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 Hunger Seder

Goldstone's Regrets
2012 Budget
Freedom From Egypt, Now Freedom From Hunger
On Passover, we celebrate freedom from oppression in Egypt. But how can we celebrate when too many people are still oppressed by the shackles of daily hunger? Now must be a time to come together and say, “enough,” a time to actualize our Passover Seder promise to “let all who are hungry come and eat.”

The JCPA’s national Hunger Seders mobilization is now underway and over 40 communities in 23 states are working to translate Passover’s message of freedom and renewal into an opportunity to advocate for both awareness of the food insecurity in our communities and the safety nets we must ensure are available for those in need.

The capstone of this national mobilization will be the JCPA’s National Hunger Seder on April 14th on Capitol Hill. At this Seder, Members of Congress, interfaith and anti-hunger leaders, and local children will join together to tell the story of the oppression of hunger and bring the voices from 23 states together into a loud, strong national call to overcome hunger in our midst. Participants in this National Hunger Seder will include Rabbi Steve Gutow (President, JCPA), Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), Kevin Concannon (Undersecretary, US Department of Agriculture), Tony Hall (Director, Alliance to End Hunger), Ed Cooney (Executive Director, Congressional Hunger Center), Rabbi David Saperstein (Director, Religious Action Center), and many others.

For more information on JCPA Hunger Seders, and to plan a Hunger Seder in your community or use 1-page Hunger Seder inserts in your family Hagaddah, contact Elana at 202-212-6037 or efox@thejcpa.org.

Goldstone Reconsiders
Judge Goldstone
Last week, Judge Richard Goldstone, chair of the Goldstone Report on the 2008-2009 Gaza war, wrote in a Washington Post op-ed that “if I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document.” In his piece, Judge Goldstone, in addition to acknowledging an unquestionable history of bias against Israel by the UN Human Rights Council, said that thanks to the independent investigations by the Israeli Defense Forces, it is clear that Israel, unlike Hamas, did not intentionally, as a matter of policy, target civilians. Israel’s investigations into its own soldiers who allegedly deviated from Israel’s military ethics code stands in stark contrast to Hamas’s refusal to investigate its own actions. In fact, in the New York Times, Hamas minister Mohammed al-Ghoul said that there is nothing to investigate because shooting rockets [into Israeli communities and cities] is a “right of self defense.”

Israel has welcomed this development and is formulating a request to the United Nations seeking some kind of retraction or cancellation of the original Goldstone report, or at least those sections that erroneously point an accusatory finger at Israel.

2012 Budget
Rep. Ryan Announcing His 2012 Budget Resolution
Today the House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) introduced the FY2012 budget resolution. This resolution includes $6.2 trillion in budget reductions over the next ten years, with significant cuts in non-security, domestic discretionary spending. Representative Ryan proposes a number of sweeping measures including repealing and defunding the 2010 health care reform law, block granting Medicaid and SNAP (food stamps), making Medicare a voucher based program, shrinking Pell Grants, eliminating several job training programs, and deeply cutting human needs programs. The legislation will likely be considered in the House of Representatives later this week.

The Jewish Council for Public Affairs and the Jewish Federations of North America are circulating a sign-on letter to the Jewish community, to be sent to Congress next week.  We urge Jewish organizations, including national agencies, local Jewish federations, CRCs, affiliated social service agencies, Jewish foundations, and synagogues to sign-on to this letter. To join our effort, please respond to Emily Kaplan (ekaplan@thejcpa.org) by close of business on April 7, 2011.

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