January 18, 2019
Reflecting on the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., 90 Years After His Birth

As we remember King on the anniversary of his birth, and contemplate the meaning of his truly great American life, we are left with a clear choice. We can continue to pursue the behavior that leads to a culture of death, or turn away from it and embrace the dream of Martin Luther King Jr., a dream of when all God's children will join hands and sing, "Free at last, free at last, great God Almighty, we are free at last."
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JAC met with former Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) in Chicago. (l to r: Hollis Wein, Marcia Balonick, Heidi Heitkamp, Linda Rae Sher)

Tuesday marks the 46th anniversary of Roe v Wade. This landmark 5-2 Supreme Court decision changed the lives of women and families across the country. The Court said that the "right of personal privacy'' is broad enough "to encompass a woman's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.''  The decision gave women the legal right to seek and have an abortion.

Sixteen years later there was no longer a majority of justices on the Court who favored protecting abortion rights. The Court ruled 5-2 to uphold a Missouri law that restricted access to abortion ( Webster v. Reproductive Health Services). The significant shift in the Court indicated that safe and legal abortion would not always be a guaranteed right in this country.

At that time, Justice Harry Blackmun said, ''I fear for the future.'' He went on to say, ''The signs are evident and very ominous, and a chill wind blows.'' It was at that moment in 1989 that
JAC decided to incorporate reproductive freedom as one of its core issues.

Today's Court is even less friendly towards abortion. President Donald Trump has pledged to appoint anti-choice judges - and he has. With an aging court, there is great likelihood that there will further be vacancies.

Trump has packed the lower courts with anti-choice judges. With the battle to restrict women's rights shifting to the states, anti-choice legislators will have judicial friends on the lower courts to uphold these punitive bills. Last year, 15 states adopted 27 new restrictions on abortion and family planning.

We celebrate Roe v Wade - but with caution. Our reproductive rights can never be taken for granted. The fight continues. We must remains vigilant on the state and federal level to support and elect candidates that will protect reproductive freedom for  all families.

Special note on the Women's March: JAC, along with many other organizations, will not officially participate in nor endorse the Women's March due to reports of anti-Semitism expressed among the group's leaders. It is up to each individual to decide whether to join the march or alternative activities. We still feel it is critical that women continue to make their voices heard on reproductive rights and other issues while also standing up against all forms anti-Semitism.

source: Guttmacher Institute

Do you know a high school or college student who would like to intern at JAC during the school year or next summer? Call the JAC office at 847.433.5999 about opportunities.

U.S. Army Eyes $373 Million Purchase of Israel's Iron Dome Missile Defense System     
The US army has asked Congress to approve $373 million to purchase two of Israel's successful Iron Dome missile interception batteries. If approved, the sale would mark the first time Israel has sold a complete weapons system to the US, which rarely purchases weapons from foreign countries both due to their technological superiority over most countries as well as for national security reasons. 
Continued Reading

A Day After Pompeo Talks up U.S. Role in the Middle East, Troops Start to Leave Syria

Rep. Steve King Crossed the Line on Race by Using a Bullhorn, Not a Dog Whistle 
Analysis: It wasn't until King was quoted defending white supremacy that he found himself booted from the congressional committees where he served. 
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Court Blocks Trump Administration Restrictions on Birth Control

A federal court issued a nationwide injunction on Monday that prevents the Trump administration from interfering with women's access to free birth control guaranteed under the Affordable Care Act. The decision extends a losing streak for President Trump, who has repeatedly been set back in his efforts to allow employers to deny insurance coverage of contraceptives to which the employers object on religious or moral grounds.
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Yes, Karen Pence's Job at a Private School That Bans Lgbtq Students and Parents Matters

Karen Pence, wife of Vice President Mike Pence, returned to the classroom this week as a part-time art teacher at an elementary school that refuses admission to LGBTQ students, to children of LGBTQ parents, and even to those who condone or support sexual/gender equality. The school also requires potential employees to sign a pledge affirming that marriage can only be between a man and woman. These policies are detailed in the school's parent agreement and 2018 employment application for Immanuel Christian School. 
Continued Reading

Federal District Judge Rejects Inclusion of Citizenship Question in 2020 Census

A federal judge has ruled against the Trump administration's addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census. In the first major ruling on the controversial question, Judge Jesse Furman of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ordered the administration to stop its plans to add the question to the survey "without curing the legal defects" identified in his opinion.
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Redefining Representation: The Women of the 116th Congress 
Just over a century ago, Jeannette Rankin of Montana won a seat in the House of Representatives, becoming the first woman ever elected to federal office. In 1917, 128 years after the first United States Congress convened, she was sworn into its 65th session. One hundred and two years later, one has become 131 - the number of women serving in both chambers of the 116th Congress as of this month.
Carmeltazite: A New Unique Gemstone from Israel
Last week, the International Mineralogical Association recognized carmeltazite as a new, distinct mineral. The mineral was named after Mount Carmel where it was found and the elements it contains - Titanium, Aluminum and Zirconium. The mining company Shefa Yamim plans to market the new mineral as "Carmel sapphire." At the moment, it is not clear how large the deposits of Carmeltazite are. As gemstone prices are usually based on their rarity, carmeltazite gemstones could possibly become more expensive than diamonds.    
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 info@jacpac.org. We will be happy to help organize a JACII in your city.
The Last Word
"The ultimate measure of a (person) is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

- Martin Luther King, Jr. 
Join JAC in Washington, D.C. for our  
Annual Conference
March 13-14
Monday, January 28
Lunch with
Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15)
Chicago, IL
(Want to host a JAC event? Contact the office and we will help organize it. 847.433.5999 or info@jacpac.org) 
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.
Federal law requires political committees to report the name, mailing address, occupation and employer for each individual who contributes over $200 in a calendar year. Maximum contribution per person may not exceed $5,000 per calendar year. According to law, JACPAC cannot accept corporate contributions. Membership, gifts, or other payments to JACPAC are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.