September 30, 2016
Vote Ear Push

 This was a busy week for JAC members across the country, who met with congressional candidates and Members of Congress. JAC also honored its former president and longtime member Betsy Sheerr in Philadelphia. It was great to see old friends and meet new members.

From l to r: Betsy Sheerr and comedian Andy Borowitz.  

AnnDee Levy (l) with NV Congressional candidate Ruben Kihuen.
From l to r: Dana Gordon, Barbara Goldberg Goldman, Jill Zipin.
Judith Bloom, Dana Gordon, Rep. Ami Bera (CA-7), Jackie Cohen, Linda Sher, and Marcia Balonick.

And from the JAC archives... Past JAC president Lois Zoller (l) with former Israeli President Shimon Peres (r).
Remembering Shimon Peres
President Barak Obama's Eulogy
President Barak Obama's Eulogy

"A free life, in a homeland regained.  A secure life, in a nation that can defend itself, by itself.  A full life, in friendship with nations who can be counted on as allies, always.  A bountiful life, driven by simple pleasures of family and by big dreams.  This was Shimon Peres's life.  This is the State of Israel.  This is the story of the Jewish people over the last century, and it was made possible by a founding generation that counts Shimon as one of its own."

"(Shimon Peres) used his gifts to imagine a future of reconciliation not conflict, economic and social empowerment not anger and frustration, and a nation, a region, and a world enhanced by caring and sharing, not torn asunder by the illusions of permanent dominance and perfect truth."  

JAC Statement
"JAC mourns the loss of former Israeli President Shimon Peres, a true statesman and leader. Peres will be remembered for his work to build a lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. He valued the U.S.-Israel relationship and the close bonds between our two countries based on shared values. His unending commitment to peace laid the groundwork which we hope will lead to a permanent peace in the region."

Michigan Membership Meeting
MI Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters
Rep. Sander Levin (MI-9)
October 10th
11:30 am
Home of Roz Blanck

Talking Points
Hillary Clinton Election 2016 Update 
Kimberly Walz, Director of IL Women for HIllary
October 7th
10 am
Highland Park, IL

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

Coffee with Evan Bayh
Indiana Senate Caniddate
October 6
Call the JAC office for details 

Lunch with
President Barack Obama 
Nancy Pelosi 
Rep. Ben Ray Lujan 
supporting the DCCC
October 7
Call the JAC office for details

Lunch with Nancy Pelosi
Steve Santarsiero 
candidate for U.S. Congress
October 8
Haverford, PA
click for details

Reception with
Rep. Jan Schakowsky 
Brad Schneider 
Candidate for U.S. Congress (IL-10)
October 13
Evanston, IL
call JAC office for details

Reception with
Rep. Cheri Bustos 
Brad Schneider
Candidate for IL-10 
October 19
address available upon RSVP
call JAC office for details


For more information and to RSVP, contact the JAC office at 847.433.5999 or
Hillary Clinton's Rosh Hashanah Message

"I send my best wishes for a Shana Tova - a happy and healthy new year - to Jewish families and communities in the United States, Israel, and around the world.

All Americans should question whether we're doing all that we can to work on "Tikkun Olam"-repairing the world.  That means asking ourselves if we could be doing more to help those who are hungry or in need of shelter.  If we could be doing more to make sure everyone has access to health care.  And if we could be doing more to build a brighter future where no one is left out or left behind. 
We are stronger together, and if we commit to work in good faith with one another, surely we can build a better world for future generations."
Read Full Statement
Bill Clinton:
5 Reasons Why I Need You to Make Calls for Hillary


Newsletter Title

Israel & the Middle East
The Lessons of Shimon Peres
Next year will be seventy years since the UN voted on November 29 to partition Palestine and to create a Jewish State. We are on the eve of all those significant anniversaries... but they will not arrive until next year. Peres lived an extraordinary life of great purpose and accomplishment. Yet, it is hard not to feel wistful: Is there anyone who would have deserved more to see 120 years since the Zionist Congress, a century since Balfour, and 70 "fullness" years since UN Resolution 181 than Peres?

Hamas Calls for 'Day of Rage' During Peres Funeral
The Hamas terror group urged Palestinians to hold a "Day of Rage" on Friday, coinciding with the state funeral of former Israeli president Shimon Peres, which will be held in Jerusalem on that day. The call is meant to mark the one-year anniversary of the beginning of a wave of terror attacks, including stabbings and car-rammings throughout the West Bank and in Jerusalem, that launched in September 2015.

Jewish State Shifting From Defense to Offense in Fight Against Delegitimization
The Jewish state is shifting from defense to offense in the fight against delegitimization, a high-level Israeli government official said. The director general of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs said the government was using information-gathering as a means to help it thwart the activities of anti-Israel individuals and groups around the world.

Netanyahu and Abbas Shake Hands at Peres Funeral
Former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres was laid to rest Friday morning, as world leaders gathered at Jerusalem's Mount Herzl cemetery to pay their respects. Current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas notably shook hands during the ceremony-a stunning signal of good will considering the pair's long history of feuding over responsibilities in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. President Obama remarked that Abbas's presence at the funeral was "a gesture and a reminder of the unfinished business of peace" as started by Peres decades ago. 
Anti-Semitism & BDS
Why A Vote for Trump Is A Vote for Mainstreaming Anti-Semites
Earlier this week, Donald Trump Jr., a key coordinator of his father's presidential campaign, sparked controversy when he retweeted a notorious anti-Semite to his 631,000 followers on Twitter. The comment itself was not anti-Semitic, but a criticism of Hillary Clinton, which is probably how the younger Trump was taken in:
Reproductive Rights
Florida Christian Group Launches Petition To Make Abortion As 1st Degree Murder
A group known as Abolish Abortion Florida has created a petition asking state residents to support a constitutional amendment which would outlaw abortion in the state. Not only would this law ban abortion altogether, it would also charge a woman and her doctor with first degree murder - which could theoretically lead to the death penalty. Currently, Florida law classifies first degree murder as a capital offense. Under the proposed law that would ban reproductive rights, a prosecutor could bring murder charges if a woman exercised her constitutional rights and had a procedure in the state of Florida.

This Feminist Rabbi Is Dismantling The Abortion Vs. Religion Debate
For most people, the contradictions between religious values and modern moral dilemmas are an indomitable obstacle, and nowhere is this more clear than the issue of reproductive rights. The traditional thinking is that all major religions are diametrically opposed to abortion, but according to Rabbi Lori Koffman, reproductive justice advocacy is intrinsic in her Jewish faith. As she'll passionately tell anyone who asks, abortion rights aren't about abortion itself, they're about the equality and dignity of all people. 

Californians Can Soon Pick Up 12 Months of Birth Control
Californians, beginning in January, will be able to get a year's supply of contraception in a single trip to the pharmacist. H ealth plans will be required to cover up to 12 months of hormonal contraceptives, such as birth control pills, rings, and patches. Oregon and Hawaii recently enacted similar measures, removing the insurance barriers and logistical hurdles that sometimes lead to missed pills and unintended pregnancies. 
Separation of Religion & State
Donald Trump Pledges to Sign Anti-LGBTQ 'First Amendment Defense Act'
Trump has pledged to sign the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), if passed by congress. It was first introduced in the House on June 17, 2015 and would effectively legalize anti-LGBTQ discrimination across the board, including among employers, businesses, landlords and healthcare providers, as long as they claim to be motivated by a firmly held religious beliefs.

Where the Public Stands on Religious Liberty vs. Nondiscrimination
The U.S. public expresses a clear consensus on the contentious question of whether employers who have religious objections to contraception should be required to provide it in health insurance plans for their employees. Fully two-thirds of American adults say such businesses should be required to cover birth control as part of their employees' insurance plans, according to a new Pew Research Center survey, while just three-in-ten say businesses should be allowed to refuse to cover contraception for religious reasons.
Beyond the Core
WI Systematically Failing to Provide Photo IDs Required for Voting
Nine percent of registered voters in Wisconsin don't have a valid voter ID and many are still struggling to get the documents they need to vote in November. It appears that Wisconsin is violating multiple court orders by not promptly giving eligible citizens free IDs or certificates for voting. This is particularly concerning, since early voting began this week in cities like Madison and Milwaukee and thousands of Wisconsinites are casting ballots. 
Political Byte
Why No One Should Vote for Gary Johnson or Jill Stein
By now, you've seen Gary Johnson's second "Aleppo moment," from Wednesday night's Hardball. It's embarrassing even to watch, like seeing someone who genuinely thinks he can sing butcher a song. As we know, it's the second time Johnson has had such a moment, the first coming three weeks ago, when he obviously had no idea of what was happening in, or even likely the very existence of, the world's most tragic city. Please, don't vote for Gary Johnson or Jill Stein. 

Why the Rest of the World Would Hand Clinton a Landslide Victory
For a country supposedly in decline, the United States is getting a lot of attention these days. Millions of people around the world, not counting 84 million in the United States, were glued to screens watching the Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump bout on Monday. Vladimir Putin is the new czar of Russia, and Xi Jinping the emperor of China. But who remembers Russia's Duma elections? Clinton and Trump get the ratings - worldwide.

Want A Voice in Presidential Debate Questions? Here's Your Chance.
Electing a president is serious business, and while every election-from school board member to county council to Congress-is important, this election is especially critical. So much is at stake for both individuals like you and me and for the United States at large. The next president will have profound influence on many areas of our lives, such as expanding access to health care, including abortion care and contraception.

Alabama's Chief Justice Faces Ethics Charges for Second Time
Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, a Republican, is fighting to keep his job. He's accused of violating judicial ethics for telling local judges they were bound by Alabama's gay marriage ban - and not the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. His trial is set to start Wednesday. He has been suspended pending the trial, and faces removal from the bench. 
Why Hillary Clinton is the Safe Choice for President
This paper has not endorsed a Democrat for president in its 148-year history. But we endorse Clinton. She's the safe choice for the U.S. and for the world, for Democrats and Republicans alike.

Bill Clinton Opens Up About Hillary 
The former president shared intimate details about the "joys and blessings" he's witnessed throughout their 40-year marriage, while also touching on her "heartbreaks and disappointment." 
Trump Watch
USA Today in Scathing Editorial: Trump is 'Unfit for the Presidency'
The USA Today editorial board is opposing Donald Trump's candidacy, taking a position in a presidential election for the first time in the newspaper's 34-year history.  Describing Trump as "erratic," "ill-equipped" to be commander in chief and a "serial liar," the newspaper slammed him for trafficking in "prejudice" and having a "checkered" business record. "This year, one of the candidates - Republican nominee Donald Trump - is, by unanimous consensus of the Editorial Board, unfit for the presidency," it states.

Study Finds 20M Would Lose Health Coverage Under Trump Health Care Plan
A new study that examines some major health care proposals from the presidential candidates finds that Donald Trump would cause about 20 million to lose coverage while Hillary Clinton would provide coverage for an additional 9 million people. The U.S. uninsured rate stands at a historically low 8.6 percent, mainly because of President Barack Obama's health care law, which expanded government and private coverage. Yet it's uncertain if the nation's newest social program will survive the election.

Meet the Guy Donald Trump Would Put in Charge of Protecting the Environment
If Donald Trump should win the White House in November, the man who would oversee his administration's leadership of the EPA has made a career as a climate change denier. It's the clearest sign yet that when Trump says climate change is a "hoax," he means to turn that assertion into a centerpiece of his environmental policy as president. 
Amy Schumer Hits Back: 'You Got the Wrong Jew'
Amy Schumer deflected charges of racism by saying, "you got the wrong Jew." The comedian's comments came in response to criticism that has dogged her since she tweeted a controversial message and participated in a widely criticized interview with "Girls" creator Lena Dunham. Her comment came the same day she and Dunham drew criticism for an interview that some said contained racist undertones.

Rabbis Mull Whether To Talk About Politics on High Holy Days
This election - it's driving everyone a little meshuganah. So as the High Holy Days approach for Jews, and their rabbis are putting the finishing touches on their sermons, one wonders: Will they dive into the topics making headlines these days - among them: the roiling politics, the Black Lives Matter movement and immigration? Or will rabbis avoid jumping into the messy stew of issues that have divided us in the months leading up to the Jewish New Year?

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.