May 5, 2023

On Our Minds...

Monday kicked off Jewish American Heritage Month, a time designated to reflect on the contributions of American Jews to our nation. President Joe Biden said about this month, “We celebrate the enduring heritage of Jewish Americans, whose values, culture, and contributions have shaped our character as a Nation.”

A proclamation like this from a U.S. president would have been unheard of when the great wave of Jewish immigrants arrived on our shores in the late 1800s. The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, and National Park Service also joined in paying tribute to Jewish Americans. This recognition is yet another reminder of how far we have come. 

But our accomplishments have come with challenges and hard-fought battles. As Jews arrived, escaping persecution and seeking a better life, they were once again met with the very type of antisemitism they were fleeing.

In 1654, the first group of Jewish immigrants arrived in present-day New York. The governor attempted to have these Jews removed; not even allowing them to depart their boat until ordered to do so. They were also denied the right to worship in public. Having helped our country gain its independence and settle this country, Major General Ulysses S. Grant expelled Jews from Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky.

Economic fears prevented Jews from working in some fields of employment. Xenophobia barred Jews from renting or owning certain properties and from belonging to country clubs and social clubs. Some resorts even barred Jews with well-known policies of “no Hebrews.” Ivy league schools, such as Harvard, feared that allowing Jews to enroll would increase antisemitism, a ruse for their discriminatory quota polices.

Nevertheless, we have persisted and pushed forward. As we have made progress breaking our own glass ceilings, we have helped to change this country from the sciences, to arts, business, and public service. The accomplishments of Jewish Americans are too numerous to list and too important to honor in just one month.

It is not enough to celebrate our past. We must work to secure our future by doing all that we can to eliminate antisemitism and all forms of hate.



JAC's Advocacy Committee Meeting

From l to r: Stacy Rudd, Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-CA), Allison Shaewitz, Riley Shankman, and Marcia Balonick

JAC at Rep. Schakowsky's 2023 Women's Power Lunch. l to r: Anne Oppenheimer, Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-IL), Amy Zisook, Allison Shaewitz, Rebecca Nathanson

JAC at Rep. Schakowsky's 2023 Women's Power Lunch.

l to r: Allison Shaewitz, Rebecca Nathanson


Sunday, May 7

Women for Brad Luncheon

in support of Rep. Brad Schneider (IL-10)

with special guests IL Comptroller Susana Mendoza &

Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering

Northbrook, IL


(Note JAC table when you register)


Tuesday, May 9th

Dessert & Discussion on Gun Violence Prevention

with IL Lake County States Attorney Eric Rinehart & Chair of the Illinois Violence Prevention Initiative Sara Knizhnik

Highland Park, IL



Join us for JAC's 2023 Power of Women Luncheon on Monday, June 12 in Lincolnwood, IL with special guest

Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi.

Watch your inbox for details.


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  • A Jewish community center outside Detroit is refusing to be defined by antisemitic symbols painted on their building
  • Despite two "no" votes and four abstentions, NYC council passed a resolution to recognize April 29th as "End Jew Hatred Day"


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“It is time for Congress to accept its responsibility to establish an enforceable code of ethics for the Supreme Court, the only agency of our government without it.”

Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL)

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.

Paid for by Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs. Contributions or gifts are not tax deductible. Federal law requires us to use our best efforts to collect and report the name, mailing address, occupation, and name of employer of individuals who donate in an election cycle. Corporate contributions and contributions from non-US citizens who are not lawfully admitted for permanent residence are prohibited. All contributions by individuals must be made from personal funds and may not be reimbursed or paid by another person.