said that his country was ready for a historic compromise with the Palestinians and that he thought the Arab world would follow."  To read the complete article from the New York Times click here.

Civility Campaign

New Civility Website. The JCPA has launched a website for the Civility Campaign. It contains articles, resources, study materials, and best practices on civility. The site can be viewed at www.jewishpublicaffairs.org/Civility.   To submit materials for the site, please contact Michelle Shaland, JCPA Civility Fellow, at mshaland@thejcpa.org.  

Steering Committee Creation.  Since June, the JCPA Civility Campaign committee has been working diligently.  Building upon a resolution adopted at the 2010 JCPA Plenum, the committee is engaged in a range of activities to help foster a more civil discourse in our community as well as broader society.  The resolution encourages continued disagreement and debate, but calls on all sides to engage in respectful, civil discourse in open and safe arenas. A Steering Committee of prominent and diverse lay, religious, and academic leaders created four separate working groups:  1) National Civility Code/Covenant; 2) Resources and Training for Jewish Institutions; 3) Jewish Texts Study and Learning; and 4) Inter-Group/Inter-Faith Relations.

Chaired by Robert Siskin of Chattanooga, the committee includes Batya Abramson-Goldstein, Rabbi Saul Berman, Dr. Erica Brown, Rabbi Rachel Cowan, Dr. David Ellenson, Blu Greenberg, Louise Greilsheimer, Rabbi Doug Kahn, Mona Kolko, Prof. Amy-Jill Levine, Geoffrey Lewis, Rabbi Jack Moline, Noam Neusner, Abby Rapoport, Jane Schiff, Dr. Carl Sheingold, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, Rabbi Melissa Weintraub, Dr. Jack Wertheimer, JCPA Chair Dr. Conrad Giles and President Rabbi Steve Gutow.

JCPA President Rabbi Steve Gutow Calls for Civility in Reflecting on Relationship with Islam. In an article in The Washington Post "On Faith" last week, Rabbi Gutow discussed the recent anti-Muslim backlash in New York City in response to a proposal to build a mosque near Ground Zero. Citing a brutal stabbing of a Muslim taxi driver and desecration of a mosque's prayer rugs, Rabbi Gutow called for increased civility in public discourse: "We must find ways to treat one another with greater care and to debate issues with more civility." We must "do a better job of listening to one another and not just assuming the worst of those with whom we disagree." As Jews around the world celebrate the High Holy Days by reflecting on the past and setting goals for a better future, Rabbi Gutow invited all Americans to "look deeply into ourselves" and take a stand against bigotry, hate, and violence.

We invite you to view the full article here.

This Week in Washington
This Week in Washington.  Congress remains recessed until September 14th.  The President is in Washington this week where he will roll out a new stimulus plan which he announced during a brief visit to Milwaukee.

President Announces New Stimulus Plans.  Amid concerns at rising unemployment this week, the President announced plans to invest in and modernize our transportation infrastructure and cut taxes on businesses.  The infrastructure plan calls for $50 billion in new government spending on runways, roads, and railroad track paid for by a tax increase on oil and gas companies.  In another effort to stimulate the economy and create jobs in the short term, the President will also propose a series of new tax breaks or extensions aimed at encouraging small businesses to build, expand, and invest in research and infrastructure.  You can read more from the Washington Post here

JCPA Joins Faith Organizations to Discuss Child Nutrition with White House.  On Friday, September 3rd the JCPA, along with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, lead a meeting with officials from the White House, the Department of Agriculture and 15 faith organizations to discuss the Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill. This important piece of legislation expires on September 30th. The House is expected to debate and vote on their version of the bill when they return from August recess on September 13th. The Senate passed their version of the bill by unanimous consent at the beginning of August. Individuals are encouraged to reach out to their Members of Congress in a variety of different manners. For ideas on how to get involved please go here.

No Improvement on Jobless Numbers.  On September 3rd the Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report stating that the unemployment for the month of August remained almost unchanged at 9.6%. 14.9 million Americans are currently unemployed. Long term unemployment (those who have been jobless for 27 weeks or more) is at 6.2 million (a decline of 323,000 over the past month). The August unemployment numbers also reflect a loss of 114,000 government jobs, a result of the temporary workers hired for the census completing their work. For the full report please go here.

Rosh Hashanah greetings from the White House.
  In a video released on Tuesday, President Obama wished a Shanah Tovah to the Jewish community.  Reminding us of those without food or shelter, he called for "humility and compassion to deepen our faith and repair our world" as well as support and encouragement for the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.  His comments can be viewed 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.  For more information, contact Max Mulcahy at 212.684.9815 or mmulcahy@thejcpa.org.

We thank you for your generous support!

Contribute Now!

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