Press Release

12/17/2012 JAC's Statement on the Massacre in Connecticut

The horrific tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut has touched us all. We are deeply shaken and mourn the loss of these innocent children and their teachers. The survivors and the entire community will never be the same. They have lost children, grandchildren, siblings, friends. Their security has been so rudely violated and their expectations forever changed.


11/16/12 - JAC Supports Israel's Right to Self Defense

We just completed election campaigns that resulted in the election of members of the US House and Senate who are committed a strong US-Israel relationship and the re-election of a President who has shown his unshakable commitment to Israel. We thank the Administration and Congress for their steadfast support for Israel and we thank you, our members, for your calls, letters and emails whenever we alert you to action needed. Israelis draw great comfort from our support and their security is strengthened by our vigilance.

6/23/2012: JAC Welcomes Carol Leifer to the 2nd Annual Power of Women Brunch on June 21

Comedy, politics, current events and a celebration of the accomplishments of women marked the second annual Joint Action Committee Power of Women brunch in Chicago June 23rd.  Standup comic and comedy writer Carol Leifer provided much-needed comic relief from serious issues as well as motivation to get involved in addressing those issues.  Her observations on modern life were funny and poignant, and the audience identified with her as she shared anecdotes about being Jewish, being a comedian, and being a mother. Leifer has worked on Seinfeld, Saturday Night Live, and the Larry Sanders Show, won a 2012 Writers Guild Award for her work on the Emmy award-winning show Modern Family, was one of the writers for the 2012 Academy Award show featuring Billy Crystal and recently penned the book, When You Lie About Your Age, The Terrorists Win.

6/28/2012: JAC Applauds Decision: Supreme Court Upholds Obama Health Care Mandate

June 28, 2012
JAC Applauds Court Decision

We at JAC are elated and relieved at the Court's decision. This ruling affirms the benefits that this legislation has provided, especially to women. It provides access to expanded preventive services such as mammograms and PAP smears. It means young adults will be able to remain on their parents' insurance plans.  It protects those with pre-existing conditions from being refused insurance.  It provides access to insurance coverage for millions of previously uninsured or uninsurable Americans.  It is a victory for all Americans. This is a victory for women. The ACA is the most pro-women law in recent history.


Summary of the Ruling


The Supreme Court largely upheld President Obama's health care law, the Affordable Care Act. Chief Justice John G. Roberts joined the majority in affirming the central legislative accomplishment of Mr. Obama's presidency. He ruled that the key provision in question, the so-called individual mandate requiring all Americans to buy insurance or pay a fine, failed to pass constitutional muster under the Commerce Clause, which was the heart of the administration's arguments in favor of it. But the Chief Justice declared that the fine amounted to a tax that the government had the power to impose, and that the mandate could survive on that basis. Upholding the mandate meant that the rest of the act was judged constitutional as well.


Ruling Shows Elections Matter


But we must point out that the ruling was 5-4, with Chief Justice Roberts siding with the majority, which was a surprise, and Justice Anthony Kennedy ruling with the minority.  The ruling is a stark reminder how much elections matter.  The justices on the Supreme Court are nominated by the President and they serve for life. The Senate Judiciary Committee holds hearings to approve the President's nominees. Senate Committee chairs are determined by the majority party.

Mitt Romney, Republican candidate for President, has already gone on record to say that if the Court doesn't overturn Obamacare, as President he would repeal it "on day one."

It is crucial to maintain the current committee structure in the Senate by working to elect JAC candidates who will uphold our interests. It will also be crucial to work for the Presidential candidate who will choose the next Supreme Court justices.

For more information on the Supreme Court ruling, visit the following websites:

For information on provisions of the Affordable Health Care Act:

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2/8/2012: JACPAC sets the record straight on contraceptive decision by President Obama

Statement from JACPAC on President Obama’s Decision to Require Church Institutions to Offer Contraceptive Coverage

February 8, 2012

Whose rights are being abridged? Religious liberty, conscience and morality are not the exclusive domain of the Catholic bishops. Millions of women, Catholic and non-Catholic, elect to use contraception. It is not only legal, it is in some cases advisable from a medical standpoint. For most women, birth control is a common sense matter of economics and personal choice.

2/3/2012: JACPAC Joins Pro-Choice Protests; Komen Reinstates Funding

Highland Park, IL Feb 3, 2012 – Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs (JACPAC) applauds the efforts of our members and those of pro-choice advocates all over the country.  Our voices were heard.

The outcry of support for Planned Parenthood and criticism for the decision by Susan G. Komen for the Cure to sever ties with the organization was more than a mere exercise in free expression.  The controversy galvanized the pro-choice community to mount a spontaneous protest that Komen could not ignore. JACPAC and other pro-choice organizations sprang into action. Komen’s donors and local chapter organizations were outraged; Planned Parenthood’s donations skyrocketed. Our pro-choice friends in the US House and Senate have gone on record with open letters to Komen. 

This could be a precedent-setting move that will have a far-reaching impact.  It could demonstrate that catering to the political right is not only wrong, it has negative consequences. It signals the religious right that a political agenda based on sectarian beliefs runs counter to the constitutional separation of religion and state, a matter of great concern to the Jewish community and to JACPAC. The publicity surrounding the Komen-Planned Parenthood controversy has put certain lawmakers on notice that their anti-woman and Constitution-defying agenda will not be tolerated.  Forced ultrasounds, pre-abortion lectures by uninformed non-medical personnel, “conscience” clauses that allow pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions they disapprove of, and opt-out provisions that allow hospitals and medical personnel to refuse to provide life-saving abortions have no place in our society. If our actions put an end to such measures by limiting the power of the right wing, then the pro-choice cause has made a giant leap forward.  JACPAC is proud to be a leader in the effort.

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Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs (JACPAC) is a bipartisan political action committee dedicated to the special relationship between the US and Israel and a social agenda that includes reproductive choice and separation of religion and state. JACPAC supports the election campaigns of US Senate and House candidates who uphold this agenda and maintains an ongoing dialogue with those it helps elect. JACPAC serves as a political resource for the Jewish community, furnishing information about candidates, elections and issues.

2/2/2012: JACPAC disapproves of Komen Action Against Planned Parenthood

JACPAC disapproves Komen Action Against Planned Parenthood

Highland Park, IL Feb 2, 2012 – Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs (JACPAC) has issued an action alert to its members nationwide to contact Susan G. Komen for the Cure to protest that organization’s recent action against Planned Parenthood.  Komen ceased its funding of mammograms and other screening tests that Planned Parenthood provides for mostly young, low-income or uninsured women. JACPAC’s action alert is an expression of  extreme disappointment over Komen’s decision, which targets the most vulnerable women whose sole health care provider is Planned Parenthood.

Over the last five years, Planned Parenthood has provided about 4 million breast exams and referrals for 70,000 mammograms nationwide. Funding from Komen covers about 170,000 of the breast exams and 6,400 mammogram referrals, according to Cecile Richards, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). PPFA is the largest provider of reproductive health services in the country.

In making this decision, Komen appears to be caving in to political pressure. The pressure comes from lawmakers on the political right who have taken aim at women by legislating away their reproductive health options. The pressure has mounted in the form of an audit launched by Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL), chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, to determine whether public money had been spent on abortions over the last decade. JACPAC agrees with Planned Parenthood supporters that the investigation is a witch-hunt, with no basis for being conducted other than Stearns’ own political views.

Komen’s sharp political turn to the right has left women and science behind. It wouldn’t be the first time.  In April 2011,  Komen hired as its senior vice president for public policy Karen Handel, who ran for governor of Georgia in 2010 and lost, despite an endorsement by Sarah Palin. During her campaign, Handel pledged to be a “pro-life governor,” and said she “disapproved of the mission of Planned Parenthood.” Additionally, a member of  Komen's Advocacy Alliance Board is  Jane Abraham, the General Chairman of the Susan B. Anthony List and of its Political Action Committee. While Komen claims to care for women’s health,  the politics of some of its board and senior staff work against its stated goals.

JACPAC agrees strongly with Patrick Hurd, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Virginia, that cancer  victims don’t care about people’s politics and cancer doesn’t favor one political point of view over another.   That is a guiding principle Komen should not have abandoned.

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Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs (JACPAC) is a bipartisan political action committee dedicated to the special relationship between the US and Israel and a social agenda that includes reproductive choice and separation of religion and state. JACPAC supports the election campaigns of US Senate and House candidates who uphold this agenda and maintains an ongoing dialogue with those it helps elect. JACPAC serves as a political resource for the Jewish community, furnishing information about candidates, elections and issues.



12/15/2011 Detroit Activists Host JACPAC Event

December 15, 2011

A luncheon attended by about fifty members and prospective members of JACPAC was held December 15th at the home of Roz Blanck, of Franklin, a lawyer who is active in Jewish community affairs.  Lisa Lis and Pam Lippitt organized the event.
U.S. Rep. Shelley Berkley of Nevada was to appear at the luncheon but was unable to attend in person because of a crucial vote in Washington.  She spoke to the group by phone. Technology and local talent really saved the day.  Pro-Israel activist David Victor, past President of AIPAC, gave an update on US-Israel relations and Jeffrey Zaslow, author of Gabby:  A Story of Courage and Hope, spoke about his experiences with the Congresswoman and her astronaut husband, Mark Kelly.  Giffords was shot and nearly killed last year at a shopping mall in her hometown of Tucson.  She is working hard to rehabilitate herself so that she can return to Congress.

"These days it is more important than ever to be involved politically,” said event organizer Lisa Lis.  “JACPAC deals with the issues I find most compelling, such as Israel, women’s rights and social justice. With the emergence of the Tea Party and the resurgence of extreme right groups, it is important for us to assert ourselves politically.  That is why we support members of Congress like Shelley Berkley of Nevada and Gabrielle Giffords of Tucson.  They may represent Congressional districts far from ours, but their votes on the critical issues of the day affect us. Our local legislators, Congressman Gary Peters and Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, also represent our like minded concerns and assisting those who speak for us in Congress is paramount to keeping our voices heard.”

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Marcia Balonick, Executive Director or Dana Gordon, Membership and Outreach
Joint Action Committee (JAC), 847-433-5999