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August 18, 2016

The month of August has been feverishly busy at the JCPA and the larger community of Jewish activists. Over the last two weeks we have faced several challenges, including an explosive new platform from the Movement for Black Lives, which expressly denounced Israel as an “apartheid” state and accused it of committing “genocide.” Amid these controversies, the JCPA’s fall meeting will commence next month with an all-star cast of speakers. Political initiatives on voting rights and immigration reform have also been advanced in Washington, and the JCPA has made a number of new hires who will help the organization reach new heights.


President's Blog: The Dilemmas of Fighting Anti-Semitism – Anti-Semitism is one of the world’s most ancient problems and ending the scourge is no easy matter. In his inaugural President's blog, JCPA President, David Bernstein, looks at the conflicting approaches to fighting anti-Semitism and what he feels should be the way forward. To read more, click here.  


The Black Lives Matter Platform: The JCPA responds to Accusations of “apartheid” and “genocide” in Israel – On August 1, 2016, the Movement for Black Lives, an umbrella group representing more than 50 civil rights organizations affiliated with Black Lives Matter, issued a policy platform calling for a series of measures designed to promote racial justice and reduce economic inequality. The platform also singled out Israel, accusing it of “apartheid” and “genocide” toward the Palestinian people. To respond to the platform, the JCPA worked with Jewish Federations of North America and our joint affiliate Israel Action Network to prepare talking points for the JCRC field and Federation leadership, jointly convened two conference calls for JCRC professionals, and helped create a constructive approach for outreach with the African American community to discuss this concern.  

Click here for the updated Black Lives Matter talking points
Click here for the background information on Black Lives Matter
Click here for the JCPA post on Facebook
Click here to read Professor Alan Dershowitz’s rebuttal to Black Lives Matter’s Anti-Israel Platform

Voting Rights Act Turns 51 – On August 6, 2016, the Voting Rights act turned 51. For more than half-a-century the law has been a pillar of the U.S. Civil Rights movement and has helped guarantee voting rights to all Americans regardless of race. In June 2013, however, the Supreme Court struck down a critical portion of the law, which prohibited certain states from enacting new voting requirements without seeking federal pre-approval. The JCPA had made supporting the Reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act a priority issue. Click here to learn about an ongoing national effort to urge Congress to protect the right to vote and restore the Voting Rights Act.

The JCPA Urges Our Community to Help “Get Out the Vote”– JCRCs and Jewish advocacy organizations play an important role during an election season. These efforts include organizing election forums and working to get out the vote.  Many organizations are preparing “Get Out the Vote” materials, which the JCPA will share with you. “Get Out the Vote Guide 2016,” a voter guide from the Religious Action Center prepared by the JCPA and other organizations, is full of useful tips both for educating voters, and getting them to the polls. You can read it by clicking here. Stay tuned for our election guide. You can also join the RAC’s election initiative by clicking here

Immigrant Rights Are Human Rights – The JCPA and 19 other signatories signed onto a HIAS statement calling on all nations to recognize and act on the human rights of Syrian refugees. The JCPA believes that every refugee deserves access to asylum from persecution and that their rights are human rights. To read the full statement, click here. 

Register for JCPA Fall Meeting – The JCPA fall meeting will take place from September 15-16 and will focus on new directions for Jewish advocacy and community relations. Speakers will include Jerry Silverman, President & CEO of Jewish Federations of North America, David Harris, CEO of the American Jewish Committee, Jonathan Greenblatt, National Director and CEO of the Anti-Defamation League and others. The annual gathering will also focus on new frontiers of the civil rights movement, strategies to counter the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions resolutions and the upcoming Presidential elections and the Jewish community. There’s still time to register for the JCPA fall meeting by clicking here


Join HIAS to “Rally4Refugees” – Those interested in showing their support for refugees can also join HIAS on August 28, 2016 for a demonstration in support of international refugees. The “Rally4Refugees” will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the outdoor Sylvan Theater near the Washington Monument. For more information, click here

JFNA Raises Money for Louisiana Flood Victims – With torrential flooding devastating much of southern Louisiana and leaving at least seven dead, the Jewish Federation of Greater Baton Rouge has risen to meet the challenge head on. If you can’t make it to Louisiana yourself, you can assist local efforts by making a donation. One hundred percent of your donation to will go to the Baton Rouge Flood Relief Fund.


The JCPA is expanding – The JCPA is pleased to announce that it has hired three new members of its professional staff. Growing our organization will allow us to confront the increasingly complex challenges of the digital age and spread our reach and mission to an even wider audience. Please join us in welcoming the new team!

Tamara Gilden, Senior Policy Associate

Tamara is the Senior Policy Associate for the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. She comes to the JCPA after years of public service at the federal, state and local levels. She will be managing the JCPA’s diverse policy portfolio, handling the organization’s policy development, strategy and advocacy initiatives.

Tamar Dinowitz, Development Manager

Tamar has devoted both her personal life and professional career to Jewish communal work. After graduating from SUNY Binghamton, Tamar worked for several Jewish organizations including United Synagogue Youth, and Jewish National Fund. She joins the JCPA after a successful period working for AIPAC as the Associate Director of the Westchester campaign. Tamar is excited to join the JCPA as the Development Manager.

Jon Levine, Communications Manager

Jon Levine is Communications Manager for the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. He brings years of journalism experience in New York City and China, and will be overseeing all communications aspects of the JCPA: written content, marketing materials, social media and brand development. 


Fall Meeting - September 15-16, New York
JCPA Leadership Mission to Israel, December 5-11, 2016
JCPA 2017 - February 25-28, Washington DC

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