December 11, 2015

JAC was honored to attend the 2015 White House Hanukkah Party in Washington, DC this week. While in Washington, we also met with elected officials and leaders on issues important to JAC.

JAC members at the White House to celebrate Hanukkah.

JAC women with women of Congress.
(l to r: Rep. Susan Davis (CA-53), Dana Gordon, AnnDee Levy, Rep. Lois Frankel (FL-21), Rep. Nita Lowey (NY-17), Sharon Wilkes, 
Linda Rae Sher

JAC members also celebrated Hanukkah with Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz at the Library of Congress. (l to r: AnnDee Levy, Jamie Sher, Marcia Balonick, Linda Rae Sher, Jennifer Wright, Bruce Balonick, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Sharon Wilkes, Dana Gordon, Mindy Balonick, Josh Balonick)

JAC met with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) in Washington.
(l to r: Marcia Balonick, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Dana Gordon)

JAC members AnnDee Levy and Jamie Sher with
Rep. Adam Schiff (CA-28).

  From, your friends at JAC

January 12
Talking Points Highland Park
A Jewish Discussion on the Issues of Today
Highland Park, IL
Details to Follow

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

Want to host a JAC event? Contact the JAC office for speakers, ideas, and assistance.

December 17
A Celebration of Families
Hillary & Chelsea Clinton

hosted by
Drew Barrymore & Will Kopelman
New York, NY
4:00 pm 

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

 Call Congress TODAY

Tell your Representative 

Tell your Representative to strike any language from the funding bill (aka the Omnibus) that restricts the CDC and NIH from researching gun violence and its impact.

#ENDTHEBAN on CDC Gun Research NOW.

Not sure who your who your representative or senators are? Click here.
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JAC strongly condemns the hateful comments made by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

We may differ on ideas and policies, but we must be united - Republicans and Democrats - to ensuring religious freedoms for all. Racial and religious bigotry has absolutely no place in our political arena and only serves to weaken the fabric of our country.

As Jewish Americans, we know too well from our history the devastating outcome when religious groups are ostracized. We must never forget that our country was founded on the principals of freedom for all. Religious tolerance must always remain a cornerstone of our democracy. If we are to remain true to the ideals that have guided our nation for more than 230 years, then we must always denounce political ideology that threatens our Constitutional right to freedom of religion.

Israel & the Middle East
Hanukkah at the White House
Obama to Rivlin: Peace Important Between Israel, Palestinians 
At an Oval Office meeting with President Reuven Rivlin, US President Barack Obama said on Wednesday it is important to try to achieve peace between Israelis and Palestinians, even though the possibility seems distant. 
Trump cancels Israel visit after finding words matter
Donald Trump canceled plans to visit Israel this month after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized the Republican presidential candidate's call to ban Muslims from entering the United States.
Gift of the Year in PA - Rock-Throwing Plush Dolls
The dolls were clad in kaffiyehs, wearing scarves with the Palestinian colors and a picture of the Dome of the Rock featuring the words "Jerusalem is ours" and "Jerusalem, we are coming." 
Anti-Semitism & BDS
Pro-Israel Academics Launch Network to Fight BDS on Campus
"You don't see 'Boycott Syria' or 'Boycott China' or 'Boycott Venezuela,' or any other country whose human rights records are, I would argue, considerably worse," said a chairman of the new network.
Vatican: Catholics Stop Converting Jews; Fight Anti-Semitism
Catholics shouldn't try to convert Jews, but should work with them to fight anti-Semitism, the Vatican said on Thursday. "A Christian can never be an anti-Semite, especially because of the Jewish roots of Christianity," it said.
Reproductive Rights
States Pass Nearly 50 Anti-Abortion Bills in 2015
While not all became law - including at least 20 measures targeting Planned Parenthood - abortions rights activists are using the trend as a call to action. Among the votes included five states voting to lengthen waiting periods and two voted to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Read Full Article

Poll: Most oppose defunding Planned Parenthood
Americans overwhelmingly oppose cutting off federal funds for Planned Parenthood, a new poll finds. By 58%-33%, those surveyed Wednesday through Sunday said the group's funding shouldn't be eliminated.
Cruz: We Can 'Absolutely' Ban Abortion Without Overturning Roe
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said last month that Congress could "absolutely" criminalize all abortion by passing a law giving 14th Amendment protections to fetuses and zygotes, thus bypassing a constitutional amendment overturning Roe v. Wade.
Separation of Religion & State
A Senate Vote on Donald Trump's Religious Test - Who Said No?
Ted Cruz and three other Republicans oppose an amendment resolving that the country "must not bar individuals from entering into the United States based on their religion."
Why Hanukkah Is the Perfect Festival for Religious Freedom
The very fact that my religion is important to me allows me to understand that your quite different religion is no less important to you. Faith is like a flame. Properly tended, it gives light and warmth, but let loose, it can burn and destroy. We need, in the 21st century, a global Hanukkah: a festival of freedom for all the world's faiths.
Beyond the Core
Voting Rights Again Threatened Before the Supreme Court
The same conservatives who gutted the Voting Rights Act are now challenging "one person, one vote."

An Opening for States to Restrict Guns
To listen to the insistent harangues of many gun-rights advocates, one might imagine that the Second Amendment prohibits almost any regulation of firearms. Fortunately, a majority of the Supreme Court disagrees, declining to hear a challenge to a Chicago suburb's law banning semiautomatic assault weapons and magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

We Can End Gun Violence
Watch the video, then add your voice

We Can Reach 100% Clean & Renewable Energy by 2050
The Paris talks are an opportunity for the United States to lead on a global stage and secure jobs (and entire industries, in fact) developing the energy sources of tomorrow. And there is an effort on Capitol Hill right now to ensure we rise to meet this challenge.

Harry Reid Says Scalia Endorses Racist Ideas
Following remarks made by Justice Scalia questioning the value of affirmative action, Sen. Reid stated, "The only difference between the ideas endorsed by Trump and Scalia is that Scalia has a robe and a lifetime appointment."
Political Byte
WH Plan to Expand Background Checks - Without Congress
White House advisers are set to unveil a plan to expand background checks on gun sales without congressional approval. The plan will include steps to close the "gun show loophole," which permits the sale of guns while background checks are still pending.

Democrats Look Poised To Use The Gun Issue In 2016
In an early preview of how congressional Democrats plan to attack Republicans in the 2016 election, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is buying up radio time to attack vulnerable Republicans over their opposition to blocking people on the FBI's terrorist watch list from buying a gun.

Why So Quiet? Republican Jewish Coalition Mum on Trump
In all the condemnations - from politicians, both Democratic and Republican, and from Jewish organizations - denunciations from one organization were notably and shamefully missing.
WH Asked, You Answered: 'What's the Story Behind Your Menorah?'
Last month, the White House called on readers to help us find special menorahs for this year's White House Hanukkah receptions, asking, "What's the story behind your menorah?" Within one week, we received 54 submissions (3 X chai!) from throughout the country, with stories spanning the centuries and the world.

Religious Freedom Menorah, created by students at Yavneh Day School who were inspired by the Franklin Delano Roosevelt memorial and its messages of Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear, 
Los Gatos, CA

Bahrain's King Holds Hanukkah Candle Lighting
The ceremony Monday in Manama, Bahrain's capital, was the first of its kind in the Persian Gulf nation's palace since the establishment of Israel in 1948, according to a news release from the Conference of European Rabbis.

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.