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 Faith to Faith

End Aid to Israel?
At the White House
Faith to Faith: Healing our Political Divides
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) Speaking to the JCPA

In the last few months we’ve witnessed a Texas state leader challenged for being Jewish and public outcries against planned Mosques throughout the country.

When at our best, a respect for religious diversity and pluralism strengthens our nation.  At our worst, religion can be misused to divide, repress and alienate.  As we continue to witness the breakdown in civility across American society, the JCPA is asking, “What role does faith play in the conversation?”

This March, the JCPA will be hosting a conversation between Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first Muslim elected to the U.S. Congress, and Katharine Henderson, President of Auburn Theological Seminary and co-convener of Presbyterians Concerned for Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Relations, on how faith can heal our broken political climate, not contribute to it. The spirit of this conversation captures the JCPA’s commitment to interfaith collaborative efforts, such as our annual Fighting Poverty with Faith national mobilization. The interview with Ellison will take place at the annual JCPA Plenum in Washington, DC.   

The Cost of Supporting Israel
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)

Halt all foreign aid to Israel? That’s the proposal put forward by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) who said that all foreign aid should be stopped as part of a plan to cut $500 billion from the national budget. Calling the aid “welfare,” Paul said the $3 billion given to Israel is an unnecessary cost to the US when we cannot afford it. But in a response published in Politico, JCPA President Rabbi Steve Gutow defended our foreign aid spending as vital to our national security, saying that is the wrong way to go about addressing the deficit and would amount to abandoning our allies for a minimal impact on our deficit. For years, the JCPA has supported a robust foreign aid bill, which includes aid to Israel, as necessary for securing US interests and providing necessary support to our allies and developing countries. 

Interfaith Roundtable at the White House
Special Advisor Elizabeth Warren with President Obama

How is your community handling the financial crisis? At the White House on Tuesday, the JCPA joined representatives of other faith organizations for a roundtable discussion on this topic with Elizabeth Warren, Assistant to the President and Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. As part of the implementation of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, administration officials are reaching out to religious and community leaders like the JCPA for feedback. The new Bureau is aimed at addressing the unfair practices and lack of transparency in lending and mortgages that contributed to so many foreclosures and pain for families around the country. The invitation to JCPA and other faith groups was an initial step in the Bureau’s plan to reach out to communities to promote a greater financial literacy and help families avoid another financial setback.

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