September 21, 2018
Now Available for download:
2017-2018 Jewish Community Voter Guide.

See how your elected officials have voted on issues important to you over the last year.

The Jewish Community Voter Guide is a non-partisan guide of Congressional votes for 2017 through June 2018 on key issues important to the Jewish community compiled by the JAC Education Foundation.

Also available in printed format. Contact the JAC Education Foundation at

JAC members met with Ken Harbaugh, candidate for OH-8, in Chicago. (l to r: Ken Harbaugh, Marcia Balonick, Susan Insoft, Steve Insoft.)
JAC member Joan Reed came to the JAC office to phonebank for JAC candidates. Interesting helping with GOTV? You can join us at the office, or make calls from home.
JAC member Karyn Lev stopped by to help us get the 2017 Jewish Community Voter Guide ready to mail. Digital versions are available for download now.

The Violence Against Women's Act (VAWA) was set to expire next week - the same week that Christine Blasey Ford may testify before the Senate's Judiciary Committee regarding her sexual assault complaint against SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The passage of VAWA in 1994 changed the landscape for victims who once suffered in silence. Since its passage, victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking have been able to access services. A new generation of families and justice system professionals has come to understand that this will no longer be tolerated in our society.

In 2013, the bill's reauthorization gave colleges more tools to educate students about dating violence and sexual assault.

This year, VAWA faced GOP objections. At the last minute, Congress attached it to a spending bill to keep the government running and the GOP was forced to vote for a temporary extension of VAWA through December 7th.

"A short-term VAWA reauthorization in the must-pass minibus spending bill is nothing short of an abdication of our responsibilities to women in our country," said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

For decades, the public ignored or ridiculed claims of harassment or assault. Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Les Moonves, amongst others, and the MeToo# movement appears to have made it harder to ignore these claims.

But in a national poll of 1,000 women conducted by TIME magazine, 60% of the women surveyed felt the environment for women in their workplace had not changed and 51% say they are no more likely to report sexual harassment now than before.

Now, 27years after Anita Hill testified against Justice Clarence Thomas, Ford will tell her story before that same committee. Little has changed since then. Congress still can't coalesce around vital funds to help victims deal with sexual assault and violence, and women still suffer under the label of accuser.

Will the Senate be tone-deaf as they were in 1991 and confirm Kavanaugh? Will misogynistic behavior finally be deemed unacceptable? Women across the country will be watching the Senate. The election is around the corner. Change will only come if we vote. Elections Matter.

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 #WhatsTheRush
25th Anniversary of Oslo Agreement
Israel has been under assault from the moment of its foundation. The 25th anniversary of the Oslo agreement is just one more milestone, marking a quarter century in which Israel has continued to grow and thrive in spite of the rockets falling on it, a quarter century in which the Palestinians have not learned how to make anything other than war. The Palestinians need to stop making war before their conflict with Israel can be resolved.  
In Apparent About-Turn, Russian Embassy Tears into Israel for Downing of Plane              

Russia's embassy in Tel Aviv on Thursday excoriated Israel for the downing of a Russian plane by Syrian air defenses during an Israeli strike, pinning the blame squarely on the Israeli Air Force. This, despite the fact that on Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin had absolved Israel of direct responsibility for the incident.   
Trump Is Reinventing the U.S. Approach to the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict 
By now, it would be hard to find anyone serious who takes seriously the notion that the Trump administration will achieve the "ultimate deal." Which raises the more interesting question: What, exactly, is the Trump team up to? Through its words and deeds, the administration has made it virtually impossible for even the most optimistic Palestinians to still believe in the peace process, negotiations, diplomacy, U.S. mediation, or even a two-state solution.     
Continued Reading

UN Security Council Debates the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Michigan Jewish Student Denied Recommendation by Professor, Citing BDS as Reason
A University of Michigan professor is under fire for allegedly denying a student's request to write a letter of recommendation for a semester-long study-abroad program in Israel, claiming he could not do so because of a departmental decision. "As you know, many university departments have pledged an academic boycott against Israel in support of Palestinians living in Palestine. This boycott includes writing letters of recommendation for students planning to study there.... For reasons of these politics, I must rescind my offer to write your letter," wrote Associate Professor John Cheney-Lippold.      
House Passes Bill to Elevate Status of Envoy on Anti-Semitism
State Department official who deals with the issue of anti-Semitism from envoy to ambassador. The Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act upgrades the status of the special envoy to combat anti-Semitism--a position the State Department has left vacant for 20 months--to an ambassadorship requiring Senate confirmation.    
Continued Reading

The Violence Against Women Act Will Expire Soon - and Congress Needs to Act Now

A landmark bill designed to combat violent crimes against women is about to expire at the end of the year, and Congress is running out of time to reauthorize it. The Violence Against Women Act will expire on Dec. 7 unless Republican leaders arrange for a bipartisan vote to renew it, prompting lawmakers from both major parties to criticize the delay.       
As Danger to 'Roe' Grows, Many Voters May Not Even Know That Abortion Is Legal
Ever since Roe v. Wade established the constitutional right to abortion, federal and state policymakers have been chipping away at what it really means for people seeking abortion care. Since 2011, states have passed more than 400 abortion restrictions. Now, with President Donald Trump's promise to appoint justices to the U.S. Supreme Court committed to overturning Roe v. Wade (such as current nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh), the threat of government action to more fully undermine abortion access looms large.
Concerns About Whether Kavanaugh Called Contraception 'Abortion-Inducing Drugs' Miss the Point
I think both sides are overlooking the important part: the fact that Kavanaugh's opinion in Priests for Life is utterly bonkers and suggests a willingness to allow evangelicals, by claiming a sincerely held religious belief, to be exempted from laws intended to provide people with contraceptive access through their employers, even when following those laws would require said employers to do nothing more than sign a piece of paper. Essentially, these evangelicals want to veto their employees' right to gain access to contraception, much less use it.
Joe Biden: When a Woman Alleges Sexual Assault, Presume She Is Telling the Truth
"For a woman to come forward in the glaring lights of focus, nationally, you've got to start off with the presumption that at least the essence of what she's talking about is real, whether or not she forgets facts, whether or not it's been made worse or better over time. But nobody fails to understand that this is like jumping into a cauldron."
Leaked Title IX Rule Would Allow Religious Schools to Discriminate-Without Saying Why 

A leaked copy of U.S. Department of Education (DOE) Secretary Betsy DeVos' proposed rule for handling campus sexual assault allegations appears to reveal a plan to make exemptions to Title IX anti-discrimination laws easier for religious institutions.   
Evangelical Leaders Are Frustrated at G.O.P. Caution on Kavanaugh Allegation 

Worried their chance to cement a conservative majority on the Supreme Court could slip away, a growing number of evangelical and anti-abortion leaders are expressing frustration that Senate Republicans and the White House are not protecting Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh more forcefully from a sexual assault allegation and warning that conservative voters may stay home in November if his nomination falls apart. 
Audit Shows NRA in the Red for Second Straight Year

A new third-party audit of the National Rifle Association's finances, obtained by OpenSecrets, found the group to be in the red for the second year in a row. The audit found that after a high-spending year during the 2016 elections, the NRA has seen a sharp decrease in income from dues-paying members for two years in a row.   
Report Finds States Have Improved Cybersecurity for Voter Registration Data

The Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR) found in a survey of 26 states between June and July of this year that the states had largely stepped up their cybersecurity efforts since the 2016 elections, including adopting tools to try to block some attacks.  The report found that most of the states were regularly auditing their systems and had trained staffers accessing the voter registration database about spear-phishing attacks. 
U.S. Cities, States, and Businesses Can Nearly Hit the Paris Climate Goals-Without Trump

When Trump announced plans to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement in 2017, hundreds of businesses immediately responded that it was a mistake-and that they would redouble their own efforts to cut emissions. The newly formed We Are Still In coalition of businesses, cities, and states said that it would act "in the absence of leadership by Washington."
Continued Reading

Read This Before Asking Why Christine Blasey Ford Waited to Tell Her Brett Kavanaugh Story    
On Monday the #MeToo movement will get its highest-wattage moment yet when Blasey Ford and  Kavanaugh testify in front of Congress about one night in Maryland more than 36 years ago.  A friend who went to high school in the 1980s posted what might have happened to Ford "happened all the time when I was growing up and no doubt still does."   We cannot dismiss claims with the lazy excuse that "that's how it was then."     
Kavanaugh Is Already Reshaping the Supreme Court         
On the same day the Senate Judiciary Committee plans a televised hearing on a sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the eight current members of the high court will meet behind closed doors to discuss which new cases to hear. The confluence of those events underscores how the high-profile political fight over Kavanaugh's nomination will also color the public perception of the Supreme Court, and could prompt the justices to steer clear of more controversial cases in the coming term that starts in October.
Swing State Democrat Claire McCaskill Will Vote No on Brett Kavanaugh - but Not over the Sexual Assault Allegations          
McCaskill said she arrived at her decision after reviewing Kavanaugh's views on the "avalanche of dark, anonymous money that is crushing our democracy.  He has revealed his bias against limits on campaign donations which places him completely out of the mainstream of this nation.  He will give free reign to anonymous donors and foreign governments through their citizens to spend money to interfere and influence our elections."  McCaskill brought particular attention to "issue ads," which were used by the Russian government as part of its Trump-boosting interference in the 2016 election.      
The Five Battlefields for Control of the House
The November election for Democratic or Republican control of the House of Representatives will come down to roughly 75 seats that are most competitive this fall. The 75 districts into five main battlefields - not by what part of the country they're in, but by the social and cultural characteristics they share. Democrats need to pick up 23 seats to take the House from Republicans.
President Trump's Defense of Brett Kavanaugh Risks Reminding Voters of His Own History        
Trump's defense of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh from allegations of sexual assault has sparked fear among some Republicans that it will remind voters of Trump's own complicated history with women.  No matter how voters feel about Kavanaugh or Christine Blasey Ford, the professor who accused Trump's nominee of a decades-old sexual assault, the allegations are at the fore as both parties court suburban women before the midterm elections Nov. 6.       
2 Jewish Billionaire Donors Withdraw Support from GOP Candidates
Seth Klarman, one of the largest donors to the Republican Party, called on voters to support Democratic candidates saying "we need to turn the House and Senate as a check on Donald Trump and his runaway presidency."   Billionaire philanthropist Leslie Wexner, CEO of Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works, announced "I'm no longer a Republican."         
Jews Cleaned up at the 2018 Emmy Awards
Every opportunity Jews had to win Emmy awards at the 70th Annual Emmy Awards, they won.   The show was clunky, generally humorless, and typically lengthy - but the Jews were out in full force.      
27: The Most Perfect Album | Dolly Parton | 19th Amendment (MUSIC VIDEO)
27: The Most Perfect Album | Dolly Parton | 19th Amendment (MUSIC VIDEO)
Dolly Parton Is a One-Woman 'Schoolhouse Rock' on Her Song About Women's Right to Vote
For her latest song, Dolly Parton turned the story of women receiving the right to vote in the US into music for an album about the Amendments. Parton is just one of the artists featured on 27: The Most Perfect Album, from the podcast "More Perfect." On her track, "19th Amendment," Parton opens with a monologue about women's suffrage and sings about women fighting for their rights.       
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
"Our hearts break for the fifteen-year-old girl who walked in, and how different that girl was who walked out. We feel connected to the 15-year-old girl still living inside of you, and are outraged by the seventeen-year-old boy still living inside of him."      

-  Layla, Charlotte and Jessica - three 15-year-old girls in Idaho have penned an open letter supporting Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when the two were teenagers.
 Meet & Greet
Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ)
Monday, September 24
9:30 am
Chicago, IL
Contact JAC office for details 
Women for Brad in support of
Rep. Brad Schneider (IL-10)
Sunday, September 30
3:30 - 5:00 pm
Highland Park, IL
Reception for
Mikie Sherrill
Candidate for NJ-11
Wednesday, October 3
6:00 pm 
Chicago, IL
Breakfast with
Phil Bredesen
Candidate for U.S. Senate for Tennessee
Monday, October 15 
 8:00 am
Chicago, IL 
Details to follow 
Reception for
Rep. Adam Schiff (CA-28)
Thursday, Oct 18 
Highland Park, IL
Details to follow
Michigan Membership Luncheon
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) 
Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) 
Rep. Debbie Dingell (MI-12)
Monday, October 8
Franklin, MI
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.
Election Night Watch Party
Tuesday, November 8
7:30 pm
Location & details to follow
(Want to host a JAC watch party? Contact the office and we will help organize it. 847.433.5999 or 
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.