August 31, 2018
JAC members Deborah Gordon Klehr and Jill Zipin delivered JAC support to Madeleine Dean, candidate for PA-4.(l to r: Deborah Gordon Klehr, Madeleine Dean, Jill Zipin)
JAC members Andi Minkoff and Julie Linnerman delivered JAC support to Greg Stanton, candidate for AZ-9th.
(l to r: Andi Minkoff, Greg Stanton, Julie Barton Linaman)
JAC member Andi Dubroff with Gina Ortiz Jones, candidate for TX-23rd.
JAC met Rep. Bill Foster (IL-11). (l to r: Marcia Balonick, Howard Swibel, Bill Foster, Stephanie Victor, Brent Edelcup, Arden Edelcup)
JAC met Sean Casten, candidate for IL-6th.
(l to r: Marcia Balonick, Sean Casten, Hollis Wein)
This weekend we celebrate the last waning moments of summer and we begin the official sprint to the November midterm election. Labor Day has always been the traditional start of the campaign season, a moment when everyone was ready to focus on evaluating and choosing their elected officials.

With a 24-hour news cycle and social media, it seems by the time we reach Labor Day, election fatigue has already set in. We have more information available than at any other time in human history. Yet the constant barrage of news has turned many of us into cynics and forced many of us to disengage.

But there is so much at stake this election. There are 435 House seats and 34 Senate seats in Congress up for grabs; 87 legislative chambers in 46 states will hold elections; and there are 36  gubernatorial races. There are also county and school board races. We have a responsibility to play a role in our democracy by participating in elections.

In the darkest of days, Martin Luther King Jr. refused to surrender. His speech on the Washington Mall, which was 55 years ago this week, was filled with hope. But he also understood the dangers of divisiveness. "Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred," King said.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) feared the divisiveness as well. In his final letter to the country, McCain said, "We weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries that have sown resentment and hatred and violence in all the corners of the globe. We weaken it when we hide behind walls, rather than tear them down, when we doubt the power of our ideals, rather than trust them to be the great force for change they have always been."

It is not enough to remember the words of McCain and King. We need to take action. This November we can elect candidates who will fight to protect our issues but who will also strive to find the common good in each other.

Support JAC-endorsed candidates (click here). Help Get Out The Vote. Urge your family and friends to vote.

If you get involved, you can make change happen.

Source: New Yorker Magazine
Do you know a high school or college student who would like to intern at JAC during the school year or next summer? Call the JAC office at 847.433.5999 about opportunities. 

Call your Senators and urge them to vote  
NO on Kavanuagh for the U.S. Supreme Court.
Too many of our freedoms are at risk if he is confirmed. 
Click below to use our #NoOnKavanaugh Toolkit and share with friends and family.
#WhatsAtStake #NoOnKavanagh #ProtectSCOTUS 
U.S. and IDF Troops, in Major Joint Drill, Simulating Battle on 3 Fronts            

Juniper Cobra, the largest joint U.S.-Israeli air-defense exercise, is under way, with thousands of troops deployed across the country simulating scenarios where Israel faces missile barrages simultaneously on various fronts. In the two years since the last Juniper Cobra exercise, Israel's enemies have changed. And while 2017 was a relatively quiet year for Israel, the IDF's Aerial Defense Division successfully intercepted drones in the North, as well as rockets fired from the Gaza Strip and Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. 
Why Is Abbas Staunchly Opposed to a Possible Israel-Hamas Ceasefire Deal?
Israel and Hamas have reportedly been indirectly negotiating a ceasefire deal in recent weeks through the Egyptian General Intelligence Services and United Nations Special Envoy to the Middle East Peace Process Nikolay Mladenov. For Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, however, the prospect of a long-term ceasefire between Israel and Hamas is anything but desirable. 
Israeli Defense Officials Said to Fear UNRWA Cuts May Strengthen Hamas       
Sources in the defense establishment fear that Washington's apparent efforts to weaken the United Nations organization that deals with Palestinian refugees may strengthen the Hamas terror group in Gaza and endanger Israel's security. Serious cuts to the budget of the UN's Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) would create a vacuum in the provision of basic services in the Strip, where the majority of residents are dependent on the organization. This would be particularly felt in food shortages and a breakdown of education, which Hamas could use to strengthen its grip on the coastal enclave.    
Continued Reading

Approval Granted to Kotel Egalitarian Section Upgrades
John McCain's Parting Shot Is a Warning About the 'Alt-Right'
John McCain's farewell message was seven short paragraphs packed with the qualities that made the Arizona Republican stand out among his colleagues in the Senate: a paean to his family and to the state and country he loved, gratitude for the opportunity to serve in its military and in Congress, and acknowledgment of his flaws. Make that five paragraphs: McCain reserved two paragraphs in his posthumous farewell for a warning about the dangers of hypernationalism, alluding to the rise of the "alt-right," the white supremacists whom he reviled.     
J.K. Rowling Calls out Writer over Jeremy Corbyn and Anti-Semitism: 'What Other Minority Would You Speak to This Way?'
J.K. Rowling went head to head with a fellow British writer on Twitter over his criticism of Jewish complaints about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. Rowling, who is not Jewish, tweeted in response: "How dare you tell a Jew that their outrage is 'patently synthetic'? How dare you demand that they lay bare their pain and fear on demand, for your personal evaluation? What other minority would you speak to this way?"   
Trump Administration Shortens Funding Period for Grants to Planned Parenthood, Other Groups

The Trump administration has shortened the funding period for grants awarded to organizations providing family planning services. The Title X grants will fund groups that offer birth control, STD testing and other family planning services through March 2019. Previous funding lasted for three-year periods. The change suggests the administration might be planning to wrap up a proposed regulation that would revise the requirements for receiving Title X funding, a move that some critics say is aimed at excluding Planned Parenthood.     
Want to Protect the Right to Abortion? Train More People to Perform Them
Our country needs to act now to have providers ready for the challenges ahead. Advances in medication abortion are vital and important, but not enough. In the darkest times for abortion access in this country in decades, women still need providers capable of providing quality, compassionate care that both protects their health and honors their autonomy. As we confront the uncertain future of Roe and fight to preserve it, we must train, inspire and come together to support the next generation of clinicians to carry out this mission.
For Many Women, a World Without Abortion Access Is Already Here
What would life be like without Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that gave women in the U.S. the right to a legal abortion?  Only eight states - Maine, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, California, Nevada, Washington, and Hawaii - have laws that guarantee the right to abortion, while others have legislation in place that would immediately ban it. In New York, the state's 1970 abortion legalization law remains in place but makes no allowances for procedures after 24 weeks of pregnancy, even if the fetus can't survive or if the pregnancy is causing non-life-threatening risks to the woman's health
Continued Reading

Ivanka Trump Smiles With Pastor Who Thinks Marriage Equality Is Satan's Work 

It was an evening that featured a room full of LGBT prejudice and hatred, and in the photographs Ivanka Trump, alleged one-time supporter of LGBT equality, looked like she was enjoying every second.  
Pence Believes God Wants Him to Be President -- and Trump's Scandals Are How He'll Get There 

Trump biographer Michael D'Antonio told CNN that Vice President Mike Pence believes he has a divine mission to become president -- and he thinks President Donald Trump's plethora of scandals are his ticket to the Oval Office.   
Continued Reading

Judge Blocks Release of Blueprints for 3D Guns

Judge Robert Lasnik of the U.S. District Court in Seattle granted a preliminary injunction in favor of attorneys general from 19 states and Washington, D.C., who argue guns made from the blueprints would be difficult to trace and are a risk to public safety. The ruling comes after the Texas-based company seeking to release the plans, Defense Distributed, reached a settlement with the government in June allowing the blueprints to be available to download.   
General Michael Hayden: There Is No Other Side
General Michael Hayden: There Is No Other Side
Gun Safety Group Taps Veterans to Help Bridge Divides in Gun Debate

Retired four-star Gen. Michael Hayden partnered with Giffords for "There Is No Other Side," a new veteran-focused campaign meant to bridge longstanding political and cultural divides in the gun debate. In the lead up to the 2018 midterm elections, Giffords will be actively recruiting and organizing veterans in a number of states to lend their voices to conversations around firearms in the United States.  
Texas Officials Aim to Shutter Driver's License Offices in Black, Hispanic Communities

Texas officials are pushing to close dozens of driver's license offices in counties with large populations of Hispanic and Black voters--a move that could have an outsize impact in a state that makes it difficult to vote without a photo ID. The Texas counties are the gateway to the Rio Grande Valley. Residents of these mostly rural and overwhelmingly Hispanic counties either have to or may soon have to travel to another county to obtain a driver's license. 
Continued Reading

U.S. Court Says North Carolina Gerrymander Is Illegal, Seeks New Congressional Map
Kavanaugh's Support for Surveilling Americans Raises Concern  
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has frequently supported giving the U.S. government wide latitude in the name of national security, including the secret collection of personal data from Americans. It's a subject Democrats plan to grill Kavanaugh about during his confirmation hearings scheduled to begin next Tuesday. Beyond his writings as an appeals court judge, some senators suspect Kavanaugh was more involved in crafting counterterrorism policies during the George W. Bush administration than he has let on.   
Trump's Supreme Court Pick Signals Skepticism over GOP's Latest Bid to Repeal Obamacare       
If Republicans are hoping Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will help them knock down Obamacare in the courts, they might be in for a disappointment. Kavanaugh has signaled in private meetings with Senate Democrats that he is skeptical of some of the legal claims being asserted in the latest GOP-led effort to overturn the Affordable Care Act.
Kavanaugh's Ties to Disgraced Mentor Loom over Confirmation        
Seeking confirmation to a federal judgeship after years of Democratic opposition, Brett Kavanaugh turned to one of his most powerful mentors for a boost, Judge Alex Kozinski, of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in California. Kozinski abruptly retired from the appeals court last December after several female former law clerks and colleagues accused him of sexual misconduct that included touching, inappropriate sexual comments and forced viewings of pornography in his chambers.  
John McCain and the Last of Human Freedoms
One need not canonize McCain to appreciate him. On the contrary, the fact he was a politician who wanted to win means that he is a better model for other politicians than a saint. He could trim when he had to and sometimes brawled against opponents for reasons not of principle but of power - or just because he harbored a grudge. Yet the former prisoner of war did all he could to live up to words he revered from Viktor Frankl, the Holocaust survivor: "Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."         
NC GOP Gerrymandering Case May Flip the House      
A three-judge federal panel ruled that Republican-drawn congressional districts in North Carolina have been gerrymandered in such a way that they violate the United States Constitution. The panel held that the districts were established by the GOP legislature for the purpose of favoring Republicans over Democrats, which is not a valid reason for delineating congressional districts.     
Poll: Millennials Prefer a Democratic Congress, but Just over Half Plan to Vote in the Midterms
Democrats counting on young people to propel them in the 2018 midterms still have some work to do in convincing them to get to the polls: According to a new survey, millennials like Democrats more than they like Republicans, and they certainly don't like President Donald Trump - but just over half of them say they plan to vote come November.       
Andrew Gillum, Martha McSally, and the Lessons of Tuesday's Primaries
There are two worthwhile takeaways from Tuesday's primary elections. One is that despite the best efforts of its leadership in Congress, the Democratic Party could become a viable force in national politics again. The other is that the recent conviction of Paul Manafort, the guilty pleas of Michael Cohen, and countless other scandals related to President Trump and his administration are of very little interest to many voters.        
Titanic Victim's Hebrew-Letter Watch Is up for Auction
A pocket watch featuring Hebrew letters that belonged to a Jewish Russian immigrant who died aboard the Titanic is up for auction. Its owner, Sinai Kantor, was an immigrant from Russia bound for New York with his wife, Miriam, who survived the accident aboard the Titanic when it sank during the cruise ship's maiden voyage in 1912. Dozens of Jews were among the 1,503 passengers who died. The British liner had a kosher kitchen.    
Get an Edge This School Year with These 7 Great Israeli Technologies
In the face of an alarming rise in university dropout rates and attention-deficit diagnoses, thought leaders are bound for Tel Aviv to share and discover educational technology solutions at Shaping the Future  international ed-tech conference on September 3, kicking off Israel Edtech Week through September 6.     
Introducing JACII, a JAC group for young professionals, advocates, and those young at heart who are looking to get involved. Groups have started in Detroit, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

Events will feature elected officials and speakers in lively settings. JACII is by and for young people. Now is the perfect time to get involved. 

Know someone who would be interested in joining or hosting a meeting? Let us know at We will be happy to help organize a JACII in your city.
The Last Word
"I think electing Republicans is better than electing Democrats...So I drew this map to help foster what I think is better for the country."  

Rep. David Lewis, a Republican member of the North Carolina General Assembly, addressing fellow legislators when they passed the NC redistricting plan in 2016
Reception in support of
Lauren Baer
Candidate for FL-18
Sunday, September 16
Philadelphia, PA
Join JAC in Las Vegas as we Get Out the Vote for
Rep. Jacky Rosen (Senate Candidate)
Susie Lee (Congressional Candidate NV-3)
and Steven Horsford (Congressional Candidate NV-4) 
October 4-7
Details to come. Call the JAC office for more information.
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.
Federal law requires political committees to report the name, mailing address, occupation and employer for each individual who contributes over $200 in a calendar year. Maximum contribution per person may not exceed $5,000 per calendar year. According to law, JACPAC cannot accept corporate contributions. Membership, gifts, or other payments to JACPAC are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.