NORPAC February 2019 Newsletter
Dr. BenMessage from Dr. Ben

The 2020 election campaign is underway, bringing with it an intensity of rhetoric climbing to discouraging levels. The Democratic Party now faces its own equivalent of the Tea Party in the new progressive movement. While most of their message is about immigration and health care, some of these newly elected Members, such as Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, are more than pro-BDS, they are virulently anti-Israel and in my opinion anti-Semitic.

Representative Tlaib should have been referred to the ethics committee for her "dual loyalty" tweet, and Representative Omar as well for her "Israel hypnotizes the world" comment. Most of the other new members are still in the learning curve on US-Israel relations and we need to meet with them to give them accurate information on issues important to us.

Iran and the American withdrawal from Syria
The defeat of ISIS is a major accomplishment for the Trump administration. However, the job is only partially completed. The region has had a Balance of Power between the Sunni and Shiite factions of Islamic followers for generations. One of the containing forces of the Shiite expansionist movement, led by Iran for many years, was Iraq with the leadership of Saddam Hussein. America ended up in Iraq to change the Iraqi leadership, as Hussein was considered too unstable and aggressive. While this effort was at first successful, it ultimately managed to expand the influence and reach of Iran.

The JCPOA, by giving Iran vast resources, enabled the Mullahs in Tehran to create a Shiite Crescent of power from Afghanistan through Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, to the Mediterranean Sea. Our premature withdrawal from Iraq facilitated this problem. The defeat of ISIS, an evil terrorist entity, is good. However, ISIS was also the enemy of Iran and was a land route impediment for Iranian access to Syria. 

While it is generally good for American troops to come home when possible, we look with caution at the situation created by our initiative with ISIS. If there is one entity more dangerous and malignant than ISIS, it is the Iranian Theocracy and its expanding sphere of influence. If America were to leave a power vacuum in Syria and northern Iraq, that would be filled rapidly by Iran. We will have given Iran a gift in eliminating its Sunni (ISIS) adversary and abandoning the area for Iran to assume control nearly for free. We urge the Trump administration to act cautiously. We hope for the world's best deal maker to make the Iranians pay for every inch of territory and influence.  

The ACLU, largely funded by George Soros-affiliated funds, is fighting the anti-BDS legislation under the guise of free speech protection. Companies and the world need to understand that BDS against Israel is anti-Semitism. We hope for the legislation to move forward in Congress in the near future. Our work with the Members of Congress better explaining this issue have been helpful and need to be ongoing. 

The Peace Process
The current head of the PA, Mahmoud Abbas, is elderly and becoming frail. As the former Number 2 person in the PLO, he has always had little interest or ability to negotiate a deal. His control, even in the PA territories, is very limited and he well understands, as did his predecessor Arafat, that almost any deal would likely result in his assassination. The fate of Arab leaders who were assassinated for being willing to make a deal with Israel, King Hussein bin Talal of Jordan and President Anwar Sadat, makes others wary of embracing peace with the Israel.

Additionally, given the dismal outcomes of Israel surrendering control of territory in Lebanon and Gaza, the citizens and leaders of Israel are skeptical of the success of further ceding territories in the pursuit of peaceful coexistence. 

The goal of finding peace in the Middle East, and a permanent solution 
to the conflict of Israel with its many adversaries, has been elusive. The root of the problem has never been borders. The defining issue is that those in Hamas and the PA teach their children to hate and to kill our children. Negotiating a peaceful resolution with a group that promotes genocide leaves little middle ground for compromise. 

Our goal is to assist the ability of Israel to defend itself against what is expected to be long term hostility against multiple foes. The current danger for Israel, aside from Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, and terrorism in the PA territories, is that the even the relatively stable situation on the borders with Jordan and Egypt are just one bullet to each leader away from turmoil.  
NORPAC Members of the Month:
Phil Goldschmiedt and Ezra Lightman

From Left: Ezra & Miriam Lightman (Rep. Nita Lowey - center)
Phil & Rochelle Goldschmiedt (Rep. Eliot Engel - center)

Each month we recognize the accomplishments of our members and community leaders who help to advance the cause of pro-Israel advocacy. This month we express our great appreciation to Phil Goldschmiedt and Ezra Lightman.

Phil and Ezra took the helm of leading the NORPAC Teaneck & Bergenfield chapter in 2016 after being active members of the group for over 10 years. Together they coordinated over 30 events in North NJ, as well as numerous national fundraisers for Members of Congress.

Phil is the CEO of Poly-Version, a company that has been a key supplier of the hair care industry. He has been involved in leadership roles with pro-Israel causes for many years in AIPAC, NORPAC, United Hatzalah of Israel and other organizations. His wife Rochelle is a personal trainer who, as an EMT, was formerly part of Hatzalah Staten Island, one of the few Hatzalahs in the United States that accepts female volunteers.

Ezra lives in Bergenfield and has been working in the financial and investment banking field for over 20 years. Both he and his wife Miriam are active with the TABC community, helping the school grow and expand its learning opportunities. As a family, the Lightmans founded and coordinate the Lenox Hill Bikur Cholim Junior Division. Miriam also helps coordinate NORPAC outreach for getting more attendance at our parlor meetings, and Ezra is on the regional board for AIPAC.

As co-Chairs of NORPAC Teaneck & Bergenfield, Phil Goldschmiedt and Ezra Lightman have brought our nation's leadership to the local community to meet with hundreds of concerned pro-Israel advocates. Their dedication to the community has helped it become one of the largest regional branches of our organization. We are truly grateful to the time and effort they continue to put in to make a true difference for US-Israel relations.
Sign up for NORPAC Mission 2019 TODAY

Registration for the NORPAC Mission to Washington 2019 has opened! This year the event will take place on Tuesday, May 21st. Sign up online here so that you don't miss the Early Bird registration rate!

Israel and the US-Israel relationship face increasing challenges and uncertainty with issues ranging from Iran’s efforts to dominate the Middle East to the evolving security threats on Israel’s borders.

Important legislation this year aims to re-authorize over $3.8 billion in security aid, stop BDS from bullying its way onto more American college campuses, and enact further sanctions against terrorist entities.

This year there are more new Members of Congress than ever before who have not had experience with these issues, and who are targets of extremist, anti-Israel propaganda. We must remain vigilant in promoting and protecting America's greatest ally in the Middle East.

NORPAC welcomes Dr. Laurie Baumel, David Steinberg and Trudy Stern as our Mission Chairs, Jeff Schreiber as Logistics Chair, and Allen Friedman as Talking Points Chair this year.

We are saddened to learn of the passing of Barbra “Babs” Siperstein, a long-active member of NORPAC's Edison/Highland Park chapter who attended our Missions to Washington and was a local political leader. Babs was particularly active in support of US-Israel relations in her role as Deputy Vice Chair of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee. We send our condolences to her family and remember fondly her contributions to our cause.

U.S.-Israel Relations in the News​​​​​​​ 

Powerful Antitank Missiles Put U.S. Forces in Middle East at Risk

The US Army uses Israeli active armor tech to protect against steerable anti-tank missiles. Antitank missiles that can puncture 3 feet of steel armor pose a heightened risk for U.S. forces in Mideast.

Iran Hosts Palestinian Terror Group, Sparking Fears of New Attacks

Iranian leaders recently hosted a delegation of leading Palestinian terrorists, affirming the Islamic Republic's commitment to funding anti-Israel terror groups and sparking consternation on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., and fears that Iran is plotting a renewed wave of terror attacks.

Upcoming Events
Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA)
Sunday, February 10 - Englewood, NJ

Drs. Esther & Ben Chouake welcome Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) to their home on Sunday evening, February 10th. In the Senate, Cassidy has made combating the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement one of his key focuses for US-Israel relations. He was an original co-sponsor of the Israel Anti-Boycott Act (S. 720), a bipartisan bill that seeks to counter the anti-Israel BDS movement.
Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY)
Sunday, March 10 - Teaneck, NJ

NORPAC Teaneck will welcome back Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY) to an event on March 10th hosted by Phil & Rochelle Goldschmiedt.
Congressman Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ)
Teaneck, NJ

NORPAC Teaneck welcomes back its very own Congressman, Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), to an event in early 2019.
Recent Past Events
Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY)
Sunday, January 6th in Woodmere, NY

Congressman Eliot Engel speaking with Rabbi Yaakov Trump

Robert & Helene Rothenberg hosted House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY) at their home in Woodmere, NY.
Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-NY)
Sunday, October 28th in Cedarhurst, NY

From Left: Congressman Lee Zeldin, Esther & Baruch Weinstein

Esther & Baruch Weinstein hosted the last NORPAC Five Towns event of the political cycle for Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-NY) on Sunday morning, October 28th.
Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
October in Manhattan and Teaneck, NJ

NORPAC welcomed Senator Robert Menendez to three events in October. Jack Rosen and Michael Wildes hosted 2 separate events on Friday morning, October 12th, and Drs. Esther & Mort Fridman hosted the Senator in Teaneck on Sunday afternoon, October 21st.
Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY)
Sunday, October 14th in Bergenfield, NJ

From Left: Ezra Lightman, Rep. Nita Lowey, Miriam Lightman

NORPAC Teaneck welcomed back Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) on Sunday evening, October 14th, hosted by Miriam & Ezra Lightman.
Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX8)
Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX10)
Monday, October 15th in Closter, NJ
From Left: Rep. Kevin Brady, Dr. Munr Kazmir, Rep. Michael McCaul

The Kazmir Family welcomed Reps. Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Michael McCaul (R-TX) to an intimate dinner and round table discussion on October 15th in Closter, NJ. Kevin is Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Michael McCaul chairs the Homeland Security Committee.
Seeking Hosts and To-Be-Scheduled Events

We like to host as many Senators and important House members as we can each election cycle.

We are seeking hosts for events for the following candidates at this time:

Senate Members:
Doug Jones (D-AL)
Dan Sullivan (R-AK)
Martha McSally (R-AZ)
Cory Gardner (R-CO)
Chris Coons (D-DE) Event Chair Kazmir Family
Pavid Perdue (R-GA)
Jim Risch (R-ID) Event Chairs Richard Schlussel & Avi Samuels
Dick Durbin (D-IL)
Joni Ernst (R-IA)
Mitch McConnell (R-KY) Event Chairs Gontownik and Stern Families
Bill Cassidy (R-LA) Event Chair Ben Chouake 
Susan Collins (R-ME) Chairs David & Rena Schlussel
Ed Markey (D-MA)
Gary Peters (D-MI) Event Chair Michael Blumenthal
Tina Smith (D-MN)
Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS)
Steve Daines (R-MT)
Ben Sasse (R-NE) Teaneck Event
Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Cory Booker (D-NJ) Event Chair Mort Fridman
Tom Udall (D-NM)
Thom Tillis (R-NC)
Jim Inhofe (R-OK) Event Chair Jason Muss
Jeff Merkley (D-OR) Event Chair Michael Blumenthal
Jack Reed (D-RI) Event Chair Moshael Straus
Lindsey Graham (R-SC) 
Mike Rounds (R-SD) 
John Cornyn (R-TX)
Mark Warner (D-VA)
Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV) Event Chair Kevin Lemmer
Mike Enzi (R-WY) Event Chair Joshua Wanderer
John Thune (R-SD) Event Chairs Marc & Allan Berger

House Members
Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
Steny Hoyer (D-MD) Event Chairs Shari & Nathan Lindenbaum
John Lewis D (GA) Event Chair Michael Wildes
James Clyburn (D-SC)
Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM)
Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY)
Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) 
Steve Scalise (R-LA)
Liz Cheney (R-WY)
Gary Palmer (R-AL)
Nita Lowey (D-NY) Event Chair Ezra Lightman
Kay Granger (R-TX)
Eliot Engel (D-NY)
Michael McCaul (R-TX)
Adam Smith (D-WA)
Mac Thornberry (R-TX)
John Yarmuth (D-KY)
Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)
Alcee Hastings​​​​​​​ (D-NY)
Eliot Engel (D-NY) Teaneck event
Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) Teaneck event

Time to step into the Ring (Host an Event)
Now that we have had the Mission to Washington, here comes the followup. We are busy contacting the Members and staffers, working to form relationships, and hopefully solidifying key contacts with Members.

Sponsoring a parlor meeting in your home is a sign of friendship and leadership, and is well-recognized by the Members of Congress. It sets you in an elite class of citizen advocates that is engaged both on a time and energy basis, and a financial basis. If you wish to take such a leadership role please contact me at

If I have a weakness (my Kryptonite), it is sweets. It is known among my friends, that I frequently get nailed by respiratory infections from the gazillion sick patients I regularly see each week. The cough medicine I used to take for it gave me side effects and I was looking for an alternative. In what I believe was a gift from Gd, they came out with an article that shows that chocolate is better for your cough than codeine cough syrup. While this is hardly going to do much for my weight problem (I am losing 10 pounds now for two years), I can eat my candy bars with much less guilt.

Even better, when Esther scolds me for eating junk food, I can cough a bit and say it is my medicine.
Educational Initiative

The college campus climate against Israel and Jews has gotten overtly hostile, and the NORPAC leadership has taken the task to help protect and prepare our students. NORPAC lay leadership is coordinating with the Yeshiva Day Schools to facilitate training students for Jewish Advocacy.  We plan to teach them how to defend Israel and themselves as Jews in class, how to debate, practice public speaking, and how to address fellow students about these issues.

Training our high school students is the most cost efficient and most effective way to prepare the next generation for what lies ahead.

NORPAC has posted curriculum from various sources on the Website and our members are engaged with the schools in setting up the programs and integrating advocacy knowledge and skills into the school curriculum. For anyone interested in a leadership role at their school, please contact or

Current lay leaders funding this initiative at various schools include:
Abigail & Scott Herschmann, Monique & Mort Katz, Anne & Jerry Gontownik, Esther & Paul Lerer, Esther & Ben Chouake.

We are looking for additional lay leaders for this Student Advocacy team. Please contact me or Avi if you are willing to help. 
Renew Your Donation

Pray for the safety of the IDF and Israel, and do something more. Donate to - and participate with - NORPAC, an organization in the front lines of virtually every struggle to ensure the survival of the Jewish homeland. Our work gives Jerusalem greater agency to protect its people.

The NORPAC general fund is becoming depleted with the enormous volume of events we have sponsored. It is our responsibility to contribute so that this miracle in our lifetime can continue.  Please do your part so that we can continue to facilitate the survival of America, Israel, and the Jewish people. Your donation is more than Tzedakah (charity), it is Pikuach Nefesh (saving lives).

Every dollar counts. Please go to to donate, or call Avi Schranz at 201-788-5133.

We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at future events.

Ben Chouake, MD (Dr Ben)
President NORPAC
Paid for by NORPAC