Agenda for Public Affairs 1999-2000

					!
    ]CP              enda
                  for
                  Public
                  Affairs

    1999-2000
    JEWISH COUNCIL FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS
                  443 Park Avenue South
                  New York, NY 10016
                  telephone 212.684.6950
                  fax 212.686.1353
                  www.jewishpublicaffairs.org
JEWISH SECURITY AND
THE BILL OF RIGHTS    42
                      42   Preamble
                      43   Religion in America· Charitable Choice
                      44   Protecting Free Exercise of Religion
                      45   Religion in Public Schools
                      46   Public Funding for Private
                             Religious Education
                      47   Hate Crimes
                      48   Civil Liberties and Civil Rights of
                             Gays and Lesbians
                      49   Free Speech . Attacks on Advocacy
                             by Non-Profit Organizations
                      49   Anti-Semitism
                      50   Holocaust
                      52   Interreligious Relations


THE ENVIRONMENT
AND JEWISH LIFE       55
                      55   Preamble
                      56   Environmental Health and Justice
                      58   Biological Diversity
                      59   Climate Change and Energy Policy
                      61   Sustainable Development
SUMMARY OF 1999
PLENUM RESOLUTIONS    64
                      66   JCPA Executive Committee
                      67   National Agency Representatives
                      67   Federation System Representatives
                      68   Community Representatives
                      69   Ex Officio
                      70   Staff
                                 Table of Contents

JCPA MISSION STATEMENT       5
CONSTITUENT ORGANIZATIONS    7
ROLE OF THE JCPA            10
THE PUBLIC POLICY
FORMULATION PROCESS         12
ISRAEL AND OTHER
INTERNATIONAL CONCERNS      14
                            14   Preamble
                            15   Middle East Peace Process
                            18   U.S.-Israel Relations
                            19   Israel, the International Community
                                    and the United Nations
                            20   Terrorism and Weapons of
                                    Mass Destruction
                            22   American Jewish-Israel Relations
                            23   The Ethiopian Jewish Community
                            24   Human Rights
                            26   Jews in the Former Soviet Union

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY
AND SOCIAL JUSTICE          28
                            28   Preamble·
                            29   Poverty
                            31   Child Welfare
                            32   Race and Ethnicity
                            34   Public Education
                            37   Immigrants and Refugees
                            38   Right to Reproductive Choice
                            40   Healthcare
 THE ]CPA     MISSION    STATEMENT                                             5




                                     The JCPA
                                     Mission Statement
                                    ADOPTED JUNE 10, 1996




THE JEWISH COUNCIL FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS (jCPA)     serves as the representative
voice of the organized American Jewish community in addressing the
mandate of the Jewish community relations field.

That mandate is expressed in two, interrelated goals:
[I] to safeguard the rights ofJews here, in Israel, and around the world;
and, in order to accomplish that,
[2] to protect, preserve, and promote a just American society, one that is
democratic and pluralistic.

These goals are pursued in a non-partisan manner informed by Jewish values.
History teaches us that Jewish security is inexorably linked to the strength
of democratic institutions. Thus, our community has a direct stake -
along with an ethical imperative -     in assuring that America remains a
country wedded to the Bill of Rights and committed to the rule of law,
whose institutions continue to function as a public trust.

The JCPA reflects a unique and inclusive partnership of national member
agencies, local community relations councils and committees, and the fed-
erations of which they are a component part or an affiliated agency. It
convenes the "common table" around which member agencies, through
an open, representative, inclusive and consensus-driven process, meet to
identity issues, articulate positions, and develop strategies, programs, and
approaches designed to advance the public affairs goals and objectives of
the organized Jewish community.
6   JEWISH    COUNCIL      FOR     PUBLIC AFFAIRS'      AGENDA     1999-2000




    The work of the JCPA, especially in matters relating to democratic plural-
    ism and social justice, reflects the profound Jewish commitment to tikkun
    oiam, the repair of the world. It expresses the conviction of the organized
    Jewish community that it must be active in the effort to build a just soci-
    ety. The JCPA has the responsibility to enhance the capacity of member
    agencies to effectively pursue the public affairs agenda. This responsibility
    requires the JCPA to provide coordination, support, and guidance for
    public affairs initiatives undertaken by national and local member agencies,
    to advocate on behalf of the public affairs policies of the organized Jewish
    community, and to respond to those member-identified needs which
    strengthen their individual and collaborative capacity to advance the com-
    munal public affairs agenda.




                                                                          '.';>~ T~~-f~~'
           ]CPA    .   CONSTITUENT ORGANIZATIONS                                             7




                                 JCPA Constituent
                                      Organizations




NATIONAL AGENCIES
                                                Jewish Federation of Palm Springs and
  American Jewish Committee                       Desert Area
  AmericanJewish Congress                       JCRC of Sacramento
  B'nai B'rith/ Anti -Defamation League         CRC of United Jewish Federation of
  Hadassah                                        San Diego Counry
  Jewish Labor Committee                        JCRC of San Francisco, the Peninsula,
  Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A.               Marin, Sonoma, Alameda and
  National Council ofJewish Women                 Contra Costa Counties
  Union of America Hebrew Congregations         JCRC of Grea.er San Jose
  Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations      Connecticut
    of America                                  Jewish Federation of Greater Bridgeport
  United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism/    Jewish Federation of Greater Danbury
    Womens's League for                         Jewish Federation of Eastern Connecticut
    Conservative Judaism                        CRC ofJewish Federation of
  Women's American ORT                            Greater Hartford
                                                Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven
COMMUNITY AGENCIES                              United Jewish Federation of Stamford
Alabama                                        Jewish Federation of Waterbury
   CRC of the BirminghamJewish                Colorado
     Federation                                 The Jewish Federation of Colorado
Arizona                                       Delaware
  CRC of the Greater Phoenix                    Jewish Federation of Delaware
     Jewish Federation
  CRC of the Jewish Federation
                                              District of Columbia
                                                Jewish Communiry Council of Greater
     of Southern Arizona
                                                    Washington (includes Northern Virginia
California                                          and Montgomery and Prince George's
  Jewish Federation of Greater Long Beach           Counties, Maryland)
      and West Orange Counry
  JCRC of the Jewish Federation Council
      of Greater Los Angeles
8 .        JEWISH      COUNCIL       FOR    PUBLIC   AFFAIRS·    AGENDA         1999-200 0




Florida                                          Massachusetts
  Jewish Federation of South Broward              JCRC of Greater Boston
  Jewish Federation of Fort Lauderdale            Jewish Federation of North Shore
  Jacksonville Jewish Federation                  Jewish Federation of Greater New Bedford
  Jewish Federation of Lee and                    Jewish Federation of Greater Springfield
      Charlotte Counties                           Worcester Jewish Federation
   Greater Miami Jewish Federation               Michigan
  Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando             Jewish Community Council
  Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County              of Metropolitan Detroit
  Jewish Federation of Pinellas County             FlintJewish Federation
   Sarasota-Manatee Jewish Federation
   South Palm Beach County Jewish                Minnesota
      Federation                                   JCRC of Minnesota and the Dakotas

Georgia                                          Missouri
  Atlanta Jewish Federation                       Jewish Community Relations Bureau/
  Savannah Jewish Federation                          AmericanJewish Committee
                                                      of Greater Kansas City
fllinois                                           St. Louis JCRC
   JCRC of the Jewish United Fund
       of Metropolitan Chicago                   Nebraska
   Jewish Federation of Peoria                     ADLlCRC of the Jewish Federation
    Springfield Jewish Federation                     of Omaha

Indiana                                          NewJersey
   Indianapolis JCRC                               Federation ofJewish Agencies
  Jewish Federation of St. Joseph Valley             of Atlantic County
                                                   United Jewish Community Bergen County/
Iowa                                                 North Hudson
  Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines          Jewish Federation of Central New Jersey
Kansas                                             Jewish Federation of Clifton-Passaic
  (see Missouri)                                   MetroWest United Jewish Federation
                                                   Jewish Federation of Greater
Kentucky                                             Middlesex County
  Central Kentucky Jewish Federation               JCRC of Greater Monmouth County
 Jewish Community Federation of                    JCRC of the Jewish Federation
     Louisville                                      of North Jersey
Louisiatla                                         JCRC of Southern New Jersey
  Jewish Federation of Greater Baton Rouge         United Jewish Federation
  Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans           of Princeton Mercer & Bucks Counties
  Shreveport Jewish Federation
                                                 New Mexico
Maine                                             Jewish Federation of Greater Albuquerque
 Jewish Federation-Community Council
    of Southern Maine
Maryland
 Baltimore Jewish Council
                  ]CPA    .   CONSTITUENT        ORGANIZATIONS                                    9




       New York                                       Tennessee
        Jewish Federation of Broome County              JCRC of the MemphisJewish Federation
        Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo            Jewish Federation of Nashville and
         ElmiraJewish Welfare Fund                         Middle Tennessee
        Jewish Federation of Greater Kingston
                                                      Texas
        JCRC of New York
                                                        Jewish Federation of Austin
         United Jewish Federation of Northeastern
                                                        JCRC of the Jewish Federation
           New York
                                                           of Greater Dallas
        Jewish Federation of Greater Orange County
                                                        JCRC of the Jewish Federation ofEl Paso
        Jewish Community Federation of Rochester
                                                        Jewish Federation of Fort Worth
         Syracuse Jewish Federation
                                                          and Tarrant County
         Utica Jewish Federation
                                                        CRC of the Jewish Federation
       Ohio                                               of Greater Houston
         Akron Jewish Community Federation              JCRC of the Jewish Federation
         Canton Jewish Community Federation               of San Antonio
         Cincinnati JCRC
                                                      Virginia
         Cleveland Jewish Community Federation
                                                        United Jewish Community of the
        CRC of the Columbus Jewish Federation
                                                           Virginia Peninsula
        JCRC of the Jewish Federation
                                                        Jewish Community Federation of
            of Greater Dayton
                                                           Richmond
        CRC of the Jewish Federation
                                                        United Jewish Federation of Tidewater
           of Greater Toledo
        JCRC of Youngstown Area                      Washington
           Jewish Federation                          Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle
      Oklahoma                                       Wisconsin
 !     Jewish Federation of Greater Oklahoma           MadisonJewish Community Council
       Jewish Federation of Tulsa                      Milwaukee Jewish Council
 ~*


"
 I
 i
      Oregon
        Jewish Federation of Portland
I~


      Pennsylvania
        CRC of the Jewish Federation of Allentown




I
        Erie Jewish Community Council
        CRC of the United Jewish Federation
          of Greater Harrisburg
        JCRC of Greater Philadelphia
,•      CRC of the United Jewish Federation
.         of Pittsburgh
        Scranton-Lackawanna Jewish Federation
       Jewish Federation of Greater Wilkes-Barre
        York JCRC
      Rhode Island
        CRC of the Jewish Federation
          of Rhode Island
      South Carolina
        Charleston Jewish Federation
        Columbia Jewish Federation
10   JEWISH     COUNCIL       fOR   PUBLIC   AffAIRS·    AGENDA      1999-2000




                                         The Role of the JCPA




     Created in 1944 by the              Because of its enduring
     General Assembly of the
     Council ofJewish Federations
                                         commitment to provide
     (now known as United Jewish         a ((common table JJ for its
     Communities), the Jewish            diverse membership J
     Council for Public Affairs
                                         the ]CPA works to ensure
     (formerly known as the
     NationalJewish Community            an atmosphere of mutual
     Relations Advisory Council)         respect and cooperation.
     serves as the multi-issue public
     affairs arm of the organized Jewish community, and serves as a coordinating
     body for its diverse members agencies. The JCPA is a voluntary association of
     122 local Jewish community relations councils or committees and 13 national
     agencies. It serves as the instrument through which its members jointly
     determine positions on issues of priority concern, and coordinate ways to
     most effectively advocate those positions.

     The JCPA deliberative process - embodied in the work of its task forces
     and public policy formulation - is characterized by free and open debate,
     with opportunity for dissent, allowing member agencies to maximize their
     effectiveness by planning policies together and coordinating their pro-
     grams. The following criteria are employed in the JCPA's determination of
     priorities and allocation of resources: the nature and extent of threats to
                               o,oc,J~,,,.,-Z.&EI



THE   ROLE   OF   THE ]CPA                                               I I




Jews as individuals and/or as a Jewish community at home or abroad; the
nature and extent of threats to the American democratic process; the
impact of changing conditions on the goals and policies of the Jewish com-
munity; the efficacy of remedies in resolving issues; and the priority con-
cerns of coalition partners.

JCPA member agencies are autonomous, engaging in those aspects of
community relations work deemed appropriate to an agency's goals and
commensurate with its resources. Further, JCPA policy provides that each
member agency respect the integrity and philosophy of other member
agencies. Because of its enduring commitment to provide a "common
table" for its diverse membership, the JCPA works to ensure an atmos-
phere of mutual respect and cooperation.
12   JEWISH     COUNCIL       FOR    PUBLIC AFFAIRS'       AGENDA     1999-2000




                                          The Public Policy
                                          Formulation Process




     The entire range of public            ThejCPA Agenda
     affairs that affect America's
     Jews - including Middle East
                                          examines and assesses
     peace and Israeli security, civil    changing conditions and
     rights and liberties, racism and     trends to gauge any
     prejudice, poverty and jus-
                                          potential impact on Jewish
     tice, intergroup relations,
     environmental and public             community relations
     health issues, and international     goals and concerns, and
     human rights - are addressed         to determine priorities
     through the JCPA public
     policy formulation process.
                                          and strategic goals for the
     One result of that process is        next year.
     the annual jCPA Agenda Jor
     Public Affairs, which is, in essence, the blueprint for action by the organized
     Jewish community.

     The jCPA Agenda Jor Public Affairs - formerly known as the joint Program
     Plan - serves as an advisory guide to member agencies in their own program
     planning. Each agency is free to accept, reject, modifY or expand any of the
     Agenda's recommendations. The jCPA Agenda examines and assesses
     changing conditions and trends to gauge any potential impact on Jewish
     community relations goals and concerns, and to determine priorities and
     strategic goals for the next year.
WHAT     IS   THE JCPA     AGENDA      FOR   PUBLIC     AFFAIRS?               I    3




While it sets forth specific goals, the Agenda does not dictate specific programs
or actions necessary to achieve those goals. Throughout the program year,
additional guidance is offered in memoranda or action alerts as issues warrant
and as determined by the jCPA task forces.

In fall 1998, draft propositions were prepared by the jCPA staff, which were
then circulated to alljCPA member agencies in advance of the February 1999
plenum, the agency's annual public policy conference. Member agencies were
urged to study and discuss the propositions and to submit in writing those
items they felt required consideration and resolution by the plenum.

This year's draft document, approved by the plenum, was subsequently
reviewed in April 1999 by the Committee on Pubic Policy Formulation,
chaired by Barry Cohen and Paul Minkoff. The Committee was comprised
of the chairpersons of all jCPA task forces, lay and professional representatives
from jCPA national member agencies, local jewish community relations
councils and committees.

The ]CPA Agenda for Public Affairs 1999-2000 appears herein as adopted,
together with such dissents, exceptions and qualifications as expressed by
individual member agencies.
14     JEWISH     COUNCIL       FOR   PUBLIC   AFFAIRS'    AGENDA      1999-2000




                                             Israel and
                                             Other International
                                             Concerns
           ((Pray for the peace
                ifJerusalem. "
                     -PSALMS 122:6




PREAMBLE
       The United States faces many foreign policy challenges at the end of the
       twentieth century. The organized American Jewish community will con-
       tinue to have important interpretive responsibilities regarding U.S facilita-
       tion and mediation of the Middle East peace process and the status of U.S.
       assistance to Israel. The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) will con-
       tinue to support improved relations between Israel and the international
       community, as well as development of innovative initiatives in Israel aimed
       at bridging the gap between various segments of Israeli society. Believing
       that the preservation of human rights should be a paramount concern of
       U.S. foreign policy, the JCPA encouraged NATO to act decisively in
       response to the "ethnic cleansing" carried out by Serb forces in Kosovo.
       The JCPA will continue to press the international community to develop
       effective means of dealing with egregious violations of human rights not
       only in Europe but anywhere in the world, and will work to broaden
       American public understanding of the need for sustained U.S. engagement
       in international affairs generally.
                    ISRAEL    AND    OTHER     INTERNATIONAL           CONCERNS                      15




            MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS
                   President Bill Clinton has               The JCPA supports
                   pledged to facilitate renewed
                   implementation of the Wye
                                                           active U.S. facilitation and
                   River Memorandum as well                mediation of the peace
                   as accelerated permanent status         process; generous U. S.
                   negotiations between Israel
                                                          foreign assistance to Israel
                   and the Palestinians following
                   Israeli elections in May 1999.          and its peace partners;
                   Labor Party leader Ehud                 the preservation of an
                   Barak, who was chosen in                undivided Jerusalem under
                   those elections to serve as the
                   new Prime Minister, has indi-
                                                           Israeli sovereignty;
                   cated that one of his highest           avoidance of unilateral
                   piorities is reinvigoration of          actions that contradict the
                   the peace process. The perma-
                                                           Oslo Accords; and
                   nent status talks will deal with
                   the complex and volatile issues         expansion of economic
                   of Jerusalem, the nature and            cooperation and people-to-
                   size of the Palestinian entity,        people programs between
                   settlements, refugees, water,
, ..               and security arrangements.
                                                           Israel and the Arab world.
                       Palestinian Authority
                   Chairman Vasser Arafat has repeatedly threatened to unilaterally declare
                   Palestinian statehood, an act that would contradict the Oslo Accords and
                   threaten future negotiations. The organized American Jewish community
                   welcomes the Clinton Administration's efforts to persuade Chairman
                   Arafat that the Palestinian entity should be defined only through direct
                   negotiations with Israel as stipulated by the Oslo Accords. Regrettably, the
                   European Union announced its unconditional support for the establishment

        !          of a Palestinian state.

       I
       ~
       "
       ~
                      As the parties seek to find creative solutions to the permanent status issues,
                   opponents of peace on all sides are likely to intensify their activity. The Hamas
                   and Islamic Jihad have a long and bloody record of terrorism directed against
       Ii


       I
       I
                   Israeli civilians. It can be expected that they will resort to the same kind of vio-


       ~
       )!
16   JEWISH     COUNCIL      FOR   PUBLIC     AFFAIRS'      AGENDA      1999-2000




      lence in order to complicate future peacemaking efforts. Violence from some
     Jewish extremists may occur as well, although opposition to the peace
      process in Israel generally will continue to be expressed in political terms.
        The role of the United States in helping the parties to reach compro-
     mises and to implement agreements is critical. The history of the process
     has shown that the intensive and personal commitment of the President
     and the Secretary of State has been essential to bringing agreements to the
     next stages. In addition, the CIA has been given an important and sensitive
     role in assisting Israel and the Palestinians to more effectively address pivotal
     security issues. While avoiding the use of pressure (President Clinton and
     Secretary Albright have consistently asserted that it is up to Israel and the
     Palestinians to make the difficult decisions), U.S. officials should continue
     to offer the parties bridging ideas. The challenge for the U.S. is to balance
     its role as Israel's principal ally and strategic partner with the responsibility
     to serve as a credible mediator. A vigorous debate has emerged within the
     Jewish community in recent years about how strongly the U.S. should press
     the parties to make progress in their negotiations. This debate may intensify
     during the permanent status negotiations. In that eventuality, the Jewish
     community relations field will work to prevent disagreements from polar-
     izing the Jewish community and interpret the differing Jewish perspectives
     on the peace process to the community at large.
        The 106th Congress will be called upon to support the peace process,
     particularly by appropriating necessary assistance to Israel and its peace
     partners. The JCPA supports the Administration's request for $1.9 billion
     in additional security and economic assistance to Israel, Jordan and the
     Palestinians that followed the signing of the Wye River Memorandum. It is
     desirable that the leaders on both sides of the aisle seek to avoid turning the
     Middle East peace process into a partisan issue.
        The broader context affecting prospects for peace includes greater accep-
     tance of Israel in the Arab world with diplomatic relations, economic
     cooperation, intellectual and cultural exchange, reinvigoration of the multi-
     lateral tracks dealing with the environment, water resources, arms control,
     and other subjects related to the quality oflife in the region. The death of
     Jordan's King Hussein, the Arab leader who championed the normalization
     of relations between the Arab world and Israel, was a major loss to the
     region and to the cause of peace. King Abdullah has pledged to follow in
ISRAEL    AND    OTHER     INTERNATIONAL         CONCERNS                     17




his father's path. Egypt should playa much more constructive role in this
area. It is vitally important that the Palestinian people, particularly those
languishing in refugee camps, begin to experience directly the benefits of
peace. The Palestinians and Arab states should work with the U.S., Israel,
European nations, Japan and other major industrial powers to achieve
these aims rather than seeking to pass anti-Israel resolutions and to build
support for their political positions at the United Nations. The Palestinians
and Arab states launched an initiative to convene a conference of the signa-
tories to the Fourth Geneva Convention, possibly to be held in July 1999,
to examine Israeli actions in the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem. The
politicization of this Convention, which deals with the treatment of civilians
during wartime, contradicts the peace process and undermines the integrity
of international humanitarian law. The organized American Jewish com-
munity is challenged to build a domestic "constituency for peace" through
coalitions with Arab-American organizations and other groups.
   Among the most sensitive permanent status issues that Israel and the Pales-
tinians will need to address is the status ofJerusalem. Despite the complexities
of this issue, there is hope it can be resolved through creative diplomacy.
The firmly held view of the organized American Jewish community is that
Jerusalem must remain united and under Israeli sovereignty. Israel has always
shown sensitivity to Christians and Muslims and can be expected to do so
in permanent status negotiations. The JCPA supports compliance with the
Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act of 1995. The JCPA condemns the
European Union's position that Jerusalem still should be considered a separate
entity from Israel based on the terms of the 1947 UN Partition Plan.
  The lack of any movement from Syria or Lebanon to engage in serious
negotiations with Israel is regrettable. The Administration should continue
its efforts to promote such negotiations without preconditions.
Meanwhile, Syria continues to develop its military, including weapons of
mass destruction and missiles capable of hitting Israeli targets with precision.
The continued rejection of Israel and the Oslo process by Iran coupled
with its rapid progress toward nuclear and other non-conventional
weapons capability gives the peace process greater urgency. It is hoped that
a coalition of Israel and moderate Arab and Muslim countries, particularly
Turkey and Jordan, will be able to jointly develop an effective response to
threats posed by Iran and other extremists in the region.
IS      JEWISH    COUNCIL      FOR   PUBLIC    AFFAIRS·     AGENDA      1999-2000




U.S.-ISRAEL RELATIONS
        The unique U.S.-Israel               The ]CPA supports
        alliance remains finnly rooted
        in common moral values,
                                            the continued strengthening
        commitment to democracy             of the U.S.-Israel
        and the rule of law, and            strategic alliance;
        shared strategic interests..
                                            adequate funding jor the
        This relationship exists not
        only at the level of national       Israel and U.S.-sponsored
        governments and expanding           anti-missile initiatives;
        markets and technologies,
                                            a robust joreign aid program
        but extends to the grass roots
        of both publics as well.
                                            in the Middle East and
          The recognition ofIsrael's        other parts of the world; and
        significant contribution to         the promotion of U.S.-Israel
        U.S. national interests abroad
                                            exchanges and partnerships
        and the importance of keep-
        ing Israel militarily and eco-      at the grass roots.
        nomically strong permeate
        American foreign policy. The generous U.S. foreign assistance program to
        Israel, supported both by the Administration and Congress, is a concrete
        manifestation of this recognition. The 106th Congress can be expected to
        follow the historical pattern of strong support for Israel. The phased reduc-
        tion of aid to Israel (decrease in economic package coupled with modest
        increase in military aid), which was initiated by and coordinated with Israel
        in FY 99, is expected to continue in future fiscal years. The Administration
        and Congress may be called on to provide special security assistance to
        Israel as a consequence of new risks associated with developments in the
        peace process, such as expanded Palestinian control over parts of the West
        Bank and Gaza Strip. In the face of proposed cuts to the international
        affairs budget (function 150), the organized Jewish community will be
        challenged to interpret to the 106th Congress the importance of a robust
        foreign aid program, not just in the Middle East but in other parts of the
        world as well. The total U.S. foreign aid package, which represents only
         ISRAEL   AND    OTHER     INTERNATIONAL          CONCERNS                   19




         about 1% of the federal budget, is an effective instrument in promoting
         democracy and building effective market economies overseas.
           The U.S.-Israel strategic partnership continues to expand. In 1998 President
         Clinton and Prime Minister Netanyahu signed a memorandum of under-
         standing that requires the U.S. to enhance Israel's defensive and deterrent
        capabilities and to assist Israel in countering threats posed by the deploy-
        ment of ballistic missiles in the region. The U.S. and Israel continue to
        expand their cooperation in the battle against international terrorism and
        the urgent effort to prevent rogue states from acquiring weapons of mass
        destruction and missile technology. There has been a coordinated cam-
        paign directed at Russia, with some Western European countries and other
        states contributing to this problem by transferring sensitive technology to
        engage in commerce with Iran, Iraq, and other rogue regimes. (See the
        section on Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction.)
           Arrow-2 and Boost Phase Intercept, joint Israeli-U.S. projects, represent
        the most advanced efforts anywhere in the world to develop an effective
        defense against incoming missiles. This past year Congress and the Knesset
        established a formal parliament-to-parliament relationship that will focus
        on missile threats against the U.S. and Israel.
           As a further measure to increase both U.S. and Israeli security, the U.S.
        should make every effort to fill the strategic petroleum reserve.
           Differences over specific policies or tactics in the peace process have
        produced strains in the U.S.-Israel relationship from time to time. It should
        be expected that policy disagreements between Israel and the U.S. may
        emerge as Israel and the Palestinians move toward permanent status
        arrangements. These differences should not be permitted to obscure their
        fundamental agreement that the goal of the negotiations is a secure Israel, a
        viable Palestinian entity and a comprehensive, equitable and durable peace
        in the Middle East.


ISRAEL, THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY AND THE UNITED NATIONS
        Past improvements in the relationship between Israel and the international
        community, stimulated by the Oslo Accords, are experiencing some erosion.
        The European Union has responded to stagnation in the peace process by
        unfairly blaming the Israeli Government and even considering economic
     20      JEWISH     COUNCIL       FOR    PUBLIC    AFFAIRS'      AGENDA        1999-2000




             sanctions against Israel. The           The ]CPA supports
             United Nations is again being
             used as a forum for one-
                                                     enhanced relations between
             sided resolutions condemning            Israel and the international
             Israeli policies and actions.          ,community;
                Israel remains locked out
                                                     initiatives by the UN
             of participation in the UN
             Security Council and other
                                                    and other international
             important UN bodies because            bodies that reinforce the
             it still has not been accepted         peace process;
             by any of the world body's
                                                    Israel's admission to the
             regional groups. Israel has
             been trying to join the                 Western European and
             Western European and                    Others Group (WEOC);
             Others Group (WEOG) on
                                                    and full payment of
             a temporary basis since mem-
             bership in the Asian Group
                                                     u.s. dues to the UN.
             (membership must be by
             consensus) is blocked by Iran, Iraq, Libya and others. The UN's relation-
             ship with Israel will not be fully normalized until this anomaly is addressed.
               The aforementioned concerns notwithstanding, the UN continues to
             serve as an important vehicle in pursuing the interests of world peace and
             human rights. (See the section on Human Rights.) For the first time since
             the UN was established, the General Assembly adopted a resolution
             acknowledging that anti-Semitism is a form of racism.
             The chronic failure by the U.S. to pay its dues to the UN not only risks
             the loss of this country's vote in the General Assembly, but also undercuts
             the ability of this institution to carry out its essential mission.


     TERRORISM AND WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
             Iran remains a serious threat to Israel and to the stability of the entire Middle
            East. The effort to halt or at least slow down Iran's drive to become a nuclear
            power and to possess the capability of delivering biological and chemical
            weapons has become a major focus of U.S. foreign policy. Nevertheless,
            the Clinton Administration has been reluctant to utilize sanctions against


.'
                                                                                 "'"
ISRAEL     AND   OTHER       INTERNATIONAL      CONCERNS                    21




foreign entities that have           ThejCPA supports
provided Iran with material
and technology that could be
                                     vigorous efforts to prevent
converted into military use.         Iran and others from
The President vetoed an Iran        acquiring weapons of mass
sanctions bill, which was
                                    destruction and delivery
supported by the organized
American Jewish community,
                                    capability;
in the 10Sth Congress. Con-         a vigorous response to
gressional leaders indicate         Saddam Hussein ~ violations
they will raise this issue again
in 1999.
                                    of UN resolutions adopted
   In the wake of Sad dam           cifter the Gulf War)'
Hussein's refusal to cooperate      and emphasizing to the
with the United Nations
                                    Argentinean government the
Special Commission on Iraq
(UNSCOM) as stipulated in           importance ofpursuing the
his 1998 agreement with UN          perpetrators of the terrorist
Secretary General Kofi              attacks in that country
Annan, U.S. and British
forces have launched attacks
                                    directed at Jewish and Israeli
against Iraqi targets. The          people and institutions.
future of UNSCOM, the
body established by the UN Security Council in the wake of Operation
Desert Storm to oversee the destruction of Iraq's missiles and weapons of
mass destruction and to ensure that it does not acquire them again, remains
uncertain. Despite Hussein's defiance of the international community,
pressure is mounting in the UN, especially from Russia, China and France,
to lift the sanctions against Iraq. The JCPA supports the continued vigi-
lance and action of the international community so that the original UN
mandate will be fulfilled.
  Iran and Iraq are not the only aggressive states seeking to develop
nuclear, chemical and biological arsenals. Libya, North Korea and Syria
have well developed non-conventional weapons programs as well.
  Those responsible for the terrorist attacks in Argentina against the Israeli
embassy and the Jewish headquarters (AMIA) still have not been brought to
                                                                                             II!


22      JEWISH     COUNCIL      FOR    PUBLIC    AFFAIRS·      AGENDA       '999-2000




        justice. One factor is the persistent problem of anti-Semitism among parts of
        the security establishment of Argentina. The Jewish community of Argentina
        remains vulnerable and suffers from the lingering psychological and material
        effects of the AMIA bombing. National elections in Argentina in 1999 will bring
        to the fore a new set ofleaders who will be called upon to deal with these issues.


AMERICAN JEWISH-ISRAEL RELATIONS
        Controversies in Israel involv-
                                              The JCPA supports
        ing religious status issues
        continue to have an impact
                                              innovative initiatives in
        on the Jewish community               Israel that seek to promote
        worldwide. The fate of the            tolerance among diverse
        proposal emanating from
        deliberations of the Ne'eman
                                              segments of Israeli society
        Committee seeking to resolve          and programs that build
        the conversion issue -                meaningful relationships
        creation of conversion insti-
                                              between Israelis and
        tutes with Orthodox, Con-
        servative and Reform partic-
                                              American Jews.
        ipation with the final process
        supervised by the Israeli Chief Rabbinate -    remains in doubt. The first such
        institute, established in Carmiel, began operating in March 1999. Some
        Israeli decision-makers are beginning to develop creative approaches to defuse
        these tensions in Israel -    e.g., the religion-state "covenant" authored by
        members of Knesset Alex Lubotsky and Yossi Beilin. The JCPA continues
        to educate the community about the complexity of religion-state issues in
        Israel and to foster intracommunal civility and mutual respect.
          The merger of the United Jewish Appeal, the Council of Jewish
        Federations and the United Israel Appeal into one organization called
       United Jewish Communities is expected to influence the future relation-
       ship of the organized Jewish community with Israel. The new organization
       is exploring the use of innovative programmatic models that will create
       meaningful bonds between the two communities in the 21st century.
       Many JCPA community member agencies are taking the lead in this area,
       particularly through the UJA's Partnership 2000 program.
        ISRAEL    AND    OTHER     INTERNATIONAL       CONCERNS                    23




ETHIOPIAN JEWISH COMMUNITY
        The JCPA continues to work
                                            The JCPA supports
        in coalition with its member
        agencies, the AmericanJewish
                                            a greater effort by the
       Joint Distribution Committee         Israeli Government and
        ODC), the Israeli Govern-           American Jewish community
        ment and others in responding
        to special educational chal-
                                            to meet the absorption
       lenges facing Ethiopian immi-        needs of the Ethiopian
       grant children in Israel. The        community in Israel;
       JCPA's principal role has
                                            the rapid relocation of
       been to urge Israeli officials to
       provide additional supplemen-
                                            Quara Jews to Israel; and
       tary and remedial education          an expeditious and sensitive
       programs and to develop a            resolution of the Falash
       comprehensive approach
       that utilizes the full range of
                                            Mura issue.
       resources available.
          A significant portion of the approximately 2500 Jews from the Quara
       region who remain in Ethiopia - inadvertently left behind during
       Operations Moses and Solomon - are suffering from disease and malnutrition.
       They receive some humanitarian assistance from the JDC, the North
       American Coalition for Ethiopian Jewry (NACOEJ) and others. The Israeli
       Government has pledged to expedite their relocation to Israel, a decision
       strongly supported by the JCPA.
          Some 15,000 members of the Falash Mura community -          descendents of
       Ethiopian Jews who in an earlier period converted to Christianity -      have
       migrated to Addis Ababa and Gondar hoping to obtain permission to go to
       Israel. These people, many of whom have relatives already in Israel, generally
       are not recognized as Jews by the State ofIsrael and thus are not entitled to
       automatic citizenship under the Law of Return. However, it is likely that
       some of the Falash Mura will be eligible to immigrate under the Law of
       Return. The JCPA has encouraged the Israeli Government to fully and fairly
       process the Falash Mura for eligibility on a case-by-case basis. While the
     24     JEWISH     COUNCIL      FOR    PUBLIC   AFFAIRS·      AGENDA      1999-2000




             Israeli Government considers how to respond to this situation, members of
            the Falash Mura community, especially the children, are living in difficult
            conditions in Ethiopia. In October 1998, the JDC announced a program
'j          to provide limited emergency assistance to this population. NACOEJ also
~
            is providing some food to the Falash Mura.
!
~
~
~    HUMAN RIGHTS
i
I
~
            Serious human rights abuses
            plague many parts of the
                                                  The ]CPA supports
~
                                                  the vigorous protection of
•           world. Through much of
            1998 and the first part of 1999,      human rights as an integral
            Serbian soldiers engaged in          part oj U.S. foreign policy)·
            horrific massacres of civilians
                                                  the arrest and prosecution
            and "ethnic cleansing" during
            their conflict with ethnic           of all indicted war criminals)·
            Albanian forces in Kosovo.            the effort by NA TO to stop
            When diplomatic efforts to          ({ethnic cleansing)} in Kosovo;
            resolve the conflict failed,
            NATO forces attacked Serbian
                                                 and rtjinements in the
            targets in March 1999. The           International Criminal
            JCPA supported this military          Court that may enable
            intervention, which it hoped
                                                 Israel and the U. S. to join
            would end the violence
            against civilians, permit refu-      the tribunal.
            gees to return safely to their homes and restore stability to the area. Strains
            emerged in U.S.-Russian relations when the leadership in Moscow expressed
            strong opposition to the NATO operation. At the same time, because of its
            close relationship with Serbia, Russia was seen as a potential partner in
            bringing about an acceptable resolution to the armed conflict. With hun-
            dreds of thousands of ethnic Albanian refugees pouring into neighboring
            countries and many others scattered in the mountains and forests through-
            out Kosovo, the international community faced a humanitarian challenge
            of enormous proportions. Both Israel and the American Jewish commu-
            nity responded by providing direct medical and other services to the
            refugee population, and raising funds in support of the relief effort.




                                                                                     '" ~~~~-."_-;;.=.c;:~;''''-'
ISRAEL    AND    OTHER     INTERNATIONAL        CONCERNS                    25




   The JCPA supports the efforts of the international war crimes tribunal at
The Hague to bring to justice those who committed such crimes in
Kosovo as well as the perpetrators of "ethnic cleansing" in Bosnia, includ-
ing Ratko Mladic and Radovic Karadic. Human rights violations on a
massive scale continue to take place in other parts of the world, including
China, Algeria, Afghanistan, East Timor, central Africa, and Myanmar. In
the Sudan, where a bloody civil war has raged for some thirty years, there
is widespread starvation among the civilian population.
   The 105th Congress enacted the International Religious Freedom Act,
which promises to be an important tool in efforts to address human rights
violations around the world. The law establishes a special unit within the
State Department to deal with the persecution of religious minorities and
sets forth a variety of sanctions the U.S. can employ against countries that
engage in such activity.
  The decision by the international community in Rome in July 1998 to
establish by statute a permanent International Criminal Court (ICC) to
prosecute genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity was viewed
by the JCPA as an important step forward in securing human rights around
the world. At the same time, the community deplored efforts by Arab
states, particularly Egypt and Syria, to politicize the court by seeking to
define Israeli settlements as "war crimes." Israel -    among the countries
pushing hardest for the creation of an independent, effective and de-politi-
cized court -   decided it could not endorse the statute under these cir-
cumstances. The U.S. also failed to endorse the court because the statute
left open the possibility of trials against American citizens. A Preparatory
Commission, under the aegis of the UN General Assembly, will be devel-
oping rules of evidence, procedures, and administration for the ICC
through 1999 and possibly into 2000. Representatives from the U.S. and
Israel plan to participate in those proceedings and will seek to address their
concerns with the ICC.
    26         JEWISH     COUNCIL      FOR   PUBLIC     AFFAIRS'   AGENDA    1999-2000




    JEWS IN THE FORMER SOVIET UNION
    (developed by the National Conference on Soviet Jewry)

               History has proven that dur-
                                                     TheJCPA supports
               ing times of economic and
               political upheaval, the security
                                                    increased vigilance and
               of the Jewish population is at       effective responses by the
               risk. Today, throughout much         organized Jewish community
               of the former Soviet Union,
                                                    and the U. S. Government
              Jews live in an unstable, at
               times inflammatory, environ-         with regard to anti-Semitism
               ment, while political upheav-        in the Former Soviet Union;
               als occur frequently amidst          efforts to promote the rule
               economic crisis. The current
               economic instability has
                                                    if law, as well as economic
               generated increased interest         and democratic reforms in
              in emigration in Russia from          the FSU; programs that
              large cities to small towns.
                                                    promote the safety and
                 Economic conditions have
              deteriorated drastically in the       welfare of the Jewish
              past year due to unstable cur-        community in the FSU.
              rencies, growing unemploy-
              ment, and rampant unpaid wages. In Russia, the devaluation of the ruble
              in August 1998 spurred high inflation and interest rates, and has increased
              the price of imports, including much of the food and other consumer
              goods found in Russian stores.
                 Russian President Boris Yeltsin reshuffled government posts several times
              in 1998, the latest result being the appointment ofYevgeny Primakov, to the
              post of Prime Minister. Political anti-Semitism has resurfaced in recent
              months, with frequent public, flagrantly anti-Semitic comments and speeches
              by such politicians as Krasnodar Governor Nikolai Kondratenko and General
              Albert Makashov, a Communist member of the Duma. The Communist
,             faction in the Duma has blocked measures to condemn Makashov's rhetoric.
                 The Governments in the FSU still lack the basic infrastructure and
              proper enforcement measures to apprehend and convict criminals who
ISRAEL    AND    OTHER    INTERNATIONAL         CONCERNS                    27




commit violent anti-Semitic acts and espouse ethnic hatred. Politically,
demagogues are attempting to strengthen their questionable power base by
exploiting the unstable situation in a way that obstructs needed reforms.
On a social level, a growing segment of society seeks someone to blame for
current difficulties.
   The past year has been marked by an upsurge in anti-Semitic attacks,
especially in Russia where neo-Nazis, skinheads, and fascist ideologues,
estimated to number 4,000 in Moscow alone, have managed to promote
increasing violence against Jews and other ethnic minorities. Incidents in
Russia have included bombings near Moscow synagogues, an arson attack
on a Minsk synagogue, the ransacking of Novosibirsk's only synagogue,
and beatings of rabbis. There have been neo-Nazi marches in central
Moscow and in front of the Choral Synagogue, as well as a major desecra-
tion ofaJewish cemetery.
  Many of these same tendencies can be seen in Ukraine and Belarus.
Despite somewhat better overall conditions and responsive governments in the
Baltic countries, Latvia has seen continued serious incidents of anti-Semitism
in the past year, including an annual Waffen-SS march and a synagogue
bombing in Riga. In Georgia, the return of a synagogue in Tbilisi remains
an outstanding issue. Uzbekistan is among several FSU countries that have
seen economically inspired violence directed at Jews preparing to emigrate,
and little government response. Members of Congress and Administration
officials have taken every opportunity to raise concerns about anti-Semitism
in the FSU with senior government representatives from the region as well
as in human rights forums and hearings in Washington.
  There are many challenges facing Jews in the FSU, but also many
opportunities exist for participation in Jewish communal life. Such benefits
include increased services to the large, vulnerable populations of Jewish
elderly and children, full relations with Israel and active promotion of
Aliyah, and family re-unification in the United States. The international
Jewish communities and organizations continue to provide support for
Jews and Jewish leadership in the FSU, including the Russian Jewish
Congress. Both the challenges and opportunities of instability and transi-
tion facing Jews in the FSU require the increased vigilance of American
Jewry today and tomorrow.




                                                                                 , "1
                                                                                    j
 28      JEWISH     COUNCIL      FOR   PUBLIC     AFFAIRS'     AGENDA      1999-2000




                                               Equal Opportunity
                                               and Social Justice
((Let justice well up as waters,
               and righteousness
           as a mighty stream. "
                           AMOS,   5:24


 PREAMBLE
         While the nation enjoys strong economic expansion, approximately one in
         every eight people continues to live in poverty. Income disparity remains
         high, reflecting a long-term trend, and alleviating conditions of concentrated
         poverty remains among the most compelling problems in America. Despite
         the current prosperity and federal budget surplus, so long as Congress
         abides by budget balancing rules requiring budget offsets for every spending
         increase, the nation may be hard-pressed to find the money to assist those
         who remain poor. Pressures to cut taxes will continue to compete with
         demands for a reinvestment of new budget dollars in services for the
         nation's poorest citizens, including services cut sharply and disproportionately
         in the wake of efforts to eliminate the federal deficit. The organized Jewish
         community, has long held the position that the federal government's primary
         responsibility is to provide the basic needs for its most vulnerable citizens.
        Furthermore, it believes that responsible investment in the nation's future
         requires, as a priority, renewed federal attention to funding for services
        which meet those needs. Meanwhile, debate over how to spend the budget
        surplus will grow even more intense, as attention turns to anticipated,
        long-term funding strains on Social Security and Medicare.
            At the same time, trends in immigration are creating demographic shifts
        that will soon make America a nation where no one racial or ethnic group
        can claim a majority. While economic pressures may continue to affect
        attitudes toward such issues as immigration, affirmative action, and race,
          EQUAL     OPPORTUNITY       AND    SOCIAL JUSTICE                          29




          the changing ethnic dynamic may also affect how the country addresses
          these issues. Public schools, charged with preparing children from all back-
          grounds for full participation in American life, will continue to struggle to
          meet the challenges of serving a diverse student population. All whilst
          improving conditions for children in the nation's most disadvantaged
          schools becomes increasingly urgent. The organized Jewish community,
          committed to equal educational opportunity, will have to focus its energies
          ever more intensely on improving public education.


POVERTY

              The ]CPA is committed to finding and
             implementing solutions to the problem ifpoverty
             in the United States and will advocate programs
             that move individuals and families out ifpoverty,
             toward self-sufficiency.
             The ]CPA supports initiatives that provide
            families with realistic work opportunities and
             adequate financial and social service supports,
             as well as programs that attack problems if
             inadequate education, housing, healthcare,
             and persistent, fundamental illiteracy. The ]CPA
             calls for adequate protections for those who cannot
             sustain themselves and for those who will continue
             to struggle as part if the working poor.
          While the latest figures indicate some decline in poverty, caused by a robust
          economy and low unemployment, concentrated poverty persists in distressed
          urban areas, particularly within certain neighborhoods, disproportionately
          affecting minority populations. Moreover, while more jobs are being created,
          many require a higher level of skill than these urban residents possess.
30   JEWISH     COUNCIL      FOR   PUBLIC     AFFAIRS·      AGENDA      1999-2000




     There is still sizable mismatch between the number oflow-skilled jobs and
     the number of low-skilled urban residents who need work. In addition,
     inadequate transportation to entry-level jobs, often in the suburbs, and lack
     of affordable childcare remain substantial barriers for those living in poverty.
     As a result, African American and Hispanic families, more disadvantaged
     than their white counterparts when welfare rolls peaked in 1994, are leaving
     the system less rapidly than white recipients, pushing the minority share of
     the welfare caseload to the highest level on record. The ]CPA believes that
     states must emphasize strong job placement and training, including suc-
     cessful welfare-to-work programs, and the provision of transportation and
     child care services to help those who live in conditions of concentrated
     poverty make successful transitions from welfare to work. As states experi-
     ment with welfare-to-work models, the JCPA will attempt to identifY and.
     encourage broader use of the most effective programs.
        While more families in general have left welfare for work, many remain
     poor, and in some cases have fallen even deeper into poverty, resulting from
     the cuts of cash and food assistance in welfare. Recognizing that low-wage
     work often is not sufficient to lift a family out of poverty, the J CPA supports
     expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)-with reasonable
     safeguards against abuse-to boost compensation for low-paid work, and
     calls for an increase in the minimum wage. The JCPA will advocate the
     concept of linking the minimum wage to the annual Consumer Price
     Index to address the ongoing need to sustain a wage level reflective of
     changing economic conditions.
       Another concern for low-wage workers, as well as for working families
     and the elderly on fixed incomes, is availability of affordable housing.
     Currently, because federal funding has been limited, some 15 million people
     eligible for federal housing aid do not receive it, and an estimated 600,000 are
     homeless on any given night. The ]CPA supports legislation with adequate
     funding to ensure that low-income families can access affordable housing,
     as well as measures to provide emergency assistance to overcrowded shelters.
       In the months ahead, the nation will turn its attention to proposals to
     reform Social Security in order to ensure its long-term solvency. Along
     with Medicare, Social Security is responsible for securing the economic
     well being of large numbers of senior citizens. It has also kept millions of
        EQUAL      OPPORTUNITY          AND   SOCIAL JUSTICE                      3I




        seniors, widows, children and the disabled above the poverty line. While
        proposals for reform range from incremental changes to privatization of the
        system, decisions will require serious and careful deliberation. There are
        concerns that changes in guaranteed benefit levels could seriously impact
        the elderly, placing them at a high risk of poverty. ThejCPA will monitor
        reform efforts, mindful of the obligation to protect vulnerable groups and
        to avoid placing the elderly at risk.


CHILD WELFARE
        Affordable childcare, includ-
                                                 The ]CPA believes
        ing after-school programs to
        keep children safe and out of
                                                 child welfare should be a top
        trouble, is essential in assisting      federal and state priority;
        parents who are struggling to            supports increased investment,
        raise their children, often
        balancing parental and work
                                                 at all levels C?r~overnment,
        responsibilities. Yet, nation-           in both financial and human
       wide, only ten percent of                 resources, to ensure that
       families who quality for fed-
                                                 children and families can
       eral childcare assistance receive
       help. Many states have tens of
                                                 access a combination ifpublic
       thousands of families on wait-            and private services that
       ing lists. While efforts to enact        provide quality, affordable
       broad childcare measures
                                                childcare, health care, and
       failed in the 10Sth Congress,
       nationwide advocacy gener-               early childhood education.
       ated a groundswell of support,
       promising renewed attempts to pass legislation in the year ahead. At the same
       time, some 11.5 million low-income children remain without healthcare
       insurance. Children living in working families with incomes just above eli-
       gibility for Medicaid may quality for health coverage under the Children's
       Health Initiative Program. However, states must be pressed to draw down
       the available block grant funds, to offer the broadest coverage possible, and
       to launch outreach efforts to inform families. ThejCPA will join with chil-
32      JEWISH     COUNCIL      FOR    PUBLIC     AFFAIRS·   AGENDA    IyYY-200 0




        dren's advocates nationwide to ensure that states respond and that the funds
        are allocated in a manner consistent with First Amendment principles
        regarding separation of church and state. (See "Charitable Choice" in section
        on Jewish Security and the Bill of R(~hts.)


RACE AND ETHNICITY
        While the history of racism            The ]CPA reaffirms its
        has focused on its most trou-
                                               longstanding commitment
        bling aspect, namely, the expe-
        rience of African Americans,           to racial justice and equal
        demographic changes caused             opportunity. So long as
        largely by immigration are             serious discrimination
        adding new dimensions to
        issues of race in America.
                                               persists, the ]CPA believes
        Asian and Hispanic Americans           that properly structured
        and others, who do not share           affirmative action programs
        a history of slavery, neverthe-
                                               remain necessary to correct
        less face discrimination as
        minorities. As a result, the           injustice.
        nation must address the dual
        imperatives of resolving deep-rooted historic issues of racial iruustice that
        have long plagued our nation, and fulfilling the obligation as well to ensure
        equal opportunity for all people. Although African Americans have moved
        far from our nation's legacy of segregation and severe marginalization,
        meaningful civic inclusion still eludes too many. A sizable black middle
        class has emerged and white attitudes have changed. Yet, racism persists
        and an isolated, impoverished black underclass bears witness to the injus-
        tice of an earlier time. The nation as a whole is responsible for alleviating
        these conditions, and for grappling with the consequences of an inherited
        legacy of disadvantage. Meanwhile, the burgeoning Hispanic population
        and the fast growing Asian population may change the nation's racial
        dynamic and alter the dialogue. While common interests may generate
        strong intergroup alliances on such issues as affirmative action and educa-
        tion, differences also abound. It has been suggested that Asian and Hispanic
EQUAL     OPPORTUNITY         AND    SOCIAL JUSTICE                             33




populations, more diverse in make-up, may focus less energetically on
issues of race and that class interests may grow in significance.
   The organized Jewish community will continue to work in coalition
with all groups seeking to advance civil rights, to support principles of
equal access and equal opportunity for all people, and to promote programs
that fight racism. A shared agenda of intergroup issues already exists, and
strong partnerships have been formed around such issues as immigration
and on initiatives to protect minority rights. In the months ahead, the
JCPA will continue to work with a broad civil rights coalition concerned
with fair representation of minorities in the 2000 Census. Census accuracy
directly affects the nation's ability to ensure all Americans equal representation
and access to government resources. Yet, the national census has traditionally
missed millions of people, with poor and minority individuals undercounted
more frequently than others. The JCPA is concerned about the potential
impact of this undercount in denying poor and minority populations equal
representation and access to federal funds and services.
   Statistical sampling, approved by the National Academy of Sciences, can
help improve accuracy. Congressional leaders have opposed the plan,
however, claiming concern about political manipulation of the figures and
the impact these numbers might have on re-districting. Although the
Supreme Court has ruled that current law bars the use of sampling in
preparing census figures used for apportionment, it suggested the law permits
and may even require statistical adjustment of census figures for state redis-
tricting and the distribution of federal funds. While recognizing the census
process must be protected by adequate safeguards against political manipu-
lation, the JCPA supports the use of sampling as a legitimate and reliable
means of supplementing direct enumeration in the preparation of Census
2000. The JCPA will press for the funding needed to allow the Census
Bureau to produce adjusted figures, using scientific sampling, for non-
apportionment purposes. Further, the JCPA will join with its coalition
partners in supporting changes to the census law to allow the Census
Bureau to prepare and use the most accurate and complete census figures
for all purposes.
  After 15 months, the President's advisory board on race relations pro-
duced a report, recommending the creation of a permanent presidential
34      JEWISH     COUNCIL       FOR   PUBLIC   AFFAIRS·   AGENDA      1999-2000




        council on race. Although it broke little new ground, the report contained
        policy suggestions, some of which the President promised to incorporate
        in a larger report on race and ethnicity. The JCPA will evaluate the
        President's report to identifY new opportunities to enhance race relations.
        In February 1998 the JCPA launched a policy review entitled Buildillg One
        Nation: Race, Ethnicity, and Public Policy. The study, to be completed by
        February 2000, provides a structured opportunity to grapple productively
        with diverse perspectives, strengthening the ability of the organized Jewish
        community to engage in the ongoing battle to end discrimination and
        reduce barriers to equal opportunity.


PUBLIC EDUCATION
        The American Jewish com-            ThejCPA remains
        munity has traditionally placed
        a high value on public edu-
                                           committed to supporting)
        cation. Public schools play a      strengthening and sustaining
        central role in teaching           public schools) the primary
        democracy and common civic
                                           route for most children)
        values and in fostering toler-
        ance, respect, and appreciation    especially poor children)
        for the diversity within our       into full participation in the
        nation. The public school sys-     nation)s economic) political
       tem will continue to educate
       the great majority of our chil-
                                           and social life. ~Ve believe
       dren; therefore concern for its     that reform if our education
       health is inherent in our con-      delivery system requires
       cern for America's future.
                                           concerted community support
          Studies indicate that cur-
       rently, too many students are       and that school finance
       failing to master basic skills in   equity is an essential com-
       reading, math, and science in       ponent if excellence in
       large urban schools, which
       enroll over 40 percent of the
                                           public education.
       nation's low income and
EQUAL     OPPORTUNITY        AND    SOCIAL    JUSTICE                         35




minority children. Plagued by limited resources, high concentrations of
poverty and low expectations, urban schools in disadvantaged areas are
unable to prepare an alarming number of America's children to meet the
challenges of the new high-technology economy. In many cases, the poorest
schools with the least experienced teachers and inadequate administrative
support are serving children with the greatest needs. Over the past 30 years,
a large body of research has shown that more of the difference between high
and low performing school districts is explained by class size and teacher
qualifications than by poverty, race, and parent education. Money, properly
spent in these areas, can have a significant impact. Yet, disparities continue
in annual per pupil expenditure between the poorest and the wealthiest
school districts. Children subjected to widely disparate educational experiences
cannot approach the challenges oflife on a level playing field. Unless the
nation addresses the funding needs of these schools, we risk perpetuating a
distribution of educational opportunity that is fundamentally unequal.
   The JCPA welcomed recent federal and state measures to reduce class
size and add more teachers. At the same time, it is important to note that
dollars allocated in the 1999 federal budget are a down payment on a
seven-year $12 billion proposal. With budget balancing restrictions still in
place, it is unclear where the funds will come from to continue the com-
mitment. The federal budget, moreover, accounts for only six to eight percent
of education spending and is unlikely to have a significant impact without
added spending by the states. Meanwhile, businesses, civic organizations,
and community groups are voluntarily providing some of the added financial
and human resource support many schools need, including mentoring and
literacy programs. The JCPA supports literacy efforts as a priority for com-
munal work. Programs such as the National Jewish Coalition for Literacy
have proven successful in strengthening public education and the community,
while creating a cadre of advocates for public schools.
  The search for innovative school reform has generated increasing interest,
as well as federal support, for publicly funded charter schools, which operate
free of many state regulations. Viewed by some as potential alternatives to
traditional public schools, proponents have said that charter schools often
cater to hard-to-educate students and offer progressive educators opportunities
to implement long sought reforms. Yet, adequate oversight of charter
 36        JEWISH      COUNCIL      FOR   PUBLIC     AFFAIRS'       AGENDA      '999- 2   000




           schools remains a concern, and information about the degree to which student
           learning may be improved awaits the outcome of studies now underway.
           There are also concerns about the risk of diverting to charter schools scarce
           public dollars urgently needed to strengthen seriously under-financed
           traditional public schools. The risk of potential church-state problems, if
           religious groups operate charter schools, has also been noted, and questions
           have been raised about charter schools established with a specifically ethno-
           centric focus, which effectively segregate some school populations. As a result,
           while recognizing the innovative value of these schools, properly regulated,
           the JCPA will continue to monitor the charter school movement, to assure
           that schools operate within constitutional boundaries consistent with existing
          JCPA interpretations regarding the separation of church and state, and that
           schools do not violate state and federal anti-discrimination and civil rights laws.
             The JCPA continues to oppose voucher programs that provide aid to
           sectarian schools as violating the First Amendment's "Establishment
           Clause." Moreover, the JCPA opposes vouchers that provide public dollars
           directly to non-public schools, whether secular or sectarian, believing this
          diversion of precious resources away from public education will undermine
          the public school system.
             Finally, along with excellence in public education, safety remains a major
          concern. The JCPA believes our nation's children deserve to learn and grow
          in a place that is safe and free from the threat of violence. Recently, outbreaks
          of violence and death have engulfed public schools in several states. In light
          of these tragic events, the nation must redouble its efforts to ensure school
          safety, including support for violence intervention and after-school programs
          and efforts to reduce children's access to guns.

DISSENT   The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (UOJCA)
          continues to favor educational choice programs. We believe that the
          Jewish community has traditionally been committed to principles including
          a commitment to social justice that seeks to minimize the role of wealth in
          securing one's basic needs, and a desire to stem the tide of assimilation that
          should lead it to support school choice initiatives. Moreover, we concur with
          the Supreme Court's well established reasoning that the Establishment
          Clause requires not hostility, but neutrality toward religious individuals and
          institutions. We join in expressing a commitment to a vibrant educational
        EQUAL    OPPORTUNITY        AND   SOCIAL JUSTICE                           37




        system, and we believe that school choice initiatives will improve the entire
        educational system for all of America's children.


IMMIGRANTS AND REFUGEES
       The JCPA welcomed action              The JCPA supports a legal,
       in the second session of the
        lOSth Congress restoring food
                                            equitable immigration policy
       stamp benefits to some refu-         which protects the dignity
       gees, asylees, and immigrants        and human rights if all
       who lost those benefits with
                                            newcomers and the civil
       passage of the 1996 welfare
       law. We support additional           liberties if every U. S.
       food stamp restorations for          resident. We support
       those immigrants still denied.      generous levels if rifugee
       Restorations helped some 30
       percent of the estimated
                                            admissions and full funding
       900,000 who lost eligibility.       for rifugee slots, including
       The majority of individuals          those for Jews from the
       still denied food stamps are
                                           former Soviet Union.
       adult legal immigrants neither
       elderly nor disabled, but most
       often working parents in
       families with children. While their children may now receive benefits,
       their own ineligibility means an impoverished immigrant family may be
       forced to manage on only those food stamps available to the children. The
       JCPA will also support initiatives to expand eligibility for SSI, Medicaid
       and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for legal immigrants
       who entered the country after the welfare law's enactment.
         Efforts to impede the naturalization process through restrictive legislation
       failed in the lOSth Congress, and funds were finally released to enable the
       Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to begin needed improvements
       in the processing of citizenship applications. Initiatives to restructure
       and/ or dismantle the INS also dissipated although the issue of restructuring
       will return in the 106th Congress. Naturalization remains the key to full
       participation in all facets of American life. In the months ahead, the JCPA
 38      JEWISH     COUNCIL      FOR      PUBLIC   AFFAIRS'    AGENDA      1999-2000




         will work in coalitions to ensure an open, fair and timely naturalization
         process that reduces the application backlog without impeding access to
         those legitimately seeking to naturalize, or further restricting eligibility for
         citizenship. The ]CPA welcomed extension for another year of the
         Lautenberg Amendment, which identifies certain groups, including Jews
         from the former Soviet Union, as deserving special consideration in
         refugee processing, based on a history of persecution. In light of current
         instability and deteriorating conditions in the former Soviet Union, we
         support a further extension of this law, now set to expire in September
         1999. Moreover, the JCPA supports a higher ceiling on refugee admissions,
         to at least 100,000 per year. This includes increased numbers from the
         African continent, where refugee needs exceed even the more generous
         admissions levels established for fiscal year 1999. The JCPA also supports
         improved case identification and processing infrastructure to enable the U.S.
        to fulfill its appropriate role in responding to worldwide refugee needs.
           Meanwhile, recent changes in immigration law have threatened to
        undermine due process protections for legal immigrants and asylum-seekers,
        particularly with regard to expedited removal-a provision of the law
        which allows immigration officers to order applicants for admission sum-
        marily removed without appeal to an immigration judge. The JCPA supports
        and will work to restore these due process protections.


RIGHT TO REPRODUCTIVE CHOICE
        Anti-choice forces have
                                              ThejCPA supports
        continued efforts to system-
        atically erode reproductive           a woman 5 legal right to
        rights, through legislation          reproductive choice and to
        designed to undermine and            adequately funded family
        weaken constitutional pro-
        tections and to restrict access
                                             planning programs in the
       to abortion services. Fear of         U.S. and abroad. The ]CPA
       intimidation and violence             condemns acts if violence
       has further limited availability
                                             directed at those who seek or
       of health care practitioners
                                             provide these services.
            EQUAL     OPPORTUNITY          AND   SOCIAL JUSTICE
                                                                                             39




            willing to provide confidential services, and abortion is now unavailable in
            84 percent of U.S. counties. Once again, in the 105th Congress, anti-choice
            forces introduced a so-called "partial birth" abortion bill, which in fact
            would ban common abortion procedures used throughout pregnancy, and
            which the President has vetoed twice. Although Congress failed twice to
            override the President's veto, another attempt to enact the bill is expected
           in the 106th Congress. Further efforts will also be made to restrict access to
           abortion by minors, expand informed consent regulations, restrict sex edu-
           cation and limit access to contraceptives. It is expected that efforts will also
           continue to place limitations and restrictions on funding for international
           family planning groups. The JCPA will work in coalitions to oppose these
           and all efforts to limit access to the full range of health services for women.
              Finally, campaigns of harassment against clinics and physicians providing
           abortion services, threats of violence, actual violence, and murder, have made
           access to this constitutionally protected right, in some cases, no longer safe. In
           the last five years, seven people have been murdered by anti-abortion extrem-
           ists, including most recently Dr. Barnett Slepian, a b'Ynecologist/ obstetrician
           in upstate New York. The JCPA condemns this violence as an assault on the
           rights and liberties of all people, which must be prosecuted, to the fullest extent
           of the law. Further, the JCPA believes medical education, affected by contro-
          versy around this issue, is failing to provide adequate opportunity for doctors
          to obtain the skills needed to perform this legal medical procedure. Residency
          curricula in obstetrics/gynecology should make available instruction in all
          procedures relating to reproductive functions, whether or not the resident-
          in-training incorporates these procedures into the future practice of medicine.


DISSENT   The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (UOJCA) does
          not, as a matter of longstanding policy, join the Jewish Public Affairs
          Agenda discussion of "reproductive choice." We cannot endorse a public
          policy that does not reflect the complex response ofhalacha Ocwish law) to
          the abortion issue. In most circumstances the halacha proscribes abortion
          but there are cases in which halacha permits and indeed mandates abortion.
          The question is a sensitive one and personal decisions in this area should be
          made in consultation with recognized halachic authorities.
40      JEWISH    COUNCIL      FOR    PUBLIC   AFFAIRS·     AGENDA      1999-2000




HEALTHCARE
        Despite economic prosperity          The ]CPA supports
        and the passage of several laws
       intended to expand health-
                                            adequate, ciffordable health
       care coverage, the number            care coverage, including
       of Americans without insur-          mental health care, for
       ance has risen steadily. Small
                                            individuals and families,
       businesses that created most
       new jobs are less likely than        regardless if income; supports
       large corporations to provide        legislation to regulate
       health insurance, and when           managed care, including a
       coverage is available, employ-
       ees often cannot afford the
                                             ({Patients' Bill if Rights, "
       premiums. Meanwhile, med-            which assures affordable,
       ical costs are projected to         accessible health care coverage
       accelerate, making health
                                           consistent with ]CPA
       care more expensive and less
       accessible for everyone. In         Health Care Principles;
       light of the compelling needs       supports legislation to
       of the uninsured and under-         prevent genetic-based health
       insured, and the organized
      Jewish community's long-
                                           insurance and employment
       standing position supporting        discrimination and to ensure
       universal health care, the          the confidentiality of
      JCPA calls upon federal and
                                           medical records.
      state governments to develop
      system-wide approaches to
      assuring adequate, affordable healthcare coverage for all individuals and
      families, regardless of income.
         Although efforts to enact legislation regulating managed care failed in the
      closing days of the 105th Congress, both political parties have vowed to
      bring the issue back in the new Congress. As bills are drafted, the Jewish
      community will press for measures that guarantee elderly people access to
      religiously appropriate long-term care facilities in their home communities,
EQUAL    OPPORTUNITY        AND    SOCIAL    JUSTICE                        4   I




and to ensure that residents of facilities offering a continuum of care are,
upon discharge from a hospital, allowed to return to those facilities.
  Meanwhile, a restructuring proposal developed by the National
Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare, established by Congress
to consider options for preserving the fiscal integriry of the program, did not
receive the majoriry support needed to become an official Commission
recommendation. Nevertheless, it is likely to become a major element in
Congressional debate on Medicare reform. Opponents of the proposal,
which would raise the age of Medicare eligibiliry and offer beneficiaries a
fixed amount of money for purchase of public or private health insurance,
have charged the plan would not ensure Medicare's long-term solvency
and would place at risk the health securiry of older people and people with
disabilities. The JCPA believes any restructuring of Medicare must ensure
the program's fiscal integrity and the well-being of beneficiaries. Any
reforms must take into account the special needs of the Medicare population,
including the need for coordinated, high qualiry care for people with
chronic illness, available in all delivery settings-both managed care and
fee-for-service. Further, the Jewish communiry believes seniors with the
capaciry and desire to remain in their homes should be able to do so and
receive home health care under Medicare.
  Finally, tests to identifY genetic mutations, which render individuals sus-
ceptible to certain diseases, have increased the potential for employment
and insurance discrimination. The Jewish communiry's interest in this issue
is based broadly on civil liberties concerns and specifically on reports that
mutations in certain genes which may increase the likelihood of developing
certain cancers are potentially more prevalent among Ashkenazi Jews. The
JCPA continues vigorously to support passage of the Genetic Information
Nondiscrimination in Health Insurance Act.
42         JEWISH     COUNCIL      FOR   PUBLIC     AFFAIRS·       AGENDA      1999-2000




                                                 Jewish Security and
                                                 the Bill of Rights
              ((Happy are they
     who maintain justice and
     righteousness at all times.            JJ

                          PSALMS    106:3


PREAMBLE

          Challenged by recurring public scandal, civic discord, and random violence,
          Americans continue to seek moral guidance and stability, in part by espousing
          greater integration of religious values into all aspects of American life. In this
          climate, American Jews find themselves in a sensitive position. The organized
         Jewish community has long championed the crucidl role of the religious
          sector in creating and maintaining a just society. However, Jews must remain
          vigilant in opposing initiatives that blur the distinction between govern-
          mental and non-governmental institutions with respect to religious practice
         and belief, because only through separation of church and state can religious
         freedom be guaranteed for all Americans. The Jewish community relations
         field will be challenged to continue opposing measures that would erode
         the wall of separation between church and state, while emphasizing our
         appreciation for the inspiration that religious values provide American society.
            One of the most disturbing civic trends is the continued prevalence of
         hate crimes in the United States. A spate of high-profile murders moti-
         vated at least in part by the victims' race and/or sexual orientation ·have
         cast a spotlight on the persistence of intolerance in this country. The
         Jewish community relations field must continue to be at the forefi·ont of
         efforts to prevent hate crimes and other manifestations of bigotry. The field
         will also continue to monitor other attacks on civil liberties, including
         those aimed specifically at gays and lesbians.
                  JEWISH     SECURITY      AND THE BILL       OF   RIGHTS                     43




                     On the international level, the world continues to witness the spiritual
                  and political quest for greater moral and financial accountability with respect
                  to the Holocaust. The struggle to secure final restitution of assets taken from
                  Jews during the Holocaust era still occupies Jewish attention, as does the
                  desire to gain access to archival materials, particularly those held by the
                  Vatican, that can shed greater light on the history of the Shoah. Perhaps the
                  most significant manifestation of this intensified interest in the Holocaust
                  was the release of We Remember, the Vatican's reflections on its involvement
                  in the Shoah. These controversial issues will continue to present major
                  community relations challenges for American Jews in coming months and
                  years.


          RELIGION IN AMERICA
          CHARITABLE CHOICE
                  A crucial and difficult church-
                                                     ]CPA policy:
                  state issue the organized Jewish
                  community confronts is char-
                                                      The ]CPA supports
                  itable choice, the public fund-     public funding of social
                  ing of social service programs      service programs operated
                  operated by pervasively sec-
                  tarian organizations, as well
                                                      by religiously affiliated
                  as by religiously affiliated        organizations, when
                  organizations if they are not       legislation authorizing such
                  required to implement appro-
                                                     funding contains appropriate
                  priate safeguards to prevent
                  First Amendment violations.
                                                      scifeguards that will prevent
                  Despite the fact that the           First Amendment violations
                  Supreme Court ruled in Bowen        and protect the religious
                  v. Kendrick that such funding
                  violates the Establishment
                                                     freedom of program
i
~
                  Clause, Congress included           beneficiaries and employees
                                                      oj service providers .
.1                charitable choice provisions

i
 ,
II
$-.




      \
      ~
      I
                  in its 1996 welfare overhaul,
                  and pressure is mounting to
44      JEWISH     COUNCIL      FOR   PUBLIC   AFFAIRS'     AGENDA     1999-2000




        implement charitable choice for all federally-funded programs in the country.
        The JCPA agrees that religiously affiliated institutions may provide valuable
        and efficient social services, and may qualify for government funding for
        such programs. However, government funding of social services through
        religiously affiliated organizations must contain appropriate and effective
        First Amendment safeguards such as those that prevent proselytization,
        coercion or indoctrination and that safeguard clients and service provider
        employees against discrimination on the basis of religion. Therefore, the
        JCPA will continue to oppose the passage oflegislation that does not contain
        appropriate safeguards. Additionally, the community relations field must be
        increasingly vigilant and vocal in monitoring the implementation of federal
        block grant programs at the state and local level to prevent First
        Amendment violations and to protect the religious freedom of program
        beneficiaries and employees of service providers.


PROTECTING FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGION
        In the wake of the Supreme
                                            The ]CPA supports passage
        Court's 1997 decision striking
        down the Religious Freedom
                                           <if the Religious Freedom
        Restoration Act (RFRA),            Restoration Act (RFRA)
        the Jewish community, along        legislation at the state level,
        with an unprecedented num-
                                           where needed. Another pri-
        ber of interfaith coalition
        partners, has embarked on an       ority is passage of the fed-
        ambitious effort to ensure         eral Workplace Religious
        that the individual laws of        Freedom Act, which would
        each state reflect the RFRA
        standard. In most cases, this
                                           strengthen Jederallaws
        will require passage of new        requiring employers to rea-
        legislation at the state level.    sonably accommodate
        The JCPA and its member
                                           employees' religious needs.
        agencies will continue to work
        vigorously in coming months
        to advance such state legisla-
        JEWISH      SECURITY       AND      THE   BILL   OF   RIGHTS              45




        tion, and to oppose efforts to weaken RFRA's protections through targeted
        exemptions. On the federal level, the organized Jewish community will
        continue to explore with coalition partners the possibility of passing a
        revised RFRA bill, and will continue to press for passage of the Workplace
        Religious Freedom Act (WRFA) , which would tighten existing federal
        laws with respect to religious accommodation by employers.


RELIGION IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS
        The defeat of the Religious
                                                The ]CPA continues to
        Freedom Amendment in
        spring 1998 dealt a crucial            oppose all forms if
        blow to school prayer propo-           organized public prayer,
        nents. However, efforts to
        introduce organized religion
                                               at or in connection with
        into the nation's public schools       school-sponsored events
        continue, either through tra-          and activities, whether
        ditional school prayer initia-
        tives or other strategies that,
                                               led by students, faculty
        while technically legal, come          or others, including
        disturbingly close to outright        ((moments if silence"
        school-sponsored religious
        practice. The community rela-
                                               intended as a subterfuge for
        tions field must continue to           state-sponsored prayer.
        monitor these activities, such
        as See You at the Pole events, to
        ensure that they are not organized by school administrators or teachers, and
        that students are not subjected to coercion or harassment because they
       choose not to participate.
          The tension between Establishment Clause concerns, Free Exercise
       rights, and free speech values continues to be manifested in the classroom
       setting. Although the organized Jewish community long has championed
       freedom of speech and religious expression, those fundamental principles
       must be exercised within the limits set by the Establishment Clause, which
       are especially critical in classrooms where children are captive audiences
       and are more vulnerable to religious indoctrination.
46         JEWISH    COUNCIL     FOR   PUBLIC   AFFAIRS'    AGENDA     1999-2000




PUBLIC FUNDING FOR PRIVATE RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
           The battle over public fund-
                                             The ]CPA recifJirms its
           ing of private religious edu-
           cation will undoubtedly           vigorous opposition to the
          continue with great intensity      use ifpublic funds to support
          during coming months.
                                            private sectarian schools,
          Although      the   Supreme
          Court declined to review a         except in those instances
          decision by Wisconsin's            where the public funds are
          highest court upholding
          Milwaukee's voucher pro-
                                             used for designated extant,
          gram, similar cases in other      court-approved non-sectarian
          states, including a case now       benefits. Voucher plans,
          pending in Ohio, make it
          likely the Supreme Court
                                            and other similar programs
          eventually will be required       that would provide public
          to render a decision regard-      support to private sectarian
          ing the constitutionality of
          vouchers. Should that hap-
                                            schools, violate the
          pen, it could become one of       Establishment Clause,
          the most important of recent
                                            pose the risk ifgovernment
          church/state rulings. In
          addition to voucher pro-          entanglement in religious
          grams, legislators are pro-       affairs, and divert financial
          moting other plans, such as
                                            resources from the public
          educational savings accounts,
          that use less indirect means      school system.
          of financing private school
          tuition.


DISSENT   The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (UOJCA) con
          tinues to favor educational choice programs. We believe that the Jewish
          community has traditionally been committed to principles including a
          commitment of social justice that seeks to minimize the role of wealth in
        JEWISH SECURITY         AND THE BILL       OF   RIGHTS                     47




        securing one's basic needs, and a desire to stem the tide of assimilation that
        should lead it to support school choice initiatives. Moreover, we concur with
        the Supreme Court's well established reasoning that the Establishment
        Clause requires not hostility, but neutrality toward religious individuals
        and institutions. We join in expressing a commitment to a vibrant educa-
        tional system, and we believe that school choice initiatives will improve
        the entire educational system for all of America's children.


HATE CRIMES
        The ]CPA views with alarm          The ]CPA strongly supports
        the continuing scourge of hate
        crimes in American society,
                                           passage of the Hate Crimes
        as witnessed by a number of        Prevention Act (HCPA)
        tragic, high-profile murders
        within recent months that are
                                           and passage of state hate
       believed to have been moti-         crimes legislation that
       vated by either the victim's
                                           comports with the HCPA.
       race or sexual orientation.
       The ]CPA supports passage
       of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act (HCPA), which would strengthen the
       federal government's ability to investigate and prosecute hate crimes and
       expand federal hate crimes law to include acts motivated by the victim's
       actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender, or disability. Additionally,
       the ]CPA supports passage of appropriate hate crimes laws in the ten states
       that still do not have meaningful hate crimes statutes, and strengthening of
       laws in those states whose hate crimes statutes could be more comprehen-
       sive. Such legislation is necessary to send a strong message that crimes based
       on prejudice and hatred are anathema to the fundamental values of democ-
       racy upon which this nation is founded. Finally, the ]CPA also supports
       efforts to encourage greater compliance with the federal Hate Crimes
       Statistics Act, which mandates data collection and reporting of hate crimes,
       and with other federal and state laws intended to combat hate crimes.
48        JEWISH     COUNCIL       FOR   PUBLIC     AFFAIRS'      AGENDA       1999-2000




CIVIL LIBERTIES AND CIVIL RIGHTS OF GAYS AND LESBIANS
          While the agency has taken no
                                                 ThejCPA opposes
          position on questions pertain-
          ing to homosexual lifestyles,          discrimination against any
          the JCPA opposes efforts to            individual based on race,
          subjugate or deny essential
          liberties to members of any
                                                 ethnicity, religion, gender,
          minority group in the United           age, disability, or sexual
          States. Therefore, in addition
          to supporting the Hate Crimes
                                                 orientation.
          Prevention Act (HCPA), the
          JCPA supports passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act
          (ENDA), which would create a federal prohibition against employment dis-
          crimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The JCPA also supports other
          legislative efforts ~t the state and local levels that would prevent discrimination
          in housing, public accommodation, and education. Exemptions designed to
          protect the right of religious institutions to carry out their religious purposes
          should be incorporated into all such legislation. The JCPA opposes efforts to
          repeal state statutes that protect individuals from discrimination based on
          sexual orientation.


DISSENT   The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations does not join in the subsection
          on civil rights for gays and lesbians. We are opposed to discrimination
          against any individual. Jewish law, however, prohibits homosexual activity,
          and we cannot join in a statement or initiative that could be interpreted to
          imply otherwise.
        JEWISH     SECURITY AND          THE   BILL   OF   RIGHTS                     49




FREE SPEECH-ATTACKS ON ADVOCACY BY NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS
        While SOl(c)(3) tax-exempt
                                               The ]CPA strongly opposes
        organizations are legally pro-
        hibited from intervening in,           legislation that would limit
        influencing, or participating          the right of non-profit
        in political campaigns, gener-
        ally they may participate in
                                               organizations to engage in
        advocacy on issues pertaining          issue advocacy.
        to their mission. Some legis-
        lators in Congress and in the
        states continue to promote severe restrictions on the ability of non-profit
        organizations to engage in such advocacy. Such measures, if adopted, would
        foster an environment where non-profits are encouraged to "do good" by
        serving those in need, but are simultaneously prevented from speaking out
        on the policies that have a profound effect on the populations they serve.
        The organized Jewish community, in coalition with fellow members of the
        non-profit sector, must remain vigilant in opposing these initiatives.


ANTI-SEMITISM
        Although American Jews enjoy unprecedented levels of security and pros-
        perity, anti-Semitic acts are still a fact oflife in the United States. The most
        recent Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) statistics indicate that nearly
        80% of all hate crimes motivated by the victim's religion were perpetrated
        against Jews. Furthermore, in its 1998 audit of anti-Semitic incidents, the
        Anti-Defamation League reported a slight increase in the number of acts of
        vandalism and harassment directed against Jews. The community relations
        field will continue to monitor and respond appropriately to specific anti-
        Semitic incidents, and just as importandy, will continue to promote diversity
        training and education programs, especially in public schools and on college
        campuses. Such programs have proven to be effective tools for preventing
        discrimination and increasing tolerance and respect among different groups
        in American society.
          The organized Jewish community also continues to monitor extremist
        groups that promote hatred against minority groups, including Jews, and, in
50     JEWISH      COUNCIL      FOR   PUBLIC     AFFAIRS·      AGENDA      1999-2000




        some instances, foment hate-motivated violence. Armed militias, in particular,
        continue to pose a significant threat of violence. As the recent tragedy in
        Littleton, Colorado demonstrates, preachers of violent hatred have become
       adept at using the Internet to propagate their hateful ideologies. The Internet
       is an especially attractive forum for extremists, because it is easily accessible,
       inexpensive, and not readily subject to regulation or editing. While the
       Jewish community is gravely concerned about this disturbing trend, hate on
       the Internet must be addressed in a manner that respects First Amendment
       free speech guarantees. One promising response is the development of
       screening technology, which would provide parents with the ability to limit
       their children's access to messages of hate on the Internet. Such frlters should
       be explored as they become more readily available.
            Anti-Semitism also continues to be a problem on college campuses.
       University administrators frequently are mistaken regarding the extent to
       which the First Amendment compels them to allow virulently anti-Semitic
       views to be aired on campus, either by speakers or through publications and
       college newspaper advertisements. Of particular concern are the campus
       activities of Holocaust denier groups, which have targeted college popula-
       tions to promote their ideology. The Jewish community relations field will
       continue to reach out to administrators, students, and newspaper editors, to
       educate them about anti-Semitism, including Holocaust revisionism, and
       anti-Zionism.


HOLOCAUST
       Interest in the Holocaust has surged in the last several years, due in part to the
       advancing age of remaining Holocaust survivors and the release of millions
       of new documents from the Holocaust period, especially in the former
       Soviet Union. The quest for the return oflooted Jewish assets is the most
       striking example of this phenomenon. While the dispute with the largest
       private Swiss banks has been settled, details of the disbursement of settle-
       ment funds have yet to be detennined. This allocation process likely will raise
       questions within the Jewish community and beyond. Additionally, claims
       involving unpaid insurance policies, slave labor, real estate, art and other are
       being addressed worldwide. These ongoing investigations and negotiations
JEWISH     SECURITY      AND    THE    BILL   OF   RIGHTS                      5I




for global and individual              The ]CPA believes
compensation will continue
to have grassroots and insti-
                                       that its member agencies
tutional implications. While           have a vital role to play in
there will not always be una-          coordinating local responses
nimity within the Jewish
                                       to issues if Holocaust
community on every facet of
this controversy, the JCPA
                                       restitution.
believes that its member
agencies have a vital role to play in coordinating local responses to issues of
Holocaust restitution.
  The JCPA commends those nations that have already made significant
gestures with regard to resolving restitution issues in a forthright, expeditious
manner. The JCPA also commends those countries that have created historical
commissions to investigate and record the details of their wartime activity,
and urges those implicated nations that have not embarked on such initiatives
to do so. The American government is to be applauded for setting an example
through its creation of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust
Assets in the United States. Foreign governments should be urged to make
relevant archives and records accessible to historians, and to continue
engaging in productive dialogue with the American and Israeli govern-
ments, survivor representatives, and the Jewish community, in order to hasten
the process of financial restitution
  Such efforts will assist in the creation of a historical record that will be an
enduring reminder of the world's indifference to, and, in some instances,
direct or indirect complicity with, the Shoah. As the world focuses to an
ever greater extent on the material losses incurred by Holocaust victims and
their heirs, it is incumbent upon the organized Jewish community to ensure
that this process does not detract in any way from the important task of edu-
cating people worldwide about broader themes of genocide, anti-Semitism,
and prejudice. Increasing the quantity and variety of Holocaust education
programs will help to make the Shoah meaningful to generations who will
never have the opportunity to meet a Holocaust survivor in person, and for
whom World War II is perhaps as remote an event as the Civil War.
  Renewed interest in the Holocaust undoubtedly will continue to have a
52      JEWISH     COUNCIL      FOR   PUBLIC     AFFAIRS'      AGENDA      1999-2000




        profound impact on Jewish-Christian relations. Controversy surrounding
        the release of the Vatican's report We Remember, which attempted to
        address the role of the Catholic Church with regard to the Holocaust, as
        well as other events, such as the erection of a field of crosses at
        Auschwitz/Birkenau by extremist Polish Catholics and the canonization of
        the Jewish-born Carmelite nun Edith Stein, who perished at Auschwitz,
        have exacerbated Catholic-Jewish and Polish-Jewish tensions. Additionally,
        the organized Jewish community continues to press for the release of doc-
        uments from the Vatican archives that will shed further light on the
        Church's activities during the Holocaust. (see Interreligious Relations belou,)


INTERRELIGIOUS RELATIONS
        Nationally and locally, rela-         The ]CPA reajJirms its
        tionships between Jews and
        Catholics and between Jews            longstanding commitlnent
        and mainstream Protestants            to working collsistently
        remain strong. The JCPA
        continues to enhance working          toward strong inte~faith
        relations with the United             understanding and positive
        States Catholic Conference/
        National Conference ofCath-           working relationships with
        olic Bishops and the National         all faith communities.
        Council of Churches and with
        denominational leaders nation-
        ally and locally. Moreover, in
        collaborations such as the National Religious Partnership on the Environ-
        ment, which includes Evangelical Christians among others, and on a range
        of civil and religious liberty issues and social policy concerns, interfaith
        cooperation with a broad range of faith communities, including the growing
        American Muslim community, is ongoing.
          With the approach of the year 2000, the Roman Catholic Church con-
        tinues to emphasize themes of repentance and reconciliation, fe-examining
        Christian roles and responsibilities with regard to anti-Semitism and such
       cataclysms of the last thousand years as the Inquisition and the Holocaust.
JEWISH SECURITY          AND    THE   BILL OF     RIGHTS                       53




Inherent in all these activities is a drive to reach out and to advance interfaith
understanding, which has enlivened an already dynamic Catholic/Jewish
dialogue. Maintaining the momentum of that dialogue must remain a priority
for both faith communities.
   In recent months, tensions have arisen over what the Catholic Church
has called excessive negative criticism by some in the Jewish community
regarding Vatican policies concerning the Holocaust. Catholics have said
these criticisms have gone beyond civil discourse and become a "systematic
campaign to denigrate the Catholic Church." Acknowledging the serious
nature of these charges, Jewish leaders have added, however, that it remains
important for partners in dialogue to be able to speak frankly about their
concerns, including Jewish concerns about recent Church decisions. (see
Holocaust section above) Given the sensitivity of feelings around these
issues, and the investment by both communities in the ongoing dialogue
and in the significant accomplishments of the past 35 years, interfaith leaders
can be expected to view these developments as a warning signal, indicating
a critical need to review positions on both sides, to seek effective ways to
address the issues, and to move the relationship forward.
  The Vatican's report on the Church and the Holocaust, entitled We
Remember, received mixed responses from the Jewish community last year.
However, there remains a general recognition that the report represented
an important step forward, standing as a permanent refutation of those who
deny the reality of the Holocaust and setting the stage for further dialogue.
Moreover, it acknowledged the need for additional study, leading to a
renewed call by Jewish leaders for the Vatican to open its archives. In what
was seen as a major development in interfaith affairs, John Cardinal
O'Connor, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York, subsequently
issued a call for the Vatican to quickly open its archives. More recently,
however, the Vatican rejected a U.S. government request to open its
wartime documents, leaving the issue yet unresolved.
  Elsewhere, the JCPA remains concerned about missionary work targeted
at Jews, to which millennial themes of evangelism may add new energy.
The community relations field will continue to monitor missionary groups.
Acknowledging that proselytizing activities are protected behavior under
the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, the field has nevertheless
     54   JEWISH COUNCIL            FOR   PUBLIC   AFFAIRS·   AGENDA    1999-2000




          long opposed missionary work specifically targeted at Jews, it dismisses the
          validity ofJudaism and is frequently dishonest in its methods.
             The Middle East Peace Process continues to generate statements by
          mainline Protestant groups (such as proposals to make Jerusalem a shared
          city), criticizing the approach of the Israeli government to peace process
          deliberations, and these are likely to increase as negotiations continue.
          Jewish leaders should be prepared to deal with the criticism, interpreting
          Israeli policy to ensure that facts are clear and charges not exaggerated.
          Meanwhile, locally and nationally, Jewish and mainline Protestant groups
          remain engaged in ongoing efforts to enhance mutual understanding
          regarding these issues.




J.
           THE    ENVIRONMENT        AND JEWISH       LIFE                              55




                                                The Environment
                                                and Jewish Life
          "Therefore choose life,
             that you and your
         descendants may live. "
                  DEUTERONOMY      30:19




    PREAMBLE
           The JCPA's environmental policy priorities for the 106th Congress constitute
           an ambitious agenda, particularly in light of the failure of the lOSth Congress
           to reauthorize existing environmental programs, such as the Endangered
           Species Act and Superfund, and to take action to address new threats, such as
           global warming. The Congress expressed strong opposition to the international
           global warming treaty. The last Congress did, however, modestly increase
~
A          funding for mass transit, clean water, and energy conservation programs.
I
i
t
               Continuing environmental threats challenge the Jewish community to
           deepen its environmental commitments and involvement so that it both
4          lifts up the moral dimension of environmental policy questions and makes
           a substantive contribution to grassroots and national organizing efforts.
1          Through the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life and the



I          National Religious Partnership for the Environment, the Jewish community
           continues to make common cause with a diversity of faith communities to
           protect the common ground we share.
               The JCPA environmental agenda for the l06th Congress includes press-
           ing for further reductions in air and water pollution; advocating action to
           require testing of chemicals and labeling of products; working in coalition
           to revitalize urban centers through environmentally responsible development;
           urging swift passage of a global climate accord that requires significant
           reductions in domestic carbon emissions; supporting passage of a strengthened
56      JEWISH    COUNCIL     FOR   PUBLIC     AFFAIRS'   AGENDA    1999-2000




        Endangered Species Act; opposing subsidies for environmentally harmful
        uses of public lands, such as logging and mining; and encouraging strong
        U.S. leadership in efforts to create an economically just and environmen-
        tally sustainable world economy.


ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH AND JUSTICE

            The ]CPA supports the testing if all products
           and processes that may have the potential to harm
           the environment or public health; standards at
           levels that will prevent juture harm to the most
           vulnerable populations; government support if
           pollution prevention and the development if
           non-toxic alternatives to hazardous materials.
           equal protection oj poor or minority groups jrom
           environmental pollution; basing regulations on
           their effectiveness jor protecting the vulnerable,
           preventing harm, and safeguarding creation; and
           isolating nuclear wastes in a manner that protects
           public health and the environment.

BACKGROUND


      a. Clean Water
        In February 1998, the Administration announced a Clean Water Action
        Plan to address "non-point source" pollution (polluted runoff), restore
        wetlands, improve water quality, and protect coastal areas. Congress
        appropriated $1.7 billion for the plan, which included less than half the
        increase requested by the President.
  THE    ENVIRONMENT         AND    JEWISH     LIFE                               57




h. Nuclear Waste
   Neither the federal government nor industry has ever developed a coher-
   ent, scientifically validated, equitable policy to manage nuclear wastes. The
   Department of Energy has come under criticism for alleged financial, sci-
   entific, and operational mismanagement of defense nuclear waste clean-up.
   The 10Sth Congress came very close to passing a plan to curtail and pre-
   empt many environmental health and safety laws to transport high level
   civilian and defense nuclear waste to an interim storage facility at the
   Nevada Nuclear Test Site. Though the federal government has been work-
   ing for years to develop a permanent waste repository at Yucca Mountain,
   Department of Energy studies of water movement through the mountain
   raise serious questions about the ability of the site to contain wastes and
   indicate that its capacity to hold the nation's waste is moderate.

c. Civil Rights
   Several community groups have filed complaints under Title VI of the Civil
   Rights Act of 1964 against the u.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
   alleging discriminatory effects from the issuance of pollution control pennits
   by state and local governments that receive EPA funding. Research has
   shown that hazardous facilities are disproportionately placed in communities
   of color. The outcome of these suits will set a significant precedent for use
   of civil rights legislation to define and address environmental injustices.

d. Chemical Testing
   The 106th Congress will be challenged to address the large-scale use of
   inadequately tested chemicals. The 10Sth Congress did not pass any of sev-
   eral bills introduced that would have increased the protection of children
   from toxic chemicals by strengthening regulatory standards, requiring
   labeling of products, and requiring industry to provide additional informa-
   tion about toxic releases to the public.

e. Biotechnology
   In the past several years, the European Community has adopted strict
   labeling requirements for foods containing genetically-engineered products.
   Currently, there is significant debate about whether genetic engineering in
   the U.S. is adequately regulated. Many public health and environmental
   advocates, as well as scientists and religious groups, have raised concerns about
   the possible negative health and ecological effects of genetic engineering.
58      JEWISH    COUNCIL      FOR   PUBLIC    AFFAIRS'     AGENDA      1999- 2000




BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY

           The ]CPA supports the establishment of a
           system if interconnected, strictly protected biological
           preserves on land, in fresh water, and in the sea;
           international cooperation to protect and restore
           biological diversity; management of public lands
           to preserve and restore biological diversity;
           removal if subsidies for logging, mininci?, or grazing
           on public lands, especially in old-growth forests;
           basing species protection on current science and
           erring on the side ifprotecting species when
           scientific authorities differ; sufficient biological
           research to make timely decisions regarding species
           protection; proactive prevention if dan(~erous
           declines in species populations and the creation of
           recovery plans for all endangered and threatened
           species; the status quo with respect to governrnental
           compensation for loss of profits as a consequence
           if environmental regulation.

BACKGROUND


       a. Endangered Species Act
          Due for reauthorization since 1993, the Endangered Species Act will con-
         tinue to foster conflict between conservation advocates, who support strict
         limitations on the destruction of habitat on private and public lands as well
         as efforts to proactively restore habitat, and private property advocates,
         who want to reduce the federal government's ability to regulate private
         property. The Administration has sought to find some "middle ground"
        THE ENVIRONMENT AND JEWISH                LIFE                              59




        through the codification of its policy to negotiate "Habitat Conservation
        Plans" with land owners. Such plans have come under strong criticism
        from conservation advocates claiming that these policies do not adequately
        protect endangered species' habitats over the long term.

      b. Takings
         Private property advocates will likely reintroduce legislation to require the
         government to make routine compensation to land owners who lose profit,
         or potential profit, as a consequence of regulation of their land. Though a
         "takings" bill passed in the House in 1998 was defeated in the Senate by
         intensive public pressure (including a coalition of religious communities),
         there will be continued efforts to alter the historic system whereby courts
         determine the merits of "takings" claims on a case by case basis.

      c. Forests
        While some in Congress continue to press for continued subsidies for logging,
        mining, and grazing on federal lands as well as exemptions to environmental
        laws and regulations for such activities, conservation advocates, along with
        fiscal conservatives, continue to advocate the phasing out of government
        subsidies for extractive industries. An increasing number of groups-
        including the Sierra Club and the Evangelical Environmental Network-
        are endorsing a proposal to end logging in national forests and create eco-
        logical restoration programs in the national forests which would employ
        former loggers.


CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY POLICY

           The ]CPA supports the u.s. taking a leadership
           role in global ifforts to address climate change;
           Senate ratification if the Kyoto Protocol;
           requirements that the u.S. and other developed
           nations achieve a majority of their required
           greenhouse gas emission reductions through domestic
           action; the swift creation of mandatory domestic
60      JEWISH    COUNCIL     FOR   PUBLIC    AFFAIRS'     AGENDA      1999-2000




           emissions reductions programs under the legislative
           authority provided by the already ratified
           Rio Treaty; protection if those most vulnerable to
          climate change: poor people, those living in coastal
          areas, and those relying on subsistence agriculture;
         federal support for the development and use if
          environmentally-friendly energy technologies and
          sustainable energy sources in the U. S. and tranifer
          of these technologies to developing nations;
          retraining and economic transition assistance for
          workers and industries most negatively cif.fected by
          changes in energy policies; tax policy and other
          market-based incentives to discourage use iffossil
         fuels and promote the use of clean alternatives;
          regulatory frameworks for utilities which promote
         greenhouse gas emissions reductions and the
          development of environmentally friendly electricity
         production; the involvement if all societal
          institutions, including households, schools, houses
          if worship, businesses, and governments in ifforts
          to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
BACKGROUND:

       In Kyoto in 1997, the U.S. agreed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions
       to 7% below 1990 levels by the period 2008 to 2012 as part of a global effort
       to address the scientifically-documented threat of climate change. Other
       industrialized nations made similar commitments. The United States-
       which has less than 5% of the world's population yet is responsible for
       approximately 25% of global carbon emissions-is under strong international
        THE ENVIRONMENT AND JEWISH                LIFE                              61




        pressure, particularly from developing nations, to take a lea.ding role in
        reducing greenhouse gas emissions given its hugely disproportionate con-
        tribution to the global problem.
           President Clinton signed the Kyoto Protocol in conjunction with a
        meeting in Buenos Aires in November 1998 to further refine the climate
        treaty. The Clinton administration, pushing hard for pollution trading
        which would enable the U.S. to achieve a large proportion of its emissions
        reductions by purchasing the pollution rights of other nations, ran into stiff
        opposition in Buenos Aires. Still under dispute is the nature of involve-
        ment by developing nations, which have substantially lower per capita carbon
        emissions and are much less responsible for the 30% increased levels of car-
        bon dioxide in the atmosphere. The Kyoto Protocol faces stiff opposition
        in Congress, which is demanding emissions reductions commitments from
        developing nations.
          Numerous fossil fuel, automotive, and other corporations are engaging in
        costly public relations campaigns to dissuade the public and Congress from
        taking action. One encouraging development is that a new corporate coali-
        tion has begun publicly advocating action to reduce global carbon emissions.
        Citizens and public interest organizations will have to mount an extremely
        well-organized effort to successfully move the Senate to ratifY the climate
        treaty. As the primary social bodies with an active, historical commitment
        to international and intergenerational equity, communities of faith will be
        of great importance in raising the moral dimensions of the climate issue.


SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

          The ]CPA supports substantial foreign aid and
          technical assistance to developing nations for
          environmental protection, sustainable economic
          development and family planning;
          U.S. ratification of international environmental
          treaties and provisions in trade agreements to
          protect the environment; if.[orts to address
62   JEWISH   COUNCIL   FOR   PUBLIC   AFFAIRS'   AGENDA   1999-2000




        environmental degradation and resource shortages
        in regions where such developments might lead to
        either mass migration or armed coriflict;
        incentives for the revitalization if cities through
       environmentally responsible ((Brow/~fields"
       programs; policies based on pricing, taxation, and
       other incentives that lead to the reduction of the
       level of u.s. per capita consumption oj elzelgy,
       paper, metals, and other resources; land-use and
       transportation policies to contain urban sprawl,
       promote the redevelopment if cities, and protect
       open spaces; protection if agricultural lands and
       public health through programs to conserve soil,
       safeguard groundwater, regulate chemical and
       animal waste runofffrom farms and livestock
      facilities; the promotion if organic and sustainable
       agricultural practices; the adoption (if internal
       conservation and waste-reduction policies includinc~
       recycling, the use if recycled and energy-cj]icient
      products, and the elimination if hazardous
      pesticides and cleaning supplies by all households
       and communal organizations.
       THE    ENVIRONMENT       AND   JEWISH     LIFE                             63




BACKGROUND
       With world population expected to grow to between 7 and 11 billion in
       the middle of the next century (up from the current 6 billion) and several
       vital global natural resources already reaching their limits, the time is long
       overdue for the international community to address issues of global
       resource consumption and international equity. While u.s. citizens consume
       enormous amounts of the world's resources, hundreds of millions of peo-
       ple worldwide lack access to clean water, sufficient food, safe shelter, and
       basic health care.
         As we enter the 21st century, the U.S. is challenged both to reduce our
       level of resource consumption and to assist developing nations in stabiliz-
       ing their populations while economically expanding in environmentally
       benign ways. Despite these grave challenges, Congress continues to. reduce
       or deny funding for international family planning programs, foreign aid,
       and domestic conservation and development of alternative technologies.
       The organized Jewish community, with our partners from other religious
       and ethnic communities, will increasingly be called upon to articulate the
       moral imperative to adopt domestic and foreign policies which promote
       the development and use of environmentally clean technologies in the
       u.s.   and abroad, to reduce dramatically overall consumption of natural
       resources, to stabilize world population, and to effect a more equitable dis-
       tribution of wealth around the world.
64       JEWISH     COUNCIL    FOR   PUBLIC    AFFAIRS'      AGENDA      1999-2000




                                           Summary of
                                           Resolutions
                                           Adopted by the
                                           1999 Plenum


       LOW INCOME SENIORS       Concerned that public policy initiatives have not
       yet met the challenge that will be posed by an increasingly aging America,
       the jCPA called for reauthorization of the Older Americans Act, which
       provides low-income seniors with a comprehensive range of supportive
       home and community-based services, as well as increased funding for the
       Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program.

      SITUATION IN ETHIOPIA       The jCPA called upon the Israeli Government
      to fulfill its commitment in expediting the relocation of Quara jews to
      Israel, and urged that requests by members of the Falash Mura community
      to immigrate to Israel be fully and fairly processed on a case-by-case-basis,
      and in a timely manner.

      REPHODUCTIVE HEALTH       Noting that assaults on reproductive health services
      continue to grow - whether through attempts to outlaw or delimit access
      to abortion or severely limit affordable family planning; violence and
      harassment aimed at clinics or abortion providers; or the failure of medical
     schools to provide adequate opportunity for doctors to obtain the sk;Us
     necessary to perform this legal procedure - the jCPA urged that action be
     taken to insure a woman's legal right to reproducti"e choice and ade-
     quately funded family planning programs in the U.S. and abroad.
        DISSENT   The Union of Orthodox jewish Congregations of America
     (UOjCA) does not as as a matter of long-standing policy, join with the
     jewish Council for Public Affairs in resolutions concerning "reproductive
SUMMARY        OF   RESOLUTIONS                                               65




choice." We cannot endorse a public policy that does not reflect the complex
responses ofhalacha Gewish law) to the abortion issue. In most circumstances
the halacha proscribes abortion but there are cases in which halacha permits
and indeed mandates abortion. The question is a sensitive one and personal
decisions in this area should be made in consultation with recognized
halachic authorities.

MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS         Commending Prime Minister Netanyahu,
Chairman Arafat, President Clinton, Secretary Albright and Ambassador
Ross for their commitment and dedication to the Oslo peace process, and
noting the significant contributions of the late King Hussein, the JCPA
urged that measures be taken by all parties to implement the Wye River
Memorandum. These measures include Congressional approval of an eco-
nomic support package for Israel, Jordan and the Palestinians; enhanced
efforts by the Palestinian Authority to control incitements and violence
within its area of jurisdiction; and encouragement of both Israel and the
Palestinians to recommit themselves to resolving disputes through direct
negotiation.

THE ISRAELI EMBASSY AND AMIA BOMBINGS IN ARGENTINA                   With the
fifth anniversary of the bombing of the AMIA Jewish Community Center
in Buenos Aires as yet unsolved, the JCPA called on its member agencies
to convey a coherent and unified message, urging the Argentine government
to undertake politically unfettered investigations into the bombings, to
arrest and prosecute those responsible and to provide greater guarantees of
security to the Argentine Jewish community and all Argentines.

CONFISCATED JEWISH ASSETS         Because the issue of diverse Jewish assets
confiscated by the Nazi regime and their various collaborator regimes
remains an issue of both significant financial and moral concern to the Jewish
community, the JCPA adopted a number of general guiding principles.
The need for a direct role for Holocaust survivors in the resolution of issues
affecting Holocaust asset recovery and efforts   to   obtain resources for the
needs of the survivor community was noted. The JCPA called on Jewish
organizations, federal and state governments in the United States and     {i:H-

eign governments tot take all reasonable steps to obtain justice fiJr the sur-
vivors and their heirs in the matter of Holocaust related insurance claims.
 66           JEWISH      COUNCIL         FOR   PUBLIC   AFFAIRS'       AGENDA       1999-2000




JCPA
Executive Committee




Chair                                               Past Chairs
              Steven Schwarz, Wilkes-Barre                        Albert E. Arent, Washington, DC
                                                                  Jordan C. Band, Cleveland
Vice Chairs                                                       Lewis D. Cole, Louisville
              Lee Adlerstein, MetroWest                           Aaron Goldman, Washington, DC
              Marvin Catler, Hartford                             Jacqueline K. Levine, MetroWest
              Dr. Leonard Cole,                                   Lynn Lyss, National Council
                Bergen County/North Hudson                          ifJewish Women
              Lois Frank, Atlanta                                 Theodore R. Mann, Philadelphia
              David Luchins, Union if Orthodox                    Michael N. Newmark, St. Louis
               Jewish Congregation if America                     Michael A. Pelavin, Flint
              Dr. Jack Kirshner,                                  Arden E. Shenker, Portland, OR
                Middlesex County                                  Maynard I. Wishner, Chicago
              Paul N. Minkoff, Philadelphia                       Bennett Yanowitz, Cleveland
              Nan Rich, National Council
                ifJewish Women                      Executive Vice Chairman
              Mark Schick man, San Francisco                   Dr. Lawrence Rubin
              Andrea Weinstein, Dallas
                                                    Associate Executive Vice Chairman
Treasurer                                                       Martin J. Raffel
              Ronald Abrams, Louisville
                                                    Assistant Executive Vice Chair
Secretary                                                        Karen Senter
              Dr. Stephen Stone,
              Springfield, IL                       Executive Vice Chair Emeritus
                                                               Albert D. Chernin
Chair's Appointee
           Michael Bohnen, Boston
            NATIONAL      AGENCY      REPRESENTATIVES                         67




National Agency                              Federation System
Representatives                              Representatives




American Jewish Committee                    Billie Gold, New York
            Herbert Mines                    James Rosenstein, Philadelphia
            Ronald G. Weiner                 David Steimlan, San Fratlcisco
American Jewish Congress                     Rosiland Wyman, Los Angeles
            Morton S. Bunis
            Barry N. Winograd
Anti-Defamation League/B'nai B'rith
           Howard Berkowitz
            Hugh Schwartzberg
Hadassah
            Ruth Cole
           Judy Palkovitz
Jewish Labor Committee
           Avram B. Lyon
            Emanuel Muravchik
Jewish War Veterens of the U.S.A.
            Co!. Herbert Rosenbleeth
            Robert M. Zweiman
National Council ofJewish Woman
           Barbara Herman
           Jan Schneiderman
Union of American Hebrew Congregations
            Leonard Fein
           Judge David Davidson
Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations
of America
           David Luchins
            Richard Stone
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaisml
Women's League for Conservative Judaism
           Janet Tobin
           Judge Jerry Wagner
Women's American ORT
            Rosina K. Abramson
            Muriel Hertan
68   JEWISH   COUNCIL   FOR   PUBLIC   AFFAIRS'     AGENDA      1999-2000




                                   Community
                                   Representatives




                                   Jerry Abramson, Louisville
                                   David Bohm, St. Louis
                                   Sharon Bloome, Seattle
                                   Barry Cohen, Atlantic County
                                   Naomi Cohen, Hariford
                                   Suzanne F. Cohen, Baltimore
                                   Samuel). Dubbin, Miami
                                   David Feiss, Milwaukee
                                   Sheila Field, Minneapolis
                                   Frederick N. Frank, Pittsburgh
                                   Betsy Gaberman, Spritlgfield, MA
                                   Murray Gass, Southern NJ
                                   Warren Heilbronner, Rochester
                                   Edward Kraus, Cleveland
                                   Charles Kriser, Chicago
                                   Ruth Laibson, Philadelphia
                                   Angela Lampert, West Palm Beach County
                                   Donald Lefton, Miami
                                   Geoffrey W. Lewis, Boston
                                   Dr. Jerome E. Milch, Bergen COlmty, NJ
                                   David A. Nussbaum, Monmouth County
                                   Michal Regunberg, Boston
                                   Maxine Richman, Rhode Island
                                   Dr. Robert Rubin, Tidewater
                                   Joanie Schwartz, San Antonio
                                   Elaine Senter, Washitlgton, DC
                                   Ruth Sherman, Minneapolis
                                   Stephen G. Silverman, Detroit
                                     69




Ex officio




Marie Abrams, Louisville
Paul Berger, Washington, DC
Dr. Frank Boehm, Nashville
Donna Bojarsky, Los Angeles
Denis C. Braham, NCS]
Joan Bronk, New York
Sibyl Feder Gass, Southern N]
Lawrence Gold, Atlanta
Anita Gray, Cleveland
Neil Greenbaum, HIAS
Helen Hoffman, Palm Beach County
Barbra Kaplan, Palm Beach County
Michelle Kohn, Palm Beach County
Judah Labovitz, Philadelphia
J. David Levy, St. Louis
Sheri Lublin, Hartford
Rhoda Mains, Minnesota & Dakotas
Rabbi Israel Miller, New York
Eleanor Rubin, Central N]
Howard Sachs, NCS]
James Samuels, Cleveland
M. Melvin Shralow, Philadelphia
Burton Siegel, CRC Directors Assn.
Michael Simon, Portland, OR
Rabbi Efry Spectre, Detroit
Arthur Stern, Los Angeles
Norman Tilles, Rhode Island
Barry E. Ungar, Philadelphia
Judge Jerry Wagner, Hartford
RabbiJoel Zaiman, Baltimore
70   JEWISH       COUNCIL        FOR        PUBLIC   AFFAIRS·        AGENDA         1999-2000




     Staff




     Dr. Lawrence Rubin                          Sigalit A. Rubinson
       Executive Vice Chainnan                      Director if Public Informatioll
     Martin J. Raffel                            Michael D. Schlank
       Associate Executive Vice                     Director if Resource Developlllent
       Chainnan/                                 Marny G. Schwartz
       Director, Task Force on Israel and          Director if Administration
       Other International Concerns              Guila Franklin Siegel
     Karen Senter                                  Associate Director,
       Assistant Executive Vice Chair/             Domestic Concerns
       Director, Domestic Concerns               Ricardo Soto
                                                   Production Manager
     Nava Edelman
       Administrative Assistant
     Benita Gayle-Almeleh                        COALITION ON THE ENVIRONMENT
       Senior Community Consultant               AND JEWISH LIFE (COEJl)
     Jonah Goldman
                                                Mark X. Jacobs
        Washington Fellow
                                                   Director
     Haya Luftig
                                                Shira M. Kandel
       Administrative Assistant
                                                   Communications Coordilwtor
     Hector Mejia
                                                Evonne Smitt
       Production Assistant
                                                   Legislative Assistant
     Kalanit Oded
                                                Stefanie Zelkind
       Program Associate,
                                                  Assistant Director
       Domestic Concerns
     Reva Price
       Washington Representative

				
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