Special July 4th Edition  

This Week at JAC
This week, JAC continued to monitor Supreme Court developments. Recent decisions will impact reproductive choice and voting districts. We also met with Democratic Senatorial Campaingn Committee (DSCC) to discuss the top 2016 Senate races.

On the Fourth of July holiday, we should reflect on the tremendous strides our country has made "to form a more perfect union." Today, women are being denied access to health care and control over their own fertility decisions.  Gun violence fills the news on a constant, daily basis.  Climate change threatens our way of life and economic stability. Religious and sexual discrimination still exists through society. 

We hope while you are celebrating 4th of July, you will take the opportunity to reflect on the unique freedoms we enjoy in this country and think about what you can do to protect those rights for all. Enjoy the  fireworks, parades, and bbqs.


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu  at the U.S. embassy's July 4th celebrations in Israel.

"On this day that celebrates freedom both of us know this:  Neither one of us can take life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness for granted. Americans and Israelis have paid a high price to protect these sacred principles. We are stronger when we face our great challenges together.
And today the bells of freedom ring across America. They ring loud in Israel too. May we always cherish our freedom. May we always cherish our friendship."
Read Full Remarks
BBQ Talk
  • The Liberty Bell did not ring in American Independence.
  • The Continental Congress voted on July 2, 1776 to declare independence.
  • The Declaration was not signed until Aug. 2, 1776.
  • Independence was not officially celebrated until July 8 when Philadelphia threw a big party.
  • Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both died on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the vote to approve the Declaration of Independence.
  • 56 people signed the Declaration of Independence.
  • Americans consume 150 million hotdogs on July 4th each year.
  • July 4 became an unpaid holiday for federal workers in 1870; in 1938 it became a paid holiday;  and in 1941, it was declared a federal holiday.
  • Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th.
  • Calvin Coolidge, the 30th president, was the only president born on July 4.

source: 20-20 site; Fourth-of-July-Trivia-Questions ; Constitution Facts.com

JAC was excited to participate in Congressional candidate Brad Schneider's(IL-10) kickoff for his women's event to be held in the fall.
Rep. Jan Schakowsy (IL-9) and Brad Schneider. 

Wendy C. Abrams with Brad Schneider.

Talking Points Los Angeles
Details to come

Talking Points Highland Park
August 13
with Rep. Ted Lieu (CA-33)
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 [email protected]


Rep. Patrick Murphy (FL-18 )

Murphy is running for the Senate from Florida.  JAC has always supported Murphy because of his work in Congress on issues of vital interest to the Jewish Community. He 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. 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." 

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Israel & The Middle East 

Click here for a 90 second explination

U.S. Continuously Briefing Israel on Iran Negotiations

 American diplomats currently negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program in Austria have been in constant communication with their Israeli counterparts. A senior United States official told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that Wendy Sherman, US President Barack Obama's chief negotiator with Iran, "spoke in a secure call with [Israeli National Security Advisor] Yossi Cohen last week."

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Experts Split On Whether Iran Deal Will Be Signed 
As world powers meeting in Vienna gave themselves another week to conclude a momentous nuclear deal with Iran, observers here were split on whether they would succeed by next Tuesday's supposedly final deadline.

Iran Nuclear Talks: 5 Questions if the negotiations Collapse

The Iranian nuclear talks are playing out in classic fashion: A self-imposed deadline appears to have been extended due to stubborn disputes, with the sides publicly sticking to positions and facing internal pressure from opponents ready to pounce on any compromise. Should the talks actually collapse, the alternatives are not appealing. The war option that the United States has kept on the table has few fans, and the world community does not seem willing to impose truly crippling sanctions. A dangerous period of uncertainty looms.

Anti-Semitism & BDS
New Federal Law Fights European Boycotts of Israel

On Monday, President Obama signed into law the sweeping Trade Promotion Authority, a measure with broad significance for future international trade deals with Europe. It also includes important new federal legislation, the United States-Israel Trade and Commercial Enhancement Act, opposing boycotts and other economic warfare against Israel.

United Church of Christ Votes to Divest from Israeli Companies in Occupied Territories
The nearly 1-million member United Church of Christ voted overwhelming Tuesday (June 30th) to divest from companies that profit from the Israeli occupation and to boycott products of Israeli companies based in the West Bank, a move that follows a divestment vote taken by the Presbyterian Church (USA) last spring.
Reproductive Rights
Will The Supreme Court Take Up Another Contraception Challenge?

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday temporarily pushed back efforts by religiously affiliated nonprofits to block their employees from accessing contraception insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Photo credit: Huffingotn Post

Oregon Residents Can Now Get Birth Control Prescription Without Doctor's Visit

Oregon lawmakers on Thursday approved a bill allowing women to get birth control prescriptions from a pharmacist instead of a physician, a shift that could vastly expand access to contraceptives throughout the state.

The Hardest Speech: Lawmakers Now Speaking Out About Own Abortions
In some political careers, there comes a moment when you must stand up and say something you never wanted to say. For Ohio state representative Teresa Fedor, that moment came this March, as she listened to her fellow lawmakers debate a bill that would forbid abortions once a heartbeat is detected, which can sometimes be as early as six weeks. A former schoolteacher who's served in the legislature since 2002, she says she knew it was time to tell her own story.
Separation of Religion & State

Oklahoma Supreme Court Orders Removal of Ten Commandments

The Supreme Court in Oklahoma has ruled the Ten Commandments monument erected in 2012 at the State Capitol must be removed. The court overturned a decision by a district court that ruled the monument could remain, according to a report by Fox News Insider, which quoted The Associated Press.

Colorado's High Court Block School Voucher Program
Beyond the Core
What the Law Actually Says About the Concealed Carry-As Gay Marriage Debate

The Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right. Does the same apply to carrying a gun in public? In the days since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right, gun-rights advocates have put forward an argument in response: If same-sex marriage is a fundamental right under the Constitution, why shouldn't it apply to the concealed carry of guns?

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Face of Gun Violence
This Independence Day, survivors of gun violence are standing up and pledging Not One More. We're honoring the 88 Americans killed every day with a gun and the hundreds more who are injured -- and strengthening our resolve to prevent future tragedies.
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New York police warn children not to buy 'pistol grip' iPhone case that looks exactly like handgun
Police and anti-gun campaigners are warning that a new iPhone case which turns the gadget into a fake gun could lead to its owners being shot.
The case, which is rectangular and has a 'handgun' handle on the side, is being sold online for as little as $10. It comes with an app that turns the phone's screen into an image of a gun barrel to align with the case.
Read Full Article

The Supreme Court Just Delivered A Victory To Coal Plants That Want To Emit Unlimited Mercury
Power plants may continue to be able to emit unlimited mercury, arsenic, and other pollutants thanks to the Supreme Court, which on Monday took steps toward invalidating the first-ever U.S. regulations to limit toxic heavy metal pollution from coal and oil-fired plants.
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Political Byte
Supreme Court's Redistricting Ruling Averts 2016 Chaois- But Will It End Gerrymandering?

Election-reform advocates breathed a sigh of relief Monday when the Supreme Court upheld a voter-approved independent redistricting commission in Arizona. The court's 5-4 decision averted potential chaos in the 2016 elections, but whether it represents a significant victory for reformers trying to come up with antidotes to partisan gerrymandering remains to be seen.

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A gift for the world's girls - from Michelle Obama
First-term first ladies are often shadows to their more-important husbands, dabbling in lite fare to avoid criticism and picking safe projects to shield them and their families from the inevitable slings and arrows.
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Sir Nicholas Winton, nicknamed the "British Schindler" for rescuing more than 650 children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia through Kindertransports to the United Kingdom, died this week at age 106. Winton was born in 1909 to German Jewish parents in London. In 1938, the 29-year-old Winton traveled to Czechoslovakia to visit a friend. It was there he witnessed how dangerous the conditions were increasingly becoming for the country's Jewish population. The Guardian reports that in an interview with BBC Radio 4 last year, Winton explained he was fully aware of the urgency of the situation, thanks to information he received from the British Committee for Refugees from Czechoslovakia while Prague:
U.S. Jews Among Biggest Backers of Same-Sex Marriage, Data Show

Some 77 percent of American Jews expressed support for same-sex marriage, according to data gathered in 2014 by the Public Religion Research Institute. Some 47 percent of American Jews polled said they "strongly favor" allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally, and 30 percent said they "favor" it.

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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.