May 1, 2015  

JAC met with Rep. Patrick Murphy (FL-18)
(l to r: Hollis Wein, Susan Berk, Rep. Murphy,
Dana Gordon, Janna Berk, Linda Rae Sher)

Meeting with DCCC Chair Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-3) 

June 2 - Highland Park, IL
June 3 - Chicago, IL

JAC Education Foundation is cosponsoring this special event. Please join us.
Join legal experts in hearing real cases involving contraception, women's economic security, and transgender civil rights. We will vote as judges and then discuss how the courts actually ruled. Learn how decisions are part of an ongoing public policy process, and how citizen advocates can get involved in the judicial nomination and selection process to ensure a just and fair court system.

Click above or
contact the JAC office for Details

For more information and to RSVP, contact the JAC office at 847-433-5999 or [email protected]

Rep. Jan Schakowsky's
14th Annual Ultimate Women's Power Lunch
Chicago, IL
Monday, May 18

Come sit at the JAC table!


For more information and to RSVP, contact the JAC office at 847-433-5999 or [email protected]


Congress Wants to Allow People to Carry Guns on More Federal Lands.

Tell your Representative to  
keep guns off the 12 million acres of public lands and waters managed by the Army Corp of Engineers.

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Not sure who your Representative is? Click here.


Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-3)

Rep. Ray Ben Lujan began his 4th term in Congress with his appointment to chair the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. In this leadership position, he will be responsible for recruiting House candidates and supporting incumbents. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called Lujan, "a dynamic and forward looking leader with fresh energy and ideas," who she said would lead the party to victory in 2016.  This is not his first leadership position. At the beginning of the 113th Congress, Rep. Luj´┐Żn was appointed to the House Democratic Leadership as a Chief Deputy Whip.  He was responsible for promoting the Democratic agenda in Congress.  His cousin is Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-1).

Lujan supports JAC's issues 100 percent.  He has pushed for common sense gun legislation, supporting efforts to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and mentally ill. He has called the lack of progress on this issue "an institutional indictment." Lujan is also strongly committed to the "unbreakable" bond between U.S. and Israel and understands that Israel must remain a bi-partisan issue.


Rep. Patrick Murphy (FL-18)
2016 Senate Candidate

JAC has always supported Murphy because of his work in Congress on issues of vital interest to the Jewish Community. As one of the youngest members of Congress, Murphy brings a fresh approach and strong desire to reach across the aisle and work with all Members of Congress.  He has earned a 100 percent pro-choice rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America and he can be counted on to fight the extremist attempts to ban and limit women's reproductive choices. As a powerful advocate for women, he believes that "efforts to curtail this right amount to an unacceptable intrusion by the government into the private lives of its citizens."

He also believes that Israel is the greatest ally of the U.S. in the Middle East, being vitally important to the safety and stability of the region. His family has been in the construction industry for five generations. Murphy used that experience in 2010 when he spent six months working in the Gulf of Mexico to help with cleanup efforts following the BP oil spill. Having grown-up in the Florida keys, he understands the need for responsible environmental policy.  Recently, Murphy announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate.

This Week in Legislation

National Defense Authorization Act. 
An amendment will be added to provide for funding for the research and development of anti-tunneling technology in Israel.
Unanimously passed in committee.
H.J Res 43
Expresses disapproval of Congress' intent to overturn Washington D.C.'s law protecting women's personal healthcare decisions. 

HR 202 Energy and Water Appropriations Act of 2016. The GOP attached an amendment to this funding bill to allow guns to be carried on all Corps of Engineers land.

HR 1721 To reauthorize appropriations for the National Women's Rights History Project Act. This would reauthorize funds for the National Women's Rights History Project, which preserves and promotes historic sites significant to the women's rights movement and will establish a Votes for Women Trail linking women's suffrage movement sites throughout New York. Referred to the Subcommittee on Federal Lands.

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JAC's 5th Annual Power of Women Luncheon
International Correspondent
Amy Kellogg 
and honoring 
Barbara Bluhm-Kaul and her daughters 
Meredith Bluhm-Wolf & Leslie Bluhm

June 1st 
Bryn Mawr Country Club 
Lincolnwood, IL (Chicago area) 
Israel & The Middle East 
Plan for US-Isarel anti-tunnel R&D project clears first House hurdle
A bipartisan group of Congress members unanimously approved adding an amendment authorizing research and development of an anti-tunneling defense system for Israel's protection to the year's most important defense legislation Wednesday.
Read Full Article

Joe Biden's latest charm offensive
The White House is testing out a new ambassador to Israel. His name is Joe Biden. Biden has become central to the administration's outreach to pro-Israel activists, joining meetings with Jewish groups at the White House. Just last week, the vice president appeared at the 67th Annual Israeli Independence Day Celebration in Washington, D.C., where he began his speech by declaring, "My name is Joe Biden, and everybody knows I love Israel."
Iran bill a mess after Cotton, Rubio try to force votes
Sens. Tom Cotton and Marco Rubio used a hardball procedural tactic on Thursday to force contentious votes on a bill allowing congressional review of a nuclear deal with Iran, a move that jeopardizes the measure's future.
Read Full Article

UN admits Palestinians fired rockets from UNWRA schools  
The UN finally investigated the Palestinian storing of rockets in UNRWA schools and their use of the schools to launch rockets against Israel, all of which constitute grave violations of the Geneva Conventions and international humanitarian law.
Read Full Article

The 60 Second Video About Israel in Nepal That Will Amaze You  
It is so amazing that Israel, one of the smallest countries in the world, is always one of the first to help in global disasters. Not only that, but in the case of Nepal, the Israeli Aid Delegation is also the largest group of all countries.

Israel's aid team to Nepal larger than any other country's   
Over 250 doctors and rescue personnel were part of an IDF delegation that landed Tuesday in the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu, in the wake of Saturday's magnitude-7.8 earthquake that devastated large swaths of the mountainous country, killing at least 5,000 and leaving some 8,000 wounded and tens of thousands seeking shelter and food.
Read Full Article 
Anti-Semitism & BDS
Princeton Is 'Quiet Ivy' No More as Raucous Israel Debate Roils Campus 
Princeton's cultivated image of ivory tower calm seemed to vanish like a daguerreotype from another era recently, when student activists succeeded in putting the question of divestment from Israel up for a vote before the entire student body.  
Read Full Article 

Anti-Semitism on Campus: Old Wine in New Bottles, by Abraham Foxman 
I still believe that the vast majority of Jewish students have normal lives on campus where they can be comfortable in their own skins and with their Jewish identities. That is why a recent survey suggesting that more than 50 percent of Jewish students experienced anti-Semitism in one form or another was disturbing. This survey -- which in my opinion was flawed -- was not a helpful reading of what is going on."  
Read Full Article 

In heritage month proclamation, Obama says U.S. Jews still face bigotry  
In the proclamation, Obama said he remains "committed to standing against the ugly tide of anti-Semitism in all its forms, including in the denial or trivialization of the Holocaust" and reaffirmed "America's unwavering commitment to the security of the State of Israel and the close bonds between our two nations and our peoples." 
Read Full Article 
Reproductive Rights
House votes to overturn DC's reproductive health law

The House voted late Thursday night to overturn the District of Columbia's law prohibiting workplace discrimination based on reproductive health choices. The D.C. law, known as the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act, prohibits employers from discriminating against workers, their spouses or dependents for obtaining contraception or family planning services. The law further bans employees from retaliation for having abortions. 

Read Full Article

When a Lawmaker Threatens to Set Himself on Fire, You Know It's Getting Out of Hand
This month, an Oklahoma lawmaker threatened to set himself on fire to "protest the evil" of legal abortion. Rep. Kevin Calvey (R-OK) said that if he were not a Christian, he would douse himself in gasoline and send a strong signal to his state Supreme Court, which has angered him by blocking several anti-abortion laws from taking effect.
Bud Light Says It 'Missed the Mark' with Line about 'Removing No From Your Vocabulary'
Bud Light's "Up for Whatever" campaign is supposed to be about rallying people together for a good time. But on Tuesday, it was mostly uniting people in anger at the brand for being tone deaf to the role alcohol frequently plays in rape cases.

Photo credit: Reddit user GhosX9

Illinois May Require Anti-Choice Hospitals to Discuss Health-Care Options
The Illinois Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would require religiously affiliated hospitals that refuse to offer certain services to provide patients with accurate information about those procedures and where they are available.
Read Full Article

Colorado GOP blocks wildly successful birth-control program
Colorado launched a health initiative a few years ago with a specific target: reducing teen-birth rates. The results were amazing: teen-birth rates dropped 40% in just five years. This week, the state even won an award from the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, celebrating Colorado's success story. Ironically, the award came the same week Colorado Republicans chose to scrap the effective policy.
Read Full Article
Separation of Religion & State
Supreme Court Revives Catholic Groups' Objections to Health Care Law
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday revived religious objections by Catholic groups in Michigan and Tennessee to the Obamacare requirement for contraception coverage, throwing out a lower court decision favoring President Barack Obama's administration.
Read Full Article

Scott Walker, a Pastor's Son, Runs on Faith as Iowa Beckons

Scott Walker, the son of a Baptist preacher, learned a lot about being a politician by going to church. "My relationship with God drives every major decision in my life," Mr. Walker said in an emailed statement. While that relationship does not direct his daily decisions, he said, "our walk of faith helps us prepare for those decisions and provides us comfort as we seek to do God's will."

Read Full Article
Beyond the Core
Pope Francis poised to weigh in on climate change with major document
The largely secular climate movement is about to get what some predict will be a historic boost from an intriguing source: Pope Francis.
Read Full Article

Senators vote to block EPA's use of 'secret science'

A Senate committee voted Tuesday to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from using 'secret science' to back its regulations. The vote in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee came after the GOP-controlled House repeatedly approved the bill. It previous was stalled in the Democratic-majority Senate. 

Read Full Article

Why Americans Don't Treat Fatal Gun Negligence as a Crime

A man in Washington practiced drawing a loaded handgun and unintentionally shot and killed his girlfriend's daughter. A man in Florida twirled a handgun on his finger and killed a pregnant woman. A man in New Mexico handed a loaded rifle to his six-year-old daughter, who unintentionally shot her sister in the neck. None of these gun owners was prosecuted.

Read Full Article

Source: Mother Jones

Tennessee strikes down local laws banning guns in parks

Two weeks after the National Rifle Association had its annual meeting in Tennessee's capital city, the state's governor signed a bill permitting guns in parks

Read Full Article
Political Byte
 This 5-year-old girl knows a lot more about presidents than you do

Meet Macey Hensley, a walking encyclopedia of presidential trivia.  Also, she's 5.

Read Full Article  


Macey Goes to The White House
Macey Goes to The White House

Americans bomb Pew test of basic political knowledge

Only one-in-three Americans knows how many women serve on the Supreme Court, but 91 percent can identify Martin Luther King Jr., 47 years after his assassination. That's according to the latest Pew Research Center News IQ survey released Tuesday, which tests how well the American public knows the world in words, maps and pictures.

Read Full Article  


Chicago to Get Obama Presidential Library
Both The University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago placed bids. The final selection is expected to be connected to the University of Chicago, but the final site has not been settled upon. An official announcement is expected in early May.  Read Full Article

Fracking Titans Spend Millions Proselytizing School Children
For more than 30 years, Dennis Prager has been a conservative radio host and author, beating the conservative drums against what he sees as a host of "liberal" evils-marriage equality, feminism, and multiculturalism. He has called campus rape culture a "gargantuan lie to get votes" promoted by the "feminist left." More recently, Prager has developed an ingenious method of getting his conservative opinions to a new kind of audience, one harder to reach via traditional media channels - he calls is Prager University.
Read Full Article

"It is easy for feminists to forget this, but it was men who gave up their monopoly on political power and gave women the right to vote," Bruce says in the video. "Men who invented birth control, the refrigerator, the washing machine, and so many other devices that liberated women."
Tammy Bruce - Prager University
Obama vows 'never again' on 70th anniversary of liberation of Nazis' Dachau camp  

US President Barack Obama mourned on Wednesday the more than 40,000 people who were killed at Dachau as the world marked the anniversary of the liberation of the German concentration camp.

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Japan's prime minister visits U.S. Holocaust museum  

Japan's prime minister at a visit to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington honored the Japanese envoy who helped thousands of Jews escape the Holocaust. Shinzo Abe, who met with President Barack Obama on Tuesday, said while at the Holocaust museum on Monday, "As a Japanese citizen, I feel extremely proud of [Chiune] Sugihara's work."

Read Full Article 


Apple seeks to expand its new Israel R&D center 

Just months after its opening, Apple is set to expand its R&D center in Herzliya in order to give workers more space, a company source told the Times of Israel Wednesday.

Read Full Article     


  Photo credit:


At Trial of Former Nazi, a Tough Embrace

Last Thursday, 81-year-old Holocaust survivor Eva Kor approached Oskar Groening, a former member of the SS at Auschwitz-Birkenau who is on trial for 300,000 counts of accessory to murder, and offered her hand.

Read Full Article 

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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 

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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.