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JCPA Insider
Volume 13, Number 47
December 6, 2010

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In This Issue
JCPActs
Iran Initiative
Israel Advocacy Initiative
Civility Campaign
This Week in Washington
COEJL
JCPA Programs

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About JCPA

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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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JCPACTs
The JCPA will be introducing a new newsletter called JCPActs to replace Insider next year.  If you would like to sign up to begin receiving JCPActs now and share your feedback with us, please click here.  
Iran Initiative
Nuclear Talks with Iran Commence. Iran held its first talks with six world powers for the first time in over a year.  "Coming into the talks, Iranian officials had vowed that the nuclear program was not on the table. But in what seems like a promising sign, one diplomat said that '70 to 80 percent' of the more than three hours of morning discussions was focused on it. The parties then broke for lunch of duck and arctic char, though most of the Iranians ate separately."  To read the complete report from the Washington Post click here.

Iran Sentences Canadian Citizen to Death Penalty.
After a questionable legal process, a Canadian citizen has been sentenced to the death sentence in Iran.  "Saeed Malekpour, a Canadian resident born in Iran, has been sentenced to death in Iran, a website run by his supporters says.  Malekpour, a web developer who lived in Ontario, has been in an Iranian prison for two years after he developed an Internet program in Canada that allows users to upload photos to websites."  To read the complete story in the Toronto Sun click here.
JCPA/Jewish Federations
Israel Advocacy Initiative

Take a Stand Against Boycotts.  JCPA Vice President Ethan Felson published an op-ed in today’s JTA responding to a recent holiday boycott by the anti-Israel Sabeel Center.  In addressing the boycott, Felson urges bridge building and reconciliation.  You can read the whole piece here

Fire in Israel’s North Extinguished.  After four days of battling a blaze in northern Israel, firefighters successfully extinguished Israel’s worst fire in history.  “Sunday was also a day of funerals across the country for many of the 41 people killed by the fire. Most of the dead were cadets training to become prison service officers, whose bus was caught in the flames on Thursday as they were traveling north to help evacuate a prison threatened by the blaze. Two police officers and a 16-year-old boy from Haifa who was a volunteer with the fire service were killed in the same firetrap.”  To read the complete report from the New York Times click here.

Israel and Turkey Engage in Diplomatic Dialogue. 
Following Turkey’s assistance in fighting the Carmel fire, officials from both countries met in Geneva to discuss ways to ease their tense relationship.  “Joseph Ciechanover, a senior Israeli diplomat, was sent to Geneva to meet Turkish Foreign Minister Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu telephoned Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to thank him for sending firefighting planes to help battle the fire in northern Israel that killed 41 people.” To read the complete article from Haaretz click here

Civility campaign
“Civility as a Political Virtue.” Peter Wehner discusses the importance of civility in an article published in Commentary Magazine following a recent meeting between President Obama and the GOP leadership that Obama described as “extremely civil.” Wehner dismisses prevalent misconceptions of civility as “merely a guise” or “cover for hollowed-out principles” in maintaining why civility is vital in American civic and political life. Civility, as Wehner writes, implies employing “basic good manners and courtesy,” as a form of “respect we owe others as fellow citizens and fellow human beings.” This acts as a barrier against tendencies in politics to “demonize and dehumanize those who hold views different from our own.” Using history as precedent, Wehner calls on all of us to follow Abraham Lincoln’s example of utilizing “meticulous [and] sophisticated arguments” in modeling civil discourse in our society. You can view the full article here.
This Week in Washington

This Week in Washington.  Congress continues the “lame duck” session this week where they are expected to consider the extension of the Bush tax cuts among other issues.  The President was in North Carolina today, but has returned to Washington.  The Supreme Court is in session and is hearing oral arguments.  

Child Nutrition Passes! On December 2nd, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (S. 3307) passed the House of Representatives in a bi-partisan vote of 264-157. After much negotiation and procedural obstacles, S. 3307 is now headed to the President’s desk to be signed in to law. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act reauthorized and extends current child nutrition programs, providing an addition $4.5 billion over the next ten years to improve the nutritional quality of the meals served, and to improve access so more low-income children can benefit from them. The JCPA’s press release can be found here.

The JCPA was included in the Enrollment Ceremony with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other key Members of Congress who worked on the bill. At the Ceremony the Speaker formally signed the bill and sent it to the President.

The full vote can be found here. The JCPA encourages you to reach out to those Members of Congress who voted in favor of the bill and thank them.

Jobs. Last Friday the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released their November jobless report and found that unemployment unexpectedly rose to 9.8% (15.1 million). This is up from 9.6% in October. The report found that employment in most major industries remained unchanged. The long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) also saw little change at 6.3 million.
On November 30th, unemployment benefits for more than 2 million individuals expired. The President and Congress are currently negotiating a one year extension of the unemployment benefits. The bill will likely be attached to another bill, such as tax legislation. The JCPA is encouraging individuals to reach out to their Members of Congress and ask them to extend unemployment insurance for one year.

JCPA Endorses START.
Last week, the JCPA sent a letter to the Senate urging the quick passage of the new Strategic Arms Defense Treaty, or New START.  This treaty would allow for the US to continue existing inspections of the Russian nuclear arsenal to verify compliance with disarmament and ensure the security of the stockpiles.  In the letter, the JCPA said that ratifying START would bring us closer to our decades long goal of peace and security through a nuclear free world while building the relationship with Russia necessary for stopping the threat of a nuclear Iran.  The letter can be read here

COEJL
Renewable Energy Standards May Still See the Light of Day. Despite an already full, end of year schedule, the Senate might vote on the bipartisan renewable energy standard (RES) bill, authored by Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and co-sponsored by 33 senators. The bill would require utilities to generate 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2021. Go here for more on the bill itself. In a related story, an international Global Renewable Energy Standard (G-RES) is being discussed at UN climate talks in Cancun, Mexico. The measure would require nations to generate 25% of their energy supply using renewable energy sources by 2025. COEJL supports the development of renewable energy standards to reduce our carbon footprint and stimulate new green jobs while helping improve air and water quality.

New Jewish Environmental Website. The new Jewish environmental web portal www.Jewcology.com  - has now launched. The website, developed by Evonne Marzouk of Canfei Nesharim and other members of the ROI Community for Young Jewish Innovators, is a central location for Jewish environmental information from a variety of Jewish organizations and individuals. COEJL is a founding content partner of the site. Read more about it here eJewishphilanthropy.com.
JCPA Programs

2011 JCPA Plenum Registration is now OPEN
Destination Justice: Framing the Future for America and for Israel
Visit www.jcpaplenum.org to register at the early Plenum rate.

Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, will speak at a plenary session on energy security.   This plenary will examine the importance of green energy and how breaking our addition to Middle East oil benefits U.S. national security and security for the state of Israel.  Rabbi Saperstein will address this issue through the lens of Jewish values and discuss how the faith community has been at the heart the renewable energy movement.

JCPA also plans to offer sessions on:
•    Confronting poverty
•    Civility in our national political dialogue
•    Countering the delegitimization of Israel campaign
•    Preventing a nuclear-armed Iran
•    …and much more.  
Remember to keep checking the website for updates on topics and confirmed speakers.

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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