Posts by: Haya

December 17, 2014: American Jewish Community Celebrates Alan Gross’s Release from Cuban Imprisonment

by JCPA

NEW YORK – Alan Gross, the U.S. subcontractor sentenced to 15 years imprisonment on charges that his work for USAID undermined the Cuban government, was released today following five years of imprisonment in Cuba. The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), which has long advocated for Alan’s release, celebrated this news and the U.S. government’s work to ensure his safe return home. Susan Turnbull and Rabbi Steve Gutow, Chair and President, respectively, of the JCPA, issued the following statement:

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Jewish Leaders Welcome Lima Agreement, Raise Importance of U.S. Actions at Home

by JCPA

 Sunday morning, top leaders from nearly 200 countries agreed to The Lima Accord, a global pact to work together to tackle climate change. Each nation is expected to enact domestic legislation to curb greenhouse gas emissions. These plans will be the basis for further negotiations in Paris next year. The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) and Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL) welcome this next important step and continue to urge American leadership at next year’s Paris meeting.

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Why isn’t the JCPA reviewed by Charity Navigator?

by JCPA

 We frequently receive questions about why the JCPA has not been reviewed by Charity Navigator. We recently spoke to Charity Navigator, which had the JCPA on a list of organizations that did not fall within their framework for organizations they review. As a result of our conversation, they have changed the JCPA’s position, and the JCPA now qualifies for review. There is a long list of organizations to be reviewed, and the only way for the JCPA to move up on the list is for individuals to vote for us to be reviewed.

Please click here to vote for the JCPA to be reviewed (you may have to register for a free account first)

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Frank Fellows travel to Eastern Europe and Israel

by JCPA

 Last week eight young leaders from across the country participated in the second annual Frank Family Leadership Institute. The vision and inspiration of Lois and Larry Frank, the Institute seeks to identify emerging local leadership to prepare them to lead their JCRCs and the JCPA. Hailing from communities large and small, in the east, west, south and Midwest, the group began its journey with a visit to Krakow, Poland. They visited the Jewish ghetto, the Remuh synagogue, and spent time at Auschwitz and Birkenau. But the trip was not only about the past. After the visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau, the group visited the vibrant Auschwitz Jewish Center in Osweicm and then spent an inspiring evening with Jonathan Orenstein, director of the JCC in Krakow, where they learned about the resurgence of Jewish life in Krakow. After a whirlwind trip, the group flew to Israel to join the JCPA Leadership Mission, which addresses pressing concerns of the Jewish state in meetings with high-level Israeli and American officials as well as Palestinian community leaders.

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Holiday Season Resources

by JCPA

To encourage an inclusive and welcoming holiday season at American schools, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has sent guidelines for appropriate holiday displays and practices to public school educators and officials around the country. The guidelines address how to be sensitive to religious diversity and avoid actions that might constitute religious coercion or other constitutionally problematic issues.
The publication offers tips on the distinction between practicing religion and teaching about religion, how to plan gatherings where religious themes or music are expected to be performed, and which holiday activities and decorations are appropriate on school grounds.
Separately, the ADL provided guidance to public officials about holiday dilemmas relating to public buildings other than schools.

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Food Stamp Challenge

by JCPA

Last week, Jewish community leaders kicked-off the Food Stamp Challenge, today, December 1, to call attention to the national crisis of hunger and poverty in the United States. Hosted by the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), the challenge sends a strong message to public officials that federal anti-poverty programs, including SNAP (food stamps), need our support and are essential to keeping millions fed, housed, and clothed.

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Resetting the Table

by JCPA

Continuing its tradition of fostering inclusive, civil and constructive American Jewish conversation on Israel, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) welcomes its second cohort of Facilitation Fellows and Conveners. This group of 19 talented young Jewish leaders in the New York City area will be trained to facilitate and craft conversations across differences on Israel through a wide range of Jewish communities and institutions.

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December 8, 2014: JCPA Civility Initiative Announces New Cohort of Facilitation Fellows and Conveners

by JCPA

NEW YORK – Continuing its tradition of fostering inclusive, civil and constructive American Jewish conversation on Israel, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) welcomes its second cohort of Facilitation Fellows and Conveners. This group of 19 talented young Jewish leaders in the New York City area will be trained to facilitate and craft conversations across differences on Israel through a wide range of Jewish communities and institutions.

“Too often, Jewish communal institutions and leaders avoid speaking about Israel for fear of friction,” said the director of JCPA’s Civility Initiative Rabbi Melissa Weintraub. “But ignoring issues that matter so deeply to so many will not make them go away. The time has come when we simply must investigate our disagreements courageously and learn from them in serious deliberation. JCPA is thrilled to be building a framework, core set of effective strategies and bench of practitioners to heal the Jewish community’s broken conversation around Israel.”

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Dennis Ross on Iran

by JCPA

Ambassador Dennis Ross gave a timely and informative briefing about the status of Iranian nuclear talks to the JCPA and JFNA communities last Tuesday. He described the conditions and positions that led to an impasse in the talks and the decision to extend the deadline by some seven months.

Ambassador Ross explained that despite proffers of various solutions, the “Iranians simply didn’t budge.” While there was progress on various points, in the end the Iranians “would not roll back as much as the Administration wanted, and insisted that sanctions be revoked immediately,” which is a non-starter for accountability reasons. The Ambassador noted that “they [the Iranians] need to see that we are prepared to compete in the region,” and that the ISIS fight does not cause us to need them more than they need us. Most important, for a deal to be struck, the Iranians must perceive a “high price for the loss of diplomacy.” Collective pressure from the world community will help drive a diplomatic solution, he concludes.

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#GivingTuesday

by JCPA

Today’s the day.  It’s #GivingTuesday and we hope that on this day you will join us in giving back!

It is really incredible.  The United States is the wealthiest nation in the world and yet we still struggle with hunger and poverty. 

The statistics are startling:

  • 45.3 million Americans lived in poverty in last year
  • 3,593,878,500 free and reduced lunches were served last year at schools
  • In 2013, one in five children lived in poverty

Our task this #GivingTuesday is to look behind the numbers. 

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