June 5, 2015  

Thank you to everyone who helped to make our 5th Annual Power of Women Luncheon such a success.

JAC's 2015 Power of Women Luncheon
(l to r back: JAC President Janna Berk, JAC Communications Director Hollis Wein, Co-Chair Susan Berk,
honoree Barbara Bluhm-Kaul, featured speaker Amy Kellogg, Co-Chair lene Tucker,  
JAC Membership & Outreach Director Dana Gordon;
front:  JAC Research Director Joy Malkus,  
JAC Executive Director Marcia Balonick,  
JAC Director of Special Events Linda Rae Sher

Co-chairs Susan Berk and Ilene Tucker with featured speaker Amy Kellogg.

Our 2015 JAC Power of Women honorees:
 l to r: Leslie Bluhm, Barbara Bluhm-Kaul and
Meredith Bluhm-Wolf

l to r: Janna Berk, Julie Sacks, Susan Berk,
Ilene Tucker, and Sheila Gutman

"With our own two hands, we can change the world."

Volunteer Coordinator Jacki Parmacek, and past Luncheon chairs Lisa Rubinstein and Laurie Lustbader.

JAC joined over 200 million people around the country sporting Orange to support the 1st National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

Rep. Ted Lieu (CA-33) joined us at Talking Points Los Angeles.

A wonderful turnout in Los Angeles for Talking Points.

JAC met with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in Chicago for her Off the Sidelines campaign. (l to r: Dana Hirt, Marcia Balonick,
Joy Makus, Senator Gillibrand, Marcie Love, Hollis Wein,
Jody Schmidt, Dana Gordon. 

Call Congress

End discrimination against 
pregnant workers!
The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act would require employers to provide reasonable, temporary accomodations to pregnant workers so they can remain in the workforce throughout their pregnancy.

Pregnant workers without these protections face unpaid leave, lost benefits, or even termination, forcing them to choose between protecting the health of their pregnancy or continuing to work in order to support themselves and their families. No one should be forced to make that choice.

Tell Congress pregnant workers deserve dignity and protection.

Urge your Representative and Senators to co-sponsor the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. 
Don't know who your senator is?

Click here to find out. 

Reception for Congressional Candidate
Eric Lynn (FL-13)
Chicago, IL
Thursday, June 11
5:30 pm  

Reception for Senate Candidate
Russ Feingold (D-WI)
Chicago, IL
Monday, June 15
5:30 pm


For more information and to RSVP for any of these events, contact the JAC office at 847-433-5999 or info@jacpac.org

Join with Hillary

If you would like to support Hillary,
please contact the JAC office at
847-433-5999 or
Red Donate Button
Our combined contributions make our voices stronger.  There is
Rep. Chris Van Hollen  (MD-8) 
Chris Van Hollen was elected to Congress in 2002 and quickly earned a reputation as an active, engaged, and effective member of the House of Representatives.

He has co-sponsored legislation that enhance the relationship between the U.S. and Israel.  He has said, "We need to maintain this special relationship based on shared values, common strategic interests and moral bonds of friendship."  As a strong proponent of the US-Israel Strategic Partnership Act, Van Hollen is committed to helping Israel better meet the new security challenges it faces in the region. Throughout his time in Congress, Van Hollen has earned a 100 percent pro-choice rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America.  JAC can count on him to protect reproductive freedom for all women.  He has worked to improve access to contraception and has said it "should be a shared national goal" and not a political issues.

Van Hollen announced he is running for the Senate seat that will be vacated by longtime JAC friend Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD). 

Discussion on the Challenges Facing Comprehensive Reproductive Health Care in Illinois
with Dr. Eve Feinberg & Dr. Amy Whitaker
Presented by Personal PAC
Tuesday, June 9
7:00 pm
Home of Mary Stowell
Winnetka, IL

RSVP required by June 7


Talking Points Los Angeles
Details to come

Talking Points Highland Park
Details to come

Want to host a JAC event near you? Please contact the JAC office and we will help coordinate.

For more information and to RSVP, contact the JAC office at 847-433-5999 or info@jacpac.org

Israel & The Middle East 

Ya'alon: We hold Hamas responsible for rocket fire into Israel  
An Israeli military statement said: "Yesterday, June 3, 2015, two rockets were launched at southern Israel from the Gaza Strip," it said adding that they fell on open ground near the southern city of Ashkelon and the town of Netivot. "No injuries were reported." A radical Islamist Salafist group, The Omar Brigades, posted a statement on Twitter claiming responsibility for the rocket fire, saying it was in retaliation for Hamas's killing of an Islamic State supporter a day earlier in Gaza.
Read Full Article

Israeli premier warns of Palestinian boycott campaign 
Israel faces an "international campaign to blacken its name" aimed at delegitimizing its very existence regardless to its policies, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday. The international community disproportionally singles out the Jewish state for condemnation while remaining silent on major conflicts and human rights abuses in other countries, he said.
Read Full Article

Incoming Foreign Ministry head to meet with senior Saudi official 
An unusual meeting is slated to take place on Thursday between incoming Foreign Ministry Director General Dore Gold and a senior Saudi official.  Gold, currently the director of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, is scheduled to hold a meeting with Maj. Gen. Anwar Eshki at the Foreign Relations Council in Washington. The two are expected to make an appearance at an event devoted to a discussion of mutual interests in keeping Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
Read Full Article

In Search of the Real Barack Obama 
The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg, one of the most incisive, respected foreign policy journalists around, recently conducted an in-depth interview with U.S. President Barack Obama covering many dimensions of his administration's Mideast policy. Because Goldberg has had unique access to Obama and because he has insight into the region, I thought a conversation with him into what he learned from these exchanges would be engaging and worthwhile - and it certainly was.
Read Full Article

Six powers agree way to restore U.N. sanctions in push for Iran deal-sources 
Six world powers have agreed on a way to restore U.N. sanctions on Iran if the country breaks the terms of a future nuclear deal, clearing a major obstacle to an accord ahead of a June 30 deadline. The new understanding on a U.N. sanctions "snapback" among the six powers - the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China - brings them closer to a possible deal with Iran, though other hurdles remain, including ensuring United Nations access to Iranian military sites.
Read Full Article 
Anti-Semitism & BDS
The boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement promotes itself as a non-violent "civil society" human rights organization trying to bring peace to a victimized people and the world. It is not. BDS is, in fact, the marketing arm of the same Arab-Muslim people and organizations that have unsuccessfully tried to destroy Israel since its establishment.
Read Full Article

Swedish far-right leader: Jews must abandon religious identity to be Swedes
The leader of Sweden's Jewish community has condemned as "good old rightwing antisemitism" remarks by a far-right leader who said Jews cannot be Swedes unless they abandon their Jewish identity.
A protester with her face painted in the colors of the Palestinian flag chants during a pro-Gaza demonstration outside the Israeli embassy in London. Photo credit:REUTERS.

UK universities counter students, oppose boycott of Israel

An umbrella organization representing the administrative heads of British universities released a statement on Wednesday reaffirming its opposition to an academic boycott of Israeli institutions of higher learning.
Tony Blair appointed as head of European body fighting antisemitism
The British former prime minister has been appointed as chairman of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation a week after he announced that he would stand down as the envoy of the quartet on the Middle East. In an article for the Times, in which he sets out his plans for his new role, Blair says that he will campaign against the abuse of religions which has become a "mask behind which those bent on death and destruction all too often hide".
Reproductive Rights
In Several States, Abortion Waiting Periods Grow Longer
In recent years, states have passed well over 250 laws restricting abortion. One trend in those restrictions: longer waiting periods before women can have the procedure. Twenty-six states already have waiting periods. Most make women wait 24 hours between the time they get counseling on abortion and have the procedure. But this year, several states are extending that to 48 - even 72 - hours.

"It is a ferocious tax on people's feelings of safety": Congresswoman targets GamerGate-style online harassment
Last week, thanks in large part to the efforts of Democratic Massachusetts Rep. Katherine Clark, the US House of Representatives formally supported measures to "intensify investigation and prosecution of severe online threats against women" and to "increase investigations and prosecutions of these crimes."
Griswold at 50: Creating a legacy of protections for women's health
Ask someone to list the most fundamental Supreme Court cases impacting women's health, and Griswold v. Connecticut, decided fifty years ago, on June 7, 1965,is unlikely to rise to the top; few Americans outside of health and legal spheres have ever heard of it. Yet the Supreme Court's Griswold decision not only paved the way for Roe v. Wade, but in its own right profoundly impacted legal protections for women's healthcare.
Millennials Want Contraception To Be Accessible To Everyone
"Majorities of both women and men in the millennial generation believe access to contraception is critical, not just for reproductive health, but also for the financial well-being of women," said Robert P. Jones, CEO of Public Religion Research Institute.
Wisconsin Abortion Bill Would Allow Men to Sue for Emotional Distress
A Wisconsin bill that would unconstitutionally ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy includes language stating that men can sue abortion providers for "emotional and psychological distress."
Separation of Religion & State
The ultimate in school choice or school as a commodity?
Starting next school year, any parent in Nevada can pull a child from the state's public schools and take tax dollars with them, giving families the option to use public money to pay for private or parochial school or even for home schooling.
Read Full Article

Credit: Americans United for Separation of Church & State

Texas approves textbooks with Moses as Founding Father

Christian conservatives win, children lose: Texas textbooks will teach public school students that the Founding Fathers based the Constitution on the Bible, and the American system of democracy was inspired by Moses. On Friday the Republican-controlled Texas State Board of Education voted along party lines 10-5 to approve the biased and inaccurate textbooks.  

Read Full Article

Utah Senator will introduce legislation to protect religious organizations
Surrounded by appreciative Christian college leaders, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, announced Wednesday that he would soon introduce legislation to protect religious organizations from discrimination by the federal government that could arise because of their conscientious support of traditional marriage.
Beyond the Core

CLICK HERE for more reasons why people were shot. Graphic credit: Parents Against Gun Violence.

Texas Lawmakers Pass a Bill Allowing Guns at Colleges
Students and faculty members at public and private universities in Texas could be allowed to carry concealed handguns into classrooms, dormitories and other buildings under a bill passed over the weekend by the Republican-dominated Legislature. The measure is being hailed as a victory by gun rights advocates and criticized by many students and professors as irresponsible and unnecessary.
Louisiana chooses guns over butter
Louisiana's state legislature decided Tuesday to eliminate a tax holiday for hurricane equipment and school supplies, but keep one for guns and other hunting tools.
Read Full Article

Will the new Clean Water Act rule stir states to revolt?
Last week, the Obama administration released a new regulation defining the scope of "waters of the United States" for the purposes of the Clean Water Act (CWA). The rule will clarify which streams and wetlands have enough connection to the nation's navigable water bodies that they are subject to the law's protections.
Israel Aids Drought-Stricken California 
The US state that is home to some of the most vicious anti-Israel and pro-BDS advocates is turning to Israel to help them develop the world's most precious resource, water. Israeli tech companies are moving forward with bids to help drought-stricken California develop new plans to obtain more clean drinking water. David Segal, the Israeli Consul to the southern California region, said that after years of negotiations and agreements with local water companies, Israeli aid to the arid state is finally becoming a reality.
Supreme Court Watch

The Supreme Court just made the Web even more hostile for women
You have to mean it before it's a crime. So said the Supreme Court in a ruling this week about online threats of violence. The opinion reverses a lower court's conviction of a man who fantasized on Facebook about killing his ex-wife.
Supreme Court sides with Muslim girl denied a job over head scarf
Finding a civil rights cause that increasingly brings together conservatives and liberals, the Supreme Court told employers Monday that they had an "affirmative" duty under federal anti-discrimination law to accommodate the religious practices of employees and job applicants. By an 8-1 vote, the justices sided with a 17-year-old Muslim girl who was rejected for a job at Abercrombie & Fitch because she wore a head scarf.

The Supreme Court May Take Up A Case That Could Be A Game Changer On Abortion Access
Looming questions about exactly how far states can go to restrict access to abortion services are inching closer to the Supreme Court, as the nation's most powerful justices are currently deciding whether to take up a case regarding a Mississippi law that threatens to close the only abortion clinic in the entire state.
Political Byte
U.S. Surveillance in Place Since 9/11 Is Sharply Limited
In a significant scaling back of national security policy formed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the Senate on Tuesday approved legislation curtailing the federal government's sweeping surveillance of American phone records, and President Obama signed the measure hours later.
Read Full Article

Who is writing our laws? Meet ALEC.
WATCH THE VIDEO about  ALEC - an organization of corporations and lobbyists working with elected to officials to draft bills and pass laws that benefit big money interests at local, state and federal levels.

Bashing GOP, Clinton calls for automatic voter registration

Hillary Clinton on Thursday blasted potential Republican rivals for the voting requirements in their states as she proposed a series of policies meant to expand access to the polls. The Democratic presidential candidate called for ensuring at least 20 days of early voting across the country, restoring key pieces of the Voting Rights Act and instituting automatic voter registration.

Read Full Article  

Honoring Dr. George Tiller
Six years ago today, my hero and mentor -- Dr. George R. Tiller -- was assassinated in his church for providing a compassionate and safe place for women seeking abortions. Since that time, much has changed in the world of reproductive rights. In just the last four years, states have enacted more than 231 abortion restrictions -- unprecedented numbers that have created the most hostile environment for American women since the Supreme Court's decision to protect abortion rights in 1973. More clinics have closed due to these punitive laws and more physicians have retired from practice. More clinics are subjected to threats and intimidation of doctors and staff.
Read Full Article

Caitlyn Jenner invited to Tel Aviv pride events
Tel Aviv Municipality asks former American athlete who came out as a trans woman to participate in next week's Pride Parade as LGBT community's guest of honor.

IsraAID sends team to Texas flood relief
IsraAID has sent a team of volunteers to flood-ravaged Texas to help with relief efforts. This is not the first time the Israeli organization has sent disaster relief aid to the US. The Israel-based humanitarian relief agency has experience in US disaster relief from floods in Denver, Detroit; Hurricanes Sandy, Katrina; wild fires in Washington.

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 

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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.