NORPAC February 2019 Newsletter
|Message from Dr. Ben
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Sign up for NORPAC Mission 2019 TODAY
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
U.S.-Israel Relations in the News
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
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)
NORPAC Teaneck welcomes back its very own Congressman, Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), to an event in early 2019.
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
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
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
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:
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
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)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
our high school students is the most cost efficient and most effective
way to prepare the next generation for what lies ahead.
Current lay leaders funding this initiative at various schools include:
& Scott Herschmann, Monique & Mort Katz, Anne & Jerry
Gontownik, Esther & Paul Lerer, Esther & Ben Chouake.
looking for additional lay leaders for this Student Advocacy team.
Please contact me or Avi if you are willing to help.
Renew Your Donation
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.
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 http://norpac.net/contribute 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)