JACPAC News & Opinion Digest

December 31, 2014 

Time is Running Out.
Don't Wait!

Make your last minute 2014 donation NOW.
The 2015 Congress will be the most extreme and conservative Congress in history.

JAC needs YOUR support to protect:
a strong U.S.- Israel relationship
reproductive rights
separation between religion and state

A look back at the year....
JAC Video 2014
JAC Video 2014




Supreme Court Justice

 Ruth Bader Ginsburg


The New Republic this year declared that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was their hero- and she is JAC's as well. 


When President Bill Clinton appointed her in 1993, he said she was the "Nation's best judges, progressive in outlook, wise in judgment, balanced and fair in her opinions (and) ... over the course of a lifetime, in her pioneering work on behalf of the women of this country, she has compiled a truly historic record of achievement in the finest traditions of American law and citizenship." She has certainly lived up to that reputation as she has gallantly tried to forge a common sense path on a court that has become increasingly more conservative.


JAC specifically recognizes Justice Ginsburg for her stinging dissent on the landmark Hobby Lobby decision - a decision that seriously erodes women's reproductive rights and the separation of religion and state, forces the court"into a minefield"  She said, "Approving some religious claims while deeming others unworthy of accommodation could be 'perceived as favoring one religion over another,' the very 'risk the [Constitution's] Establishment Clause was designed to preclude."


Justice Ginsburg was the second female appointed to the nation's highest court and the first Jewish woman.



U.S. Surgeon General
Dr. Vivek Murthy

It was a simple - yet truthful - tweet from Dr. Vivek Murthy: "Tired of politicians playing politics [with] guns, putting lives at risk [because] they're scared of NRA. Guns are a health care issue."  Following the Sandy Hook school shootings, he also tweeted, "NRA press conference disappointing but predictable - blame everything in the world except guns for the Newtown tragedy. #wakeup." 
In a time when there is an alarming increase in gun violence and school shootings, Dr. Murthy was expressing what the medical profession has been saying for years. Yet, the powerful NRA seized on these statements, flexed their muscle, bullied Congress and held up his Surgeon General nomination for more than a year. But, in one of Congress' last actions before they adjourned for 2014, the Senate confirmed Murthy by a 51-43 vote. 
Murthy will be the country's youngest Surgeon General to serve and the highest ranking Indian-American in the Administration. Obama said in a statement that Murthy will bring "his lifetime of experience promoting public health" to the role and help guide the U.S. response to the Ebola crisis. "Vivek's confirmation makes us better positioned to save lives around the world and protect the American people here at home." 
Dr. Murthy stood up to the NRA - and won. The NRA lost.  It's about time.


  Talking Points Palm Beach

High Level Briefing on Israel


Gidi Grinstein

President & Founder of the Reut Institute


Gidi Grinstein

4-6 PM
at the home of 
Betsy & Richard Sheerr 
West Palm Beach 
For more information, contact JAC at 847-433-5999

Want to host a JAC event in your area? Call the JAC office to help coordinate.
Jorel Rocks his Bar Mitzvah! 
Bar Mitzvah Rhapsody 

A year in review - 5774: Top 10 Viral Videos
Visit Us Online  
Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter 
This week's EZ Read brings you a look back on the top news from 2014. Each week, our Research Department compiles articles from many sources. We hope JAC's EZ Read helps you stay informed on the issues and events impacting the Jewish community in the U.S. and across the world. 
Share the EZ Read and our other materials with your friends and family. Like us on Facebook; and please, above all, continue to support JAC.  
Happy 2015.
Israel & The Middle East 

The major news issues included Operation Protective Edge, increased funding for Iron Dome, the collapse of the peace talks, and the failure to reach an agreement on Iran's nuclear weapons. 

President Obama honors Israel President Shimon Peres with President Medal of Freedom. photo source: Reuters


Israelis Remember Ariel Sharon


Obama Promises Security for the 'Jewish State'


Kerry: I Will Always Oppose Boycotts of Israel


In Praise of Shimon Peres


Pope Says Israelis, Palestinians Must Have Dialogue


The Israeli Teens Killed: Promising Lives Lost


Obama Calls Netanyahu: Israel's Right to Defense 


U.S. Lawmakers Support Israel in Gaza Conflict


Israeli Troops Begin Ground Invasion of Gaza


Senate Panel Doubles Money for Israel's Iron Dome


Top U.S. General: Israel Protected Gaza Civilians 


Jerusalem's New Holy War, by Daniel Gordis


US Congress Passes Israel Strategic Partnership Bill


Knesset Votes to Dissolve, New Elections March 17


Iran is Still on the Verge of a Bomb


Hannnukah Miracle: Alan Gross Free From Cuba


Hamas Removed From EU's Terrorism Blacklist


Palestinian Statehood Resolution Fails at UN
Anti-Semitism & BDS
The worldwide Jewish community stood in solidarity against the increased incidents and threats of anti-semitism.  Violence erupted across Europe and even here. Israel saw a record number of new immigrants as Jews fled their communities.  Meanwhile, college campuses saw more anti-Israel rallies and efforts to force universities to divest from their financial holdings with companies that conduct business with Israel.
Reproductive Rights

Women's reproductive freedom was attacked from every level of government.  Abortion clinics closed across the country and many states passed increased waiting periods to receive an abortion.  But, most of all, this year will be remembered for the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision.

Separation of Religion & State

States across the country tried - some successfully- to weaken the separation between religion and state by mandating religious teachings, while the U.S. Supreme Court said it was ok for local government to open their meetings with a religious prayer.

Beyond the Core
School shootings and gun violence continues to dominate our culture, yet efforts to pass common sense gun laws still were blocked in Congress. Keystone Pipeline passed the House, but not the Senate. Even China recognized their global responsibility to fight climate change. The weeks leading up the Midterm election saw lots efforts to suppress voter turnout -- an issue that will continue to dominate the electoral process.

Political Byte
The Midterm elections changed the face of Congress for at least the next several years.  JAC said goodbye to many friends -- and even welcomed a few new ones. Remember:  Elections Matter; every vote counts.
Divide Grows Between Rural and Urban America


The 2013 Jewish Community Voter Guide is now available. Click to see how your Senator voted on issues important to you.
Did you see the JAC Year-End NewsBreak? Click below to read and share news and analysis about 2014 from JAC .

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!



Janna Berk, President
Marcia Balonick, Executive Director
Joy Malkus, Research Director 

Find Us Online:

Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  View our profile on LinkedIn  Visit our blog 
better jac logo
Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs (JACPAC) is a national network committed to the special relationship between the US and Israel and a social agenda that includes reproductive rights and separation of religion and state.  JACPAC supported US Senate and House candidates who uphold this agenda and maintains ongoing dialogue with those it helps elect.  In addition, JACPAC serves as a political resource for the Jewish community, furnishing information about candidates, elections and issues.