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Volume 13, Number 45
November 22, 2010

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In This Issue
Fighting Poverty with Faith
Iran Initiative
Israel Advocacy Initiative
Civility Campaign
Interfaith Encounter
This Week in Washington
COEJL
Condolences

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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
Rabbi Steve Gutow of the JCPA, Rev. Larry Snyder of Catholic Charities and Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon of the National Council of Churches published an op-ed in the Washington Post’s “On Faith” blog as a part of the Fighting Poverty with Faith initiative.  They urged the new Congress and Administration to  follow the faith community’s example and, especially in this challenging time, to get serious about fighting poverty.  View the op-ed here.

The 2010 Fighting Poverty with Faith national mobilization is closing with an event today (Nov 22) on Capitol Hill.  The event will bring together faith leaders, members of Congress and staff and Administration officials to discuss national efforts to reduce poverty.
Iran Initiative
UN Condemns Iranian Human Rights Violations.  The UN General Assembly's Third Committee, which handles humanitarian issues, passed a draft resolution condemning Iranian human rights abuses, such as stoning, persecution of religious minorities, and abuse of women.  “The draft resolution approved Thursday also includes the high incidence in carrying out the death penalty and increased persecution against members of the Baha'i faith in its list of human rights concerns in Iran.”  To read the complete report from CNN click here

Stuxnet Virus Specifically Targeted Iranian Nuclear Program.  Experts who have studied the worm which hit Iranian nuclear facilities’ computers have said that the virus was constructed perfectly to damage nuclear centrifuges.  “On Wednesday, the chief of the Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity center in Virginia, Sean McGurk, told a Senate committee that the worm was a ‘game changer’ because of the skill with which it was composed and the care with which it was geared toward attacking specific types of equipment.”  To read the complete article from the New York Times click here.  
JCPA/Jewish Federations
Israel Advocacy Initiative
UNRWA Head: Don't Boycott Israel.  In a recent interview with the Jewish Week, John Ging, head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, stated that he does not support a boycott of Israel.  "It's a concern that those representing themselves as pro-Palestinian are now linking that to anti-Israel sentiment and policies like divestment and boycott. I oppose that … The people of Israel need efforts to rebuild confidence that peace can be brought about. Talking about sanctions and boycotts is not going to bring about anything positive…"  To read the complete interview click here.

3 Millionth Tourist Arrives in Israel.  Israel welcomed its 3 millionth tourist at Ben Gurion airport since the begging of 2010.  This has been one of Israel's biggest tourism years in recent history.  "Pastor Jomber Araujo Vladislav, leading a group of 120 evangelical pilgrims from Brazil, was welcomed by Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov and other state officials at the airport in a special ceremony."  To read the complete article from Haaretz click here.
Civility campaign
Over 1,200 Jewish Leaders Sign JCPA’s Civility Statement. . . and counting.  Over 1,200 Jewish leaders from over 600 Jewish institutions have pledged to treat others with honor and dignity as models for civil discourse by signing the JCPA's Statement on Civility.  Join them at www.civilitystatement.org and encourage your family, friends, colleagues, and others in your community to do the same. Embracing the message of Eilu v’elu divrei Elokim chayim, “both these and those are the words of the living God,” the Statement calls on everyone to engage in civil discourse and to treat individuals respectfully, even when disagreement occurs.

Rabbi Steve Gutow Calls for Greater Civility in our Public Forums.  Protesters attempted to interrupt Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech at the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly – and counter-protesters have interrupted a forum sponsored by that group.  JCPA President Rabbi Steve Gutow called for greater civility in our public forums: “Those who want to be heard should not shout down those with whom they disagree.”

You can view the Washington Jewish Week article here.

You can view the JTA article here.
Interfaith Encounter
Maryland Clergy Initiative returns from Interfaith Middle East Trip.  Participants met with Israeli and Palestinian political, military, organizational, academic and other thought leaders including Israeli generals, a member of Knesset, and the Palestinian Prime Minister. The eight day trip was co-sponsored by the Institute for Christian & Jewish Studies and the Baltimore Jewish Council as part of a year-long program.   Two dozen participants in the tour included BJC Director Art Abramson, ICJS Director Rev. Dr. Christopher Leighton and Jewish Scholar Adam Gregerman, JCPA Vice President Ethan Felson, Baltimore area rabbis and Baptist, Catholic, Episcopal, Evangelical, Lutheran, Methodist, and Presbyterian Christian clergy and academicians.  A blog of the trip can be viewed at http://www.icjs.org/mciblog/
This Week in Washington

This Week in Washington.  Congress is in recess for the Thanksgiving holiday but will return next week to continue the “lame duck” session.  The President has returned from the NATO meetings in Lisbon last week.  The Supreme Court is in session this week but is not hearing arguments.

New Policies for Faith-based Partnerships.  The President signed an executive order last week to implement a series of new recommendations from the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnership.  The new requirements include requiring  referrals to alternative providers if a beneficiary objects to the religious character of an organization, a reaffirmation that groups receiving federal assistance may maintain their religious characters and language, and clarification that partner organizations must completely separate all explicitly religious activity from Federally-supported programs.  JCPA President Rabbi Steve Gutow has been involved in the Faith-Based initiative as a member of the Center’s Task Force for Economic Recovery and Domestic Poverty.  

Child Nutrition Bill.  The Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill is likely to be voted on in the House of Representatives during the first week in December.  Congress will have a busy schedule the week they return from Thanksgiving, so pressure must be put on Leadership to schedule a vote.  The JCPA is encouraging constituents to reach out to their Representatives over the week of Thanksgiving through phone calls, letters, or in-person meetings. You can send a letter to your Representative here or call them using Feeding America’s hotline at 1-877-698-8228.

Immigration.  Last week Senator Reid (NV-D) announced that he would introduce the DREAM Act in the Senate as a stand-alone bill and open to amendments. A vote could happen as early as the week of November 29th, but it is still unclear whether the House or the Senate will vote on the bill first. The DREAM Act is a bi-partisan bill that will enable young undocumented immigrants who have been raised in America and have worked hard in school to work towards a pathway to citizenship by pursuing higher education or serving in the military.

Our colleagues at HIAS are encouraging people to send this letter to Congress. In addition there will be a National Call-In Day on December 1st.

Resolution on Holocaust Survivors.  Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA), with assistance from the Jewish Federations of North America, introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives on September 29. House Concurrent Resolution 323 expresses support for ensuring that all Holocaust survivors are able to live with dignity, comfort, and security in their remaining years. There are currently 63 co-sponsors for the resolution.  The Jewish Federations of North America is encouraging people to reach out to their Representatives and ask them to co-sponsor the resolution. For more information on the resolution, including sample co-sponsor request letters, please go here.

Paycheck Fairness Act.  Last Wednesday the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 3772) failed a cloture vote in the Senate, 58-41. The Paycheck Fairness Act would have strengthened the 1963 Equal Pay Act and helped close the persistent wage gap that deprives women of economic equality in the workplace.  The JCPA has been supportive of this bill and is disappointed that the Senate did not agree to move it to the floor.  

Israeli Arab Issues Community Education Day. 
The JCPA is cosponsoring an event entitled “Arab Citizens of Israel — Challenges and Opportunities: A Community Education Day” with the Greater Washington Forum on Israeli Arab Issues.  The event, being held on January, 9 2011 at the DC JCC, will feature Ruth Carmi, director of the Arab Civic Engagement Project, Israel Religious Action Center and New Israel Fun Law Fellow, Mohammad Darawshe, co-director of The Abraham Fund Initiatives, Noam Katz, Minister for Public Diplomacy at the Embassy of Israel, and others.  The event is free for those who sign up in advance.  Complete information, including registration, can be found here.

FBI Reports Drop In Hate Crimes.  The 2009 Hate Crime Data released by the FBI this week reported a 15% drop in hate based crime from 2008.  The number of hate crimes, 6,604, is the lowest since 1994 and includes crimes committed based on race, religion, national origin and sexual orientation.  The report can be read here

COEJL
San Antonio CRC Launches “A Day of Rest” Project. The Energy and Environment Committee of the Community Relations Council of San Antonio Texas is launching a new project called “A Day of Rest” with a walk-a-thon on December 12th, 2010 at 12:30 PM CST. The event will be held at the Campus for the San Antonio Jewish Community located at 12500 N.W. Military Highway in San Antonio Texas. The goal of the project, according to Mike Stern, committee chairman, is to encourage people to reduce their consumption of fossil fuels.  The principal method the committee will advocate is to reduce driving by the equivalent of one day a month.  This method of energy conservation has two benefits.  First, it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming, thereby giving our much-abused planet “a day of rest.”  And secondly, it will help reduce funding for terrorism. Visit their website for more information.
Condolences
Victoria Giles, z”l.  The JCPA extends its condolences to JCPA Chair Conrad Giles and his wife, Lynda, on the recent passing of his mother, Victoria Giles.  Notes of condolence may be sent c/o the JCPA, 116 E. 27th St., 10th floor, New York, NY 10016.  The family respectfully requests that contributions in her memory be made to:  JCPA, Single Jewish Parents Network, or to ORT America.  Victoria Giles was president of both her ORT and Hadassah chapters, a devoted Federation solicitor and one of 10 heroes of the Broward Federation, honored at the age of 95.  She taught in the New York City school system for 40 years, retiring as an assistant principal.  

Marguerite Hilton Turnbull, z”l.  The JCPA extends its condolences to JCPA Vice Chair Susan Turnbull and her husband, Bruce, on the passing of Bruce’s mother, Marguerite Hilton Turnbull.  Marguerite has long been involved in interfaith programming.  Notes of condolence can be sent c/o the JCPA, 116 E. 27th St., 10th floor, New York, NY 10016.
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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