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Volume 13, Number 37
September 27, 2010

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In This Issue
Fighting Poverty With Faith
Iran Initiative
Israel Advocacy Initiative
Civility Campaign
Midterm Election Guide
This Week in Washington
JCPA Programs

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About JCPA

JCPA Homepage

Insider Archives

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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.

Our Supporters

Fighting Poverty with Faith
Join us for the Fighting Poverty with Faith kick-off conference call on Tuesday, October 5 at 3pm!  Learn about the mobilization and hear featured speakers Joshua DuBois, Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and Martha Coven, from the White House Domestic Policy Council, speak about the role of faith-based organizations in fighting poverty and how you can get involved.  And following the speakers, keep listening for Rabbi Steve Gutow's closing reflection.

The call-in number is 1-888-690-8774.

Fighting Poverty with Faith is a diverse coalition of national and local faith organizations dedicated to cutting domestic poverty in half by 2020.  To accomplish this goal, we are working aggressively to focus new attention to the causes of poverty, highlight strategies to reduce poverty, and create economic opportunities.  The mobilization is led by the Jewish Council for Public Affairs.  For more information, visit www.fightingpovertywithfaith.com.
Iran Initiative
33 Delegations Walk Out of Ahmadinejad Speech.  In his speech to the United Nations General Assembly, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad suggested that the United States was responsible for the September 11 attacks.  "President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran made a series of incendiary remarks in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, notably the claim that the United States orchestrated the Sept. 11 attacks to rescue its declining economy, to reassert its weakening grip on the Middle East and to save Israel.  Those comments prompted at least 33 delegations to walk out, including the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Costa Rica, all 27 members of the European Union and the union's representative, diplomats said."  To read the complete article in the New York Times, please click here.  "In a television interview with the BBC's Persian-language satellite channel on Friday, President Barack Obama called remarks made by Iran's president, suggesting that the American government was responsible for the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, 'inexcusable.' Asked about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's claim that most of the world believes that  'some segments within the U.S. government orchestrated' the attacks, Mr. Obama told the network, which reaches an estimated 3 million viewers inside Iran: 'It was offensive. It was hateful. And particularly for him to make the statement here in Manhattan, just a little north of ground zero, where families lost their loved ones - people of all faiths, all ethnicities, who see this as the seminal tragedy of this generation - for him to make a statement like that was inexcusable.'"  To learn more about the interview from the New York Times, please click here.  To read the JCPA statement on Ahmadinejad's speech, "U.N. General Assembly Is No Place for Hate," please click here.

Iran180 Hosts Press Conference to Protest Iranian Policies.  While Iranian President Ahmadinejad addressed a UN meeting, IRAN180, an initiative of the New York JCJRC, organized a press conference with top political officials and community leaders.  New York Senator Kirstin Gilibrand stated that more must be done to stop the Iranian regime from obtaining a nuclear weapon.  "The senator announced that she will be introducing new legislation, The Gulf Security and Iran Sanctions Enforcement Act, which brings a new level of public and government scrutiny to the activities of the Iranian government and multinational companies doing business with Iran."  To read the complete press release from Iran180, click here.  To learn more about Iran180 and visit their website, visit http://www.iran180.org/
JCPA/Jewish Federations
Israel Advocacy Initiative
Netanyahu Discusses Peace with American Jewish Leaders.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed ongoing peace talks in a conference call hosted by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.  The prime minister discussed the various challenges of the peace talks, and his determination to establish a solution within a year. "We got rid of the preconditions before the talks.  We can't reintroduce them five minutes after the talks begin.  We have to sustain a negotiation.  My goal is to reach a framework agreement with the Palestinians within one year."  To read Prime Minister Netanyahu's complete remarks, click here.  

Israel Still Working in Haiti.  Eight months after the 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, killing 230,000 people, Israeli organizations are still hard at work.  One of the first countries on the ground to provide aid, "Israeli NGOs, government bodies, and specialists in education, medicine and health, have all been visiting the country on a regular basis in an effort to help restore the country, already known as one of the poorest in the world even before the earthquake."  To read the complete report of Israeli humanitarian aid in Haiti from Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, click here.
Civility campaign
JCPA Consultation on Civility. The JCPA Civility Campaign was launched in February 2010.   Building upon a resolution adopted at the JCPA Plenum, the campaign seeks to convene, inspire, and empower Jewish community institutions and their leaders from across the political spectrum to engage in and model for others civil discourse on the most challenging issues.  The JCPA will a Consultation on Civility on Monday, November 1, 2010 from 2:00-3:30 p.m. The event will be held at UJA-Federation of New York. More information can be found at the JCPA webpage here.

Interfaith Conference Calls for Tolerance, Respect, and Civility.
On September 10, the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee released a statement calling for increased tolerance, respect, and civility amid a rise of anti-Muslim bigotry. Groups joining the statement included the Islamic Society of Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Jewish Council for Community Relations, the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, the Presbytery of Milwaukee, and the Milwaukee Archdiocese. Citing the recent protests, acts of vandalism, arson, and threats, the group called for people to "stay true to the democratic ideals and religious principles that ennoble all of us." In its calling for "tolerance, civility, reasoned discourse, and mutual respect," the group reiterated its mission to "uphold the dignity of every person and the solidarity of the human community."   Their statement can be viewed here.  
midterm election guide
The JCPA is pleased to share "Jewish Values in Action", an engagement manual for the coming elections in November.  This guide is a useful tool for working with your community to prepare for the elections.

Included in the guide are sections on JCPA policies, programming resources, talking points on voter engagement, sample programs, election rules for non-profits, and more. The coming weeks are an important time to organize our communities and voters, and meangingfully engage our candidates.  We hope that you will find this voting guide a useful and valuable resource in your work.

The guide can be found online here.
This Week in Washington

This Week in Washington.  This is expected to be the last week of session for Congress before they recess for the midterm elections in November.  President Obama is in Washington this week.

Child Nutrition Expiration Nears. On September 30, many important anti-hunger programs, including school lunch, are set to expire.  Congress is currently considering legislation to extend these programs.  The Senate unanimously passed the The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (S. 3307) at the beginning of August.  Now the House of Representatives is considering the legislation.  This bill makes a number of improvements to nutritional quality of the programs and designed to help reach President Obama's goal to end childhood hunger by 2015.  Previous versions of this legislation were more aggressive in expanding access to the program to ensure that all children received nutritious meals.  Congress has proposed decreasing SNAP benefits (formerly known as food stamps) to offset part of the cost of the new child nutrition program.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell and DREAM Act. Last week, the Senate voted not to proceed to debate of the annual Defense Authorization bill.   The Senate version of the Defense Bill, included a provision that would repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy and allow gay and lesbian service members to serve openly in the military.  Additionally, Senate Democrats also planned to offer the DREAM Act as an amendment to this legislation.  The DREAM Act would provide a pathway to citizenship for children of undocumented immigrants who have completed high school in the United States and attend college or join the military.  The Senate may try to address this legislation again after the midterm elections during the 'lame duck' session.  Congress has approved a Defense Authorization bill every year for the past several decades.  

Steve Gutow joins President Obama for Healthcare Call.  Last week, JCPA President Rabbi Steve Gutow joined President Barack Obama, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and community and faith leaders from around the country to discuss new benefits of the healthcare reform bill.  During the call, Rabbi Gutow raised the topic of families in poverty struggling with healthcare costs and was given the opportunity to ask about increased access for preventative care for families under the new law. To read more about what was discussed on the call, you can read the Fact Sheet from the White House here.

What caused the BP oil spill?  National Incident Commander Thad Allen, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson along with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and other members from the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling will hold their third meeting to investigate relevant facts and circumstances concerning the root causes related to the April 20th Deepwater Horizon oil disaster. They hope to get to the bottom of what went wrong, who is responsible and where the liability sits. In other energy news, the House Science and Technology Committee cleared a bill (H.R. 6160) that would set up and fund a research and development program to mine, process and recycle rare earth minerals here in the United States, and would broaden an existing federal loan guarantee program to include companies building up a domestic rare earth supply chain. This has major implications for the renewable energy industry in the US and globally. Rare earths are used in energy-saving and renewable technologies such as wind turbines, efficient batteries and hybrid vehicles. Currently, China has a global stronghold on these minerals with between 90 to 97% of the global supply, and has recently been tightening their belt and holding back releasing them to other nations. The House will vote on the measure later this week.

Senator Rockefeller wants to suspend the EPA's CO2 regulation. Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) hopes to block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating carbon dioxide. After Democrats managed to avoid a struggle over the issue in the Appropriations Committee this week, Senator Rockefeller again pledged that there will be a vote this year on his measure to delay the agency's rules on planet-warming gasses. COEJL has been on record in support of the EPA's ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Take action with Interfaith Power and Light on this issue today: 
Community News and Views. Join our upcoming Webinar on "The Story of Noah and its Relationship to Climate Change" October 7th at 10:30 AM EST. Speakers for the webinar are: Dina Kruger, Director of EPA's Climate Change Division, Rabbi Saul J. Berman, Stern College Professor and Orthodox Rabbi, and Ken Mankoff, scientist and public speaker formally of Columbia University NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and the Colorado Boulder Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. The webinar will be open to the general public but focused on the Jewish communities and their leadership. Check out the Shabbat Noach Resource Guide from the Green Chevre. COEJL has compiled a resource guide around Shabbat Noach with information from a network of leading Jewish environmental organizations including: Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Canfei Nesharim, Hazon, the Shalom Center, and the JRF and the Reconstructionist Movement. Visit the resource page here. Learn more and share it with your community. Join COEJL and Hazon in a day of action! Help as we team up with StopOil! and 350.org on 10/10/10 to paint schools roofs in Harlem. Come be a part of this day of climate change action, education, and community building. Please RSVP to climate@hazon.org  if you are interested.  More details to follow. At 11 a.m. October 2, at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial, there will be an interfaith service preparing the way for the "One Nation Working Together" rally at noon.  The rally will gather hundreds of thousands of people -- labor, civil rights, antiwar, eco-committed, civil-liberties-focused -- calling for renewal of America.
REfuah Shleima
The Jewish Council for Public Affairs joins with the family of Albert Chernin, in wishing him a Refuah Shleima.

Al, who was JCPA's Executive Director for 25 years and still remains as its Vice Chair Emeritus, is recovering from a stroke he suffered last week. He is able to speak intelligently, is articulate and is aware of his surroundings. He will be going into acute rehab this week.

Notes of support can be sent to Al at the JCPA offices: 116 East 27th Street, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10016.
JCPA Programs

Join Other Jewish Teens in New Orleans.  Jewish Teens in 10th-12th grade from across North America are invited to participate in the 2010 General Assembly in New Orleans.  They will get to participate with Jewish professionals and community leaders while also learning about environmental advocacy.  We encourage you to share this opportunity to learn, lead, and serve with the teens in your community.  For more information and to register, click here.

JCPA Task Force Meetings.  JCPA is lining up a roster of top speakers on the most important and timely issues for the Jewish community.  

Click here to Register for the October Meetings

JCPA Board of Directors Meeting - Monday, November 1

Join us for JCPA's Board of Directors meeting.  JCPA will cover a variety of topics important to the Jewish community including a panel discussion Muslim-Jewish Relations and U.S. policy with the Muslim world.  JCPA will also host a segment about Israel's approach to peace negotiations with Palestinian leaders as well as how Israel plans to meet the challenges it faces from radical regimes.  

JCPA Task Force Meetings - Sunday, October 31

Jewish Security & The Bill of Rights
The JSBOR task force will look at issues pursued by the rising Tea Party Movement.  Additionally, members of the JSBOR and Israel, World Jewry, and International Human Rights task force will hear from Rev. Dr. William Harter of Presbyterians Concerned For Jewish Christian Relations on the upcoming Presbyterian General Assembly.

Equal Opportunity & Social Justice

Scheduled to speak at a session on senior poverty issues is William Rapfogel, CEO of Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty.  The EOSJ task force will continue discussions on paid sick leave, immigration reforms, and energy policy.  Task force members will also hear from Jan Resseger with the United Church of Christ who will also focus on education reform policy and join the JSBOR task force on Tea Party Movement

Israel, World Jewry & International Human Rights
The IWJIHR task force will be exploring many issues including Iran and Middle East Peace, issues related to Israeli minorities, and countering the campaign to delegitimize Israel.  Task Force members will hear from Stephen Kuperberg of the Israel on Campus Coalition about Israel advocacy on U.S. campuses.

Date & Location
Sunday, October 31 & Monday, November 1, 2010

UJA Federation of New York
130 East 59th Street
New York, NY 10022

Click here to Register for the October Meetings 

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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