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Summer Update


2021 August Recess Advocacy Toolkit — August recess, when Members of Congress return to their home districts, is one of the best times make sure your voice is heard in Washington. Most Members of Congress schedule in-district meetings in their home states so this is an important opportunity for the Jewish community relations network to advocate strategically on priority issues.

JCPA's 2021 August Recess Toolkit provides tips for scheduling a meeting, presenting an issue, and making an effective "ask," as well as issue briefs with background information and talking points on the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, bipartisan sentencing reform, and interfaith recovery bill recommendations.

Criminal Justice Reform Legislative Update (August 2021) — There are several pieces of legislation Congress is actively considering that could move forward later in the year or early in 2022. As part of our Criminal Justice Initiative, JCPA is producing this legislative update to inform the Jewish community relations field about Congressional criminal justice legislative efforts and action needed.

Faithful Democracy: A Moral Prelude to Marching — The Faithful Democracy Coalition, of which JCPA is a member, is hosting a virtual, interfaith event to kick off the March On for Voting Rights activities across the country on Sunday, August 22 at 3 PM ET. JCPA is not cosponsoring the March itself as it is taking place on Shabbat. Register here for this interfaith, virtual kick-off and learn more about March On for Voting Rights here.

JCPA, Jewish Federations of North America, and Jewish Women International Urge Congress to Fund Gun Prevention Programs — JCPA, JFNA, and JWI sent Congress a letter signed by more than 20 Jewish organizations urging appropriators to build on the bipartisan Congressional support that resulted in new funding for CDC and NIH to research the causes of gun violence (included in the FY 2020 and 2021 appropriation bills for the first time in a generation). The groups recommend that Congress take a comprehensive approach to addressing this growing crisis in the FY 2022 appropriations bills. Read the letter with the full list of recommendations.

JCPA Joins Faith Letter to Calling for the Expansion of Poverty Fighting Programs — The Interfaith Domestic Human Needs Coalition, of which JCPA is an active member, is urging Congress to permanently extend the Earned Income and Child Tax Credit programs in the recovery package. The one-year expansions are already serving as a lifeline helping people in distress cope with the economic effects of the covid-19 pandemic, with families using the much-needed payments for rent, food, medical bills. Read the full interfaith letter. 

JCPA Supports Jewish Federations of North America's Advocacy Outreach and Support for Donor Advised Funds — JCPA joined a coalition of 285 national and community organizations representing each of the 50 states, to express opposition to the Accelerating Charitable Efforts Act (S. 1981). This legislation would undermine important charitable tax incentives in ways that could be devastating to the vulnerable community members supported by Jewish philanthropy. Read the full letter here.


JCPA's Racial Justice Work Highlighted in Forward Article — In an article reviewing the work of Jewish organizations since George Floyd's murder, the Forward highlights many of JCPA initiatives, including leading a letter signed by 130 Jewish organizations pledging to fight “systemic racism.” Our central message, which the Forward notes, to those wishing to get involved locally is to listen to and learn from people of color and engage on issues to build a just and pluralistic America. The article also discusses JCPA’s recent annual conference, where racial justice was presented as an utmost Jewish issue, with workshops on voting rights, Black-Jewish relations and mass incarceration, and a keynote speech from Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock. Read the full article.

JCRC Chairs Initiative — JCPA will kick off its 2021-2022 JCRC Chairs Initiative, which brings together JCRC Chairs monthly to network and connect on areas of interest, with an orientation for new chairs on August 25. The initiative is a vibrant and valued space for JCRC Chairs to ensure that they have the resources and support they need to lead their JCRCs, respond to pressing issues, and learn best practices from other chairs around the country. If you are a JCRC Chair and would like to attend, contact jcpainfo@jcpa.org for more information.

JCPA Applauds Appointment of Chanan Wiessman as White House Liaison to the Jewish Community — JCPA had urged the Administration to prioritize filling this position, particularly given the recent growth of antisemitism. Read the full statement. 

JCPA Congratulates Deborah Lipstadt on State Department Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism Nomination — Deborah, a close friend and partner of JCPA, would be an outstanding Ambassador and very impactful in this role.

JCPA Mourns the Passing of Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO Chief — An icon of the labor movement, JCPA was honored to present Trumka with the "Friend of Justice and Righteousness" Award, at the 2011 JCPA National Conference. Read the full statement.


In Case You Missed It... If you were not able to tune in to JCPA's webinar series, don't worry, you can always watch the recordings at a time that works for you.

Webinar Series on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict:
Where Do We Go from Here?

A Call to Justice 4 Years After the Charlottesville Attack
August 10, 2021 
This was a special virtual program marking four years since the attack on Charlottesville. We will come together to reflect on that violent weekend and its role in broader cycle of extremism--and discuss how Integrity First for America's lawsuit is holding accountable the neo-Nazis and white supremacists. JCPA is happy to partner with Integrity First for America on this important program. 

Click here to watch the recording. 

Briefing on Iran
June 24, 2021
This webinar focused on the priorities of the new government in Iran, the current status of its nuclear ambitions and the role it plays in the changing Middle East landscape. It also addressed diverse perspectives on possible policies the Biden Administration should undertake at this time.

Click here to watch the recording.

Political Change and Social Unrest: The Arab Minority and Jewish-Arab Relations in Israel
June 15, 2021
In May, escalations in East Jerusalem sparked unprecedented, street-level violence between Israel's Jewish and Arab citizens and renewed hostilities with Gaza. Arab rioting, retaliatory Jewish vigilante attacks, and clashes with police sent shockwaves throughout the country and left many communities in fear. In parallel, Jewish and Arab leaders made history forming the first governing coalition with an Arab party, Ra’am.

Click here to watch the recording.

Understanding the Changing Geopolitical Situation in the Middle East
June 10, 2021
The geopolitical situation in the Middle East is rapidly changing. This webinar provided the context of the changing nature of Israel’s relationships with its neighbors, the ambitions of Iran, and discussed the role of the United States in the post Hamas-Israeli hostilities.

Click here to watch the recording.

Understanding the Recent Hostilities with Israel and Hamas
June 24, 2021
More than 4,000 rockets were launched from Gaza into Israel recently. This webinar examined why these aggressions took place at that time, what this means for peacemaking efforts, including a two-state outcome, and coexistence, and as it works to form a new government, where does Israel go from here.

Click here to watch the recording.

Rallying for Recovery: Jewish Priorities for Rebuilding
Congress is currently debating recovery legislation that could transform the communities where we live, learn, work, and pray. Representatives from JCPA, Dayenu, Jewish Federations of North America, National Council of Jewish Women, and the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism discuss what policies and investments are needed, why so many Jewish organizations care about this legislation, and how you can support their efforts.

Click here to watch the recording.


To read past issues of JCPA's update, click here.




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