December 13, 2019
Most students today can't distinguish advertisements from news articles, fake news from actual news, or content posted by partisan groups from content posted by unbiased sources, according to findings from a recent study conducted by Stanford University's Graduate School of Education.

This, coupled with this week's news that 2/3 of our nation's students are not good readers, raises concerns for our nation's future and implications at the ballot box.

Today's students will eventually elect the leaders of our country. Those men and women will craft public policy and make decisions that will effect their lives for years to come. The elected officials will be responsible for protecting their rights as well.

If our students are not proficient in reading, writing and critical thinking skills, then how can they be expected to make informed decisions when they are engaged in the electoral process?

Education experts have been denouncing the decline in education standards in the U.S. for years. Numerous attempts at the federal and state levels to address the issue have fallen short. But now it is a real crisis that will impact our government and ultimately our democracy.

The Annenberg Public Policy Center's Civics Knowledge Survey found only 2 in 5 American adults - or 39 percent - could correctly name the three branches of government. Many couldn't name any. Just one in three Americans could even pass the U.S. citizenship test. The national pass rates for immigrants is 90 percent.

"The resilience of our system of government is best protected by an informed citizenry. And civics education and attention to news increase that likelihood," said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Center.

In the 2018 midterm election, more than 53 percent of eligible voters participated. But among eligible voters who have not completed high school, participation was below 28 percent. For voters with bachelors and advanced degrees, turnout was much higher.

Clearly there is a link between education and voter participation. We must prepare our students to be responsible citizens. This means ensuring they are proficient in reading as well as civics. As adults, we can continue to remain educated and stay informed with JAC. There is too much at stake to do otherwise.

Voting matters. Elections matter.

Not sure who to donate to? Make a donation to JAC and we will use it to support our candidates.  
JAC leadership traveled to Washington, D.C. this week for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's annual Hanukkah Party, and also delivered support to several JAC candidates and friends.
J AC leadership in Washington, DC delivering support to Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA). (l to r: Linda Rae Sher, Hollis Wein, Mary Gay Scanlon, Marcia Balonick)

(l to r: Linda Rae Sher, Hollis Wein, Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ)
(l to r: Linda Rae Sher, Marcia Balonick, Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-NY), and Hollis Wein)
(l to r: Marcia Balonick, Hollis Wein, Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL), Linda Rae Sher)
(l to r: Marcia Balonick, Hollis Wein, Linda Rae Sher, Rep. Antonio Delgado (D-NY)
(l to r: Jared Golden (D-ME), Marcia Balonick, Hollis Wein, Rep. Colin Allred (D-TX), and Linda Rae Sher)
JAC member June Rogul (left) delivered support to Gina Ortiz Jones, candidate for U.S. Congress (TX-23).
JAC member Jane Barton (right) and her daughter, Julie Linaman, delivered JAC support to Mark Kelly, candidate for U.S. Senate in Arizona.
Israel's Bad Bet on 'Friends' in the Middle East               
In Israel's early years it had closer relations with Tehran and Ankara and its main existential threat came from Cairo and an array of Arab states. The reversal has left Jerusalem, now, with a handful of Arab capitals that share some interests with it, and two very strong regional states that seek to isolate it. The leaders of the Iranian regime say flatly that they want to destroy Israel and will leverage Iran's role in neighboring states to do so.
Continued Reading

Trump Goes Full Anti-Semite in Room Full of Jewish People

Speaking at the Israeli American Council in Hollywood, Florida, on Saturday night, Trump hit all of his favorite anti-Semitic tropes before a room full of Jewish people. He started off by once again invoking the age-old cliché about "dual loyalty," saying there are Jews who "don't love Israel enough." After that warm-up he dove right into the stereotype about Jews and money, telling the group: "A lot of you are in the real estate business, because I know you very well. You're brutal killers, not nice people at all," he said. "But you have to vote for me-you have no choice."   
Continued Reading

The Supreme Court Lets Kentucky's Anti-Abortion Transvaginal Ultrasound Law Stand    
On Monday, the Supreme Court declined to review Kentucky's extreme anti-abortion law, allowing the measure to stand. Under the law, known as H.B. 2, doctors must conduct an ultrasound, describe the fetus in great detail, and play the sound of its heartbeat before performing an abortion. In early pregnancies, they will be forced to insert a transvaginal probe. The Supreme Court's refusal to consider the legality of H.B. 2 indicates the liberal justices do not trust that the conservative majority will affirm the constitutional rights to abortion providers and patients.     
Continued Reading

Balancing LGBTQ Rights and Religious Liberty

Two Republicans want to bridge the conflicting claims of religious liberty and LGBT rights. Their "Fairness For All" initiative is supported by some Christian leaders and conservative LGBT activists. A new bill was introduced in Congress with a title that should get it universal support - Fairness for All - fairness for people who identify as LGBTQ, but also for those people who believe God made everyone to be either male or female and intends marriage to be the union of one man and one woman. 
Continued Reading

As Newtown Students Grow Up, Some Turn to Activism

They were children themselves when they lost siblings, friends, and schoolmates in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Too young to comprehend the massacre, they spent years in shock and denial. Seven years later, some young people in Newtown, still struggling with the trauma, are emerging as new voices for school safety and gun violence prevention. The activism, they say, has been a way to turn something horrific into something positive. 
Continued Reading

The Do Something Democrats Show They Can Legislate Even While They Impeach  
House Democrats are passing an ambitious plan to reduce drug costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies. But McConnell won't give it a vote on the Senate floor. He won't even bring up a competing Senate bill to limit drug price increases, because it's unpopular with most of the Republican caucus. If Trump is truly worried about a Do Nothing Congress, he should have a chat with Mulish Mitch.  
Continued Reading

For Trump, Impeachment May Be a Political Plus but Also a Personal Humiliation               
As the House moves toward what even he says is an inevitable vote to impeach him for high crimes and misdemeanors, President Trump toggles between self-pity and combativeness. No matter what some of his critics say, advisers said he genuinely does not want to be impeached, viewing it as a personal humiliation. Even in private, he accepts no blame and expresses no regret, but he rails against the enemies he sees all around him.  
Continued Reading

Israeli 'Rubber Band' Solution Could Reduce Plastic Bottle Volume by 80%               
It is often said that necessity is the mother of invention, but what about simplicity? According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, there could be more plastic than fish (by weight) in the ocean by 2050, if current plastic disposal trends continue. In fact, only 14% of the world's masses of plastic packaging materials is collected for recycling. One French-Israeli serial entrepreneur, however, believes that recycling challenges posed by large quantities of plastic bottles could be significantly ameliorated with a solution based on the addition of a rubber band.  
Continued Reading

Introducing JACII, a JAC group for young professionals, advocates, and those young at heart who are looking to get involved. Groups have started in Detroit, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
Events will feature elected officials and speakers in lively settings. JACII is by and for young people. Now is the perfect time to get involved.

Know someone who would be interested in joining or hosting a meeting? Let us know at We will be happy to help organize a JACII in your city.

The Last Word
"I am forced to face a solemn conclusion; I believe the president abused the power of his office, putting his own interest above the needs of our nation... and for that I must vote my conscience. And I will do so with a heavy heart and a grieving soul."
Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA) 

An Afternoon at the Theater with JACPAC
What the Constitution Means to Me
Sunday, January 26th
Brunch & Political Update: 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Showtime: 1:00 - 2:30 pm
Los Angeles, CA

An Evening at the Theater with JACPAC
What the Constitution Means to Me
Wednesday, March 11th
Details to follow
Chicago, IL

April 21-23, 2020
JAC's 2020 Annual Meeting
Celebrating 40 years of JAC
Washington, DC

Want to host a JAC event? Contact the office and we will help organize it. or 847.433.5999

Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs (JACPAC) is a pro-Israel PAC with a domestic agenda. We support a strong U.S.-Israel relationship and advocate for reproductive health and the separation of religion and state and incorporate other issues of importance to the Jewish community, including gun violence prevention and climate change. In addition to providing financial support for U.S. Senate and House campaigns, JACPAC educates our membership with outreach events designed to inform and activate their participation in the political process.
Paid for by Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs. Contributions or gifts are not tax deductible.  Federal law requires us to use our best efforts to collect and report the name, mailing address, occupation, and name of employer of individuals whose contributions exceed $200 in an election cycle. Corporate contributions and contributions from non-US citizens who are not lawfully admitted for permanent residence are prohibited. All contributions by individuals must be made from personal funds and may not be reimbursed or paid by another person.