December 30, 2016

End of the Year Review
What a year this has been. We faced political battles on all fronts from an unconfirmed Supreme Court nominee to funding for Planned Parenthood. Then, we were left in shock, disbelief and despair on the night of November 8. 
Through it all, JAC tirelessly worked to further its missions. We advocated for our issues on Capitol Hill; we attended rallies on gun violence prevention; and we went door to door across this country knocking on doors for Hillary Clinton and our candidates.  JAC contributed more than $380,000 to candidates. We helped elect new Senators and Representatives, including four new Jewish members.

But as we look ahead to 2017, we are faced with worry and fear. JAC's issues will be under constant attack. The GOP-controlled Congress will wage a war on women's rights with the approval of the White House. Efforts to curb gun violence, protect the environment and maintain voting rights will face similar attacks. We must ensure that support for Israel remains bi-partisan. In addition to all this, vacancies on the Supreme Court and other judicial seats must be filled, and could impact our country for years to come.
JAC is already planning for the 2018 election. The Democrats need to defend 23 Senate seats which will require great resources. 
Please consider an additional donation to JAC. Your contribution to JAC will help us defend our friends in the Senate and fight for our issues.

Renew your membership and encourage your friends and family to join as well. Make it your New Year's resolution to stay politically active. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter - like and share our posts. 

Thank you for your continued support. Happy New Year. 

It was a busy year at JAC!

JAC was proud to support Senator-elect Maggie Hassan of NH. (l to r: Hollis Wein, Marcia Balonick, Dana Gordon, Dana Hirt, Maggie Hassan)

JAC members got out the vote across the country,
including Florida.

JAC women attended the Democratic National Convention.
 (l to r: Carole Weintraub Kauffman, Betsy Sheerr,
Debbie Gitchell)

 We met with Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) in Philadelphia.
(l to r: Jill Zipin, Carole Weintraub Kauffman, Ruth Damsker,
Amy Klobuchar, Betsy Sheerr, Myrna Asher)

Our 2016 Power of Women Luncheon honored JAC's Past Research Directors (l to r: Marcia Balonick, Carole Boron,
Adrienne Glazov, Kathy Emanuel, Barbara Koch)
Find Us Online:

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Israel & the Middle East
Israel In a Nutshell: Summarizing 2016
If we focus on Israel's achievements, despite internal tension and regional turmoil, 2016 was yet another remarkable year in many fields. Despite the challenges emerging on the horizon, Israel is well positioned to welcome 2017.
Optimistic Predictions For the Year Ahead
While making predictions might be an act of audacity after a year like 2016, the idea of hypothesizing about the future can be seen as an exercise of optimism. It is a reminder that we have the opportunity to channel both the good and the bad of the past year into positive action and impact in the year ahead.
Antisemitism + BDS
2016 - The Year in Harrassment 
No one was safe from the vitriol. Black celebrities, Jewish journalists, white college students. The trolls latched on to the most minute of things and ran with them -- spewing racist rants and death threats with abandon.  
Reproductive Rights
States Enacted More Than 60 Abortion Restrictions in 2016
2016 was a watershed year for reproductive rights: The U.S. Supreme Court delivered a landmark victory to abortion rights supporters in June that warned states not to pass laws that impose a burden on women's access to abortion without any medical justification. Still, Republican state legislatures enacted more than 60 abortion restrictions this year and introduced more than 500.
Separation of Religion & State
Tough to Figure Out Religious Liberty
It took the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights three years to produce its report on religious freedom and non-discrimination. With 27 pages, more than 1000 days of work, and 200-some additional pages of commentary, the document essentially amounts to this: Legal scholars have no idea how to resolve the government's conflicting obligations to allow free religious exercise and protect minority groups from discrimination.
Beyond the Core
Gun Sales Are on Pace to Break All-Time Record in 2016
A few months ago, I talked with Jeffrey Hewitt, a 29-year-old construction worker from rural Harrison, Tennessee, about guns. Hewitt is married with a 5-year-old son and, when we spoke, was expecting another child.
Advantage 2020 Targets Gerrymandered District Maps 
Last week, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee announced it would commit at least $70 million to Advantage 2020, a program aimed at targeting legislative chambers in key states over the next four election cycles with the specific aim of influencing redistricting. The plan calls on Democrats to invest resources not just in state chambers the party has a shot at winning this November, but in legislatures where they might have a chance at slowly eroding a GOP majority over time thanks to demographic trends.
Political Byte
Top 10 Political Moments on TV of 2016
Just about everything on TV was political in 2016. The lines of politicians and celebrity blurred beyond recognition, where serious policy debate gave way to the short spectacle. With that in mind, we break down the biggest political moments on TV of the year - and there were plenty. 
The 94 Questions That Keep Some Democrats Up at Night  
The more time that passes, the more that the outcome of every presidential election feels inevitable in retrospect - even the close ones. In 2016, it often felt like nothing mattered. Not facts. Not gaffes. Not investigative reporting. The reality, of course, is more complex: Everything matters.
10 Freshman to Watch in the New Congress
Seven new senators and 55 House members, fresh off their elections in November, will take the oath of office on Jan. 3. Here are 10 incoming lawmakers to watch.
Five Races to Watch in 2017
After 2016's bruising election cycle, 2017 might seem like a break for Republicans and Democrats to gear up for 2018's midterms. But a handful of 2017 contests could serve as an indicator of the mood of the electorate in the early months of Donald Trump 's presidency.
Behind the Lens: 2016 White House Year in Photographs
Peter Souza, chief White House photographer, shares his final Year in Photographs of the Obama administration. "It's been the honor of a lifetime to be a witness to history these past eight years," said Souza.

op 20 Stories of the Year
The top 20 most popular stories from the past year ranged from fact checks to mosquito bites, from Aleppo to taxes, and how to raise kids who will thrive, whatever the future brings. Here they are: the most-read stories from a year we won't soon forget.

Are you attending the
Women's March in Washington on  
January 21st?

Please let us know. 

For more information and to RSVP, contact the JAC office at 847.433.5999 or

Our members count on JACPAC to provide information on current events, candidates, and elections.  JACPAC depends on membership support to make this possible.


If you have not renewed your membership, please consider doing so today, to help us pursue a strong US-Israel relationship, reproductive rights, and separation of religion and state.  Together we can make this a better world!



Marcia Balonick, Executive Director
Joy Malkus, Research Director

Dana Gordon, Membership & Outreach

Hollis Wein, Communications Director 

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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. Contributions may total up to $5400 per individual ($2700 for the primary election, and $2700 for the general election). 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.