FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Jonathan Gilad
JCPA 
202-212-6031
jgilad@thejcpa.org

Melanie Roth Gorelick to join Jewish Council for Public Affairs staff

 

New York, April 11, 2016 – The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) is proud to announce that Melanie Roth Gorelick will be joining the JCPA team as a Vice President of the organization. Melanie brings ten years of experience as a leader in the Jewish community relations field to her new position. Most recently, she has served as the Director of the Community Relations Committee of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ. She is also founder of the New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking, and has worked professionally as an advocate for Israel, social justice, and humanitarian concerns at both national and international levels.

“I am thrilled at this opportunity to work with the esteemed staff of JCPA to help strengthen the community relations field and continue to ensure that the Jewish community is a leader on important policy concerns that are shaping the world at a time of great change. Based on Jewish values, and with a rich history of working in close collaboration with interfaith and interethnic groups, JCPA has a crucial role to play.”

“I could not be happier that Melanie is joining JCPA’s team. She's a dynamic leader in the community relations arena with an incredible track record in building relations and advocating on Jewish issues," stated David Bernstein, President and CEO of JCPA. "Her experience in the field will help us provide support to JCRCs across the country."

Melanie will begin her employment at JCPA on May 2 and will work out of the New York office.

JCPA, the public affairs arm of the organized Jewish community, serves as the national coordinating and advisory body for the 16 national and 125 local agencies comprising the field of Jewish community relations.

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JCPA: Accommodation Given to Religiously Affiliated Organizations Does Not Impose a Substantial Burden

 

Washington, D.C., - Today, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Zubik v. Burwell, which focuses on whether religiously affiliated organizations can successfully claim that their religious expression rights would be violated if they fill out a government form. This form is used as an accommodation to allow religious organizations to avoid providing health insurance that covers contraception. The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) strongly supports the right of all women to make their own reproductive decisions. In light of this value, JCPA joined our member agencies American Jewish Committee and Union for Reform Judaism, as well as the Central Conference of American Rabbis in an amicus brief outlining why the accommodation given to religiously affiliated organizations does not impose a substantial burden on their religious freedom. Though this brief represents the broad consensus view in the Jewish community, some of JCPA's member agencies, including the Orthodox Union, have not taken a position on the central issue in this case. 

 

After the arguments today, JCPA released the following statement: 

 “We cannot simply accept that an organization’s freedom of religion can be extended, not just to deny access to reproductive health decision making for women, but to block an accommodation. The accommodation is embodied in the current rules in order to protect both religiously affiliated organizations and the rights of their employees to access reproductive care. We should all be concerned when religious freedom is being used as an instrument to curtail the rights of others,” said Susan W. Turnbull, JCPA Chair.

“JCPA fundamentally believes that reproductive decisions should be made by women in consultation with their families, health care professionals, and whomever they choose. A woman’s employer should not be able to prevent her from getting appropriate healthcare. Our Jewish faith has extensive teachings on family planning and access to contraception, and religions are not monolithic in their approach to these issues. If we allow these employers' religious beliefs to trump a woman’s right to access healthcare—and her own religious beliefs—what other rights do we endanger?” said JCPA Director of Legal Affairs and Policy Development Hanna Dershowitz.  

JCPA, the public affairs arm of the organized Jewish community, serves as the national coordinating and advisory body for the 16 national and 125 local agencies comprising the field of Jewish community relations.

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JCPA Horrified by Recent Terror Attacks

Washington, D.C., - Early this morning, three explosions rocked Brussels, the capital city of Belgium. This is the fourth time in as many weeks that terrorist attacks have shattered the peace and destroyed lives around the world. In response to this recent activity, JCPA issues following statement:

Susan W. Turnbull, JCPA Chair, commented, “We are horrified by the recent wave of terrorist attacks around the globe. This morning, in Brussels, the seat of the European Union government and the headquarters of NATO, more than thirty were killed and dozens injured in a series of attacks across the city. This is just the latest in a long list of atrocities. This month alone, we have witnessed devastating attacks in Turkey, Nigeria, and the Ivory Coast.”

Turnbull continued, “These attacks are designed to scare and intimidate us – to divide our communities and separate us from our values – but we will stand firm against hatred, violence and terror. We urge our government to continue to deepen our longstanding partnerships with other nations around the globe to keep us safe. This is not just our problem – it affects the entire world, and we must work together to stop it. Most importantly, in these difficult times, we must work harder to live up to our ideals of pluralism, freedom, and justice.”

David Bernstein, JCPA President and CEO added, “We know the effects of terrorism all too well.  From attacks here in the United States to the continued, daily attacks in Israel, we have wept with family and friends who have suffered, visited memorials to neighbors who were lost, and comforted our shocked children.  As we pray for the survivors and the families of those who were lost, we must also stand together, across religious, ethnic, and national lines, to confront and stop global terror.” 

JCPA, the public affairs arm of the organized Jewish community, serves as the national coordinating and advisory body for the 16 national and 125 local agencies comprising the field of Jewish community relations.
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JCPA, the public affairs arm of the organized Jewish community, serves as the national coordinating and advisory body for the 14 national and 125 local agencies comprising the field of Jewish community relations.

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