NORPAC June 2018 Newsletter
 
 
 
 
 
Dr. BenMessage from Dr. Ben

We are five months from the midterm elections and the race for control of Congress has been heated by a political atmosphere that has become strained. The harsh rhetoric against the administration, I surmise, is to some extent due to Democrats frustrated at being largely sidelined as the minority party in both houses. It may also be part of a strategy to win the November elections. That said, it is disheartening to observe the demonization of one party against another. The lack of civility and general camaraderie of the past are sadly missed.  

Fortunately, US-Israel relations remains a strong bipartisan issue, and NORPAC as a group plans to continue to work to maintain that support on both sides of the aisle. Those trying to use US-Israel relations as a wedge between parties are doing the US-Israel relationship a disservice. 

​​​​​​​Politicization of the Justice Department
​​​​​​​I have frequently bemoaned the use of the prosecutor's office to attack legislators who disagree with their political affiliation or outlook. We saw this in the Ted Stevens case, in the Tom Delay case, and most recently in the attack against Robert Menendez when the indictment was released the day he came out against the JCPOA. We are proud that our membership was very active in helping to fund the defense of these victims of prosecutorial abuse. 

Independent councils historically have looked to topple the administration they are assigned to investigate. The confiscation of the records of the president's personal attorney is beyond hard ball tactics. For those cheering this on, expect a public backlash at the polls. The majority of Americans are adverse to bullying tactics and have come to understand that too many FBI and DOJ officials are willing to abuse the power granted them by this noble office. 

The New Persian Empire (Iran)
The Trump administration, after waiting for months for a plan or legislation from Congress and our P5+1 partners to fix the flaws of the JCPOA, decided to withdraw from the executive agreement. We concur with the administration that the JCPOA has fatal flaws (see NORPAC statement) and acting first on Iran was good and needed leadership.

Iran has created a Shiite Crescent of control from Afghanistan to the Mediterranean Sea. This is a challenge, as this New Persian Empire has both a conventional deterrent of 100,000+ guided missiles in Lebanon and the ability to break out into a nuclear armed entity. The $150 billion infusion after the JCPOA to Tehran did not mitigate their aggressive behavior. Appeasement has, historically, never worked with such ideological entities. 

Iran now has substantial influence or control in the Arab capitals of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen. America has been the generational leader in addressing this treat. Expecting sacrifice and leadership from the European Union, which except for two countries has a Club Med mentality, is unrealistic. We are optimistic that much of the world will reluctantly follow America on restraining the malevolent expansion and ambitions of the New Persian Empire (Iran).

Syria
The conflict in Syria, while still active, has been effectively won by the Assad forces. The American-led group's challenge for the region now is how to contain the influence of Iran and its proxies. Having Russia in the mix makes this more complicated as, if it is necessary to engage within Syria militarily, Israel and others will try to steer clear of Russian forces. The Trump Administration did engage Russian Troops and killed about 200 of them in an air defense maneuver against troops approaching an American position. Fortunately, this reckless and potentially explosive engagement initiated by Putin was played down by the Kremlin claiming their troops were really under the banner of a mercenary player and not officially Russian Troops. 

Lebanon
Hezbollah, now having effective control of the government in Lebanon, makes the entire country an Iranian surrogate. In a conflict, thousands of guided incoming missiles could quickly overcome any anti-missile defense. Expect any future Israeli military engagements with Lebanon to result in substantial casualties on both sides. An Israeli ground battle with Hezbollah would be more difficult given that Hezbollah is battle hardened from its experience in Syria. The impeded ability for Israel to avoid civilian casualties while eliminating hostile rocket launchers purposely placed in population centers would be challenging and painful. 

Part of the US budget has been to fund the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) over the years in an offset to Hezbollah. We have had ongoing discussions with Members of Congress on the lack of benefits for continuing this funding.  

Israel a Bipartisan Issue
We are grateful that the US-Israel relationship has historically been a bipartisan issue in Congress and we continue to work toward maintaining this goal. While it is true that certain elements of the Democratic Party under the council of Soros-affiliated organizations take a harsh view of Israel, that has had very little traction among the mainstream of the party. There are also Republicans who have voted and expressed sentiments adversely to US-Israel close relations. Pointing out those who help and expressing our support and gratitude is our nonpartisan strategy. 

Gaza
It is tragic that the Israeli effort to give the Palestinian people the opportunity to have a prosperous state in Gaza was turned to ashes. Gaza had a profitable agricultural industry, a seacoast on the Mediterranean, a border with Egypt, and large gas reserves off shore. The Palestinian entities run by Hamas and the PA have received about 23 times the amount of money per person as those from the Marshal Plan. Where are the industries, roads, hospitals, universities, and other achievements? The poison of anti-Semitism has consumed their political and religious leadership and damaged everyone within their midst and region. Israel continues to struggle against the continuing attempts of Hamas to use their own people as cannon fodder to kill more Jews. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
NORPAC Members of the Month:
Kevin & Lori Lemmer
Lori & Kevin Lemmer

 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 Lori & Kevin Lemmer.

Kevin & Lori reside in Englewood, NJ and have been members of NORPAC since 2002.

Kevin is a Board Member of Frisch, and the Jewish Education Fund for Generations (JEFG) which works to help solve the financial challenges families face sending their children to Jewish day school. He is currently a Portfolio Manager for Worth Venture Partners. Lori is from Long Island, NY and studied at the University of Pennsylvania.

In 2013, Kevin & Lori received The Shirley and Harris z"l Shapiro Community Award, which recognizes supporters of the Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergen County who are a role model for the Jewish community.

Kevin has been a member of the NORPAC Mission to Washington Talking Points Committee for many years and has had a critical voice in shaping the issues that over 1,000 pro-Israel advocates bring to DC each year. He and Lori have also hosted many high-ranking Members of Congress such as Senators Shelley Moore Capito, Mike Crapo and Jeff Flake, and former Senator Kelly Ayotte and Congressman Scott Garrett.

We are inspired by the great work that Lori & Kevin have done to create a sustainable Jewish community, as well as their dedication to strengthening the US-Israel bond. We look forward to many more years of working with them to help continue our goal to bolster pro-Israel advocacy in our community.
 
 
 
 
 
Thank you!

On Wednesday, April 25th, nearly a thousand NORPAC advocates went to DC to promote the US-Israel relationship by meeting with 96 Senators and the majority of the House of Representatives!

We would like to once again thank our tremendous committee of volunteers:

MISSION CHAIRS
Laurie Baumel, PhD 
David Steinberg

MISSION LOGISTICS CHAIR         
Jeff Schreiber                                                 

MISSION TALKING POINTS CHAIR
Allen Friedman

MISSION COMMITTEE
Bergen: Alan Berger, Caren Eisenstadter, Reuven Escott, Mollie Fisch, Mort Fridman, Rabbi M Genack, Jerry & Anne Gontownik, Robert & Irene Gottesman, Galina Datskovsky Moerdler, Zvi Plotzker, David Schlussel, Richard Schlussel  
Bronx: David Frankel, Stanley & Ethel Scher, Leslie Tugetman    
Brooklyn: Nathan Hershkowitz
Edison/Highland Park: Andrew Freedman, Marc Hanfling, Bob Lansey    
Five Towns/Long Island: Stanley & Trudy Stern    
Manhattan: Dan Feder, Charles Gross     
New Rochelle: Marc Berger    
West Hempstead: Richard Kolchin, Aaron Zelig
West Orange/Livingston: Barbara Bortniker, Bernard & Eliane Levy, Susie Mendelsohn, Barbara Beiss Muskin    
Queens: Howard Neiman

PRESIDENT
Ben Chouake, MD (Dr. Ben)


You can find photos from this important event online here.

For a recap on what we talked to Members of Congress about, you can view the Talking Points online here, the Quick Summaries here, and the Training Videos here.
 
 
 
 
 
US-Israel Relations In The News

On May 17th, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) stood before the full Senate in support of Israel in the current conflict on the Gaza border. You can watch his remarks online here.

Members of Congress Urge Administration to Close PLO Office in the U.S.
On June 7th, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen penned a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Attorney General Jeff Sessions regarding the status of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) office in the United States. In the letter, they urge the Administration to begin taking the necessary steps and instituting the necessary legal action to close the PLO office, citing the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1987.
​​​​​​​
We greatly applaud the opening of the United States Embassy in Jerusalem on Monday, May 14th. This historic move enshrines America's support of Israel and its right to its land, and fulfills the commitment made by Congress in the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, a legislative effort that passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.

We strongly believe that recognition of the objective truth – that Jerusalem has been the capital of all Jewish states dating back thousands of years – will in the long run make peace more, rather than less, likely.  The embassy's move also reinforces to the world that America and the current President keeps its promises.

Several members of NORPAC made the trip to Israel to witness the embassy opening that day.

NORPAC President Dr. Ben Chouake with NORPAC Long Island President Trudy Stern

Jeff Daube, former VP of NORPAC Riverdale, with Dr. Ben Chouake
Trudy & Stanley Stern next to the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem

Allen & Leah Wiesenfeld with Trudy & Stanley Stern at the Opening Ceremony
Trudy Stern and Iris Maidenbaum

Sign at American Embassy in Jerusalem containing the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995

Political Polarization and the Importance of Working Beyond Political Lines
Rabbi Elchaan Poupko recently gave a TED talk on the importance of bipartisan support on important issues. You can view the talk online here.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Upcoming Events
 
 
 
 
 
 
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY)
Monday, June 18th in Teaneck, NJ

Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (left) with Rabbi Steven Weil (right) in 2013

NORPAC's Teaneck Chapter welcomes back Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) to an event on the evening of June 18th hosted by Chana & Len Grunstein.
 
 
 
 
 
Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
Thursday, June 21st in Teaneck, NJ

NORPAC's Teaneck Chapter welcomes back Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) to an event on the evening of June 21st hosted by Esther & Mort Fridman.
 
 
 
 
 
Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC)
Sunday, June 24th in Teaneck, NJ

The Wisotsky and Feuer families welcome back Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC) to an Englewood event at 9:00 am on Sunday morning, June 24th.
 
 
 
 
 
Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY)
Sunday, June 24th in Five Towns, NY

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) will be hosted in the Five Towns by Trudy & Stanley Stern on June 24th at a NORPAC brunch event.
 
 
 
 
 
Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-NJ)
Sunday, July 15th in Teaneck, NJ

NORPAC's Teaneck Chapter welcomes Congressman Bill Pascrell to an event on July 15th.
 
 
 
 
 
Congressman Steve Chabot (R-OH)
Thursday, July 26th in Teaneck, NJ

Laurie Baumel & Manny Litchman welcome back Congressman Steve Chabot to their home in Teaneck, NJ on Thursday evening, July 26th.
 
 
 
 
 
Congressman Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ)
Monday, July 30th & Sunday, September 16th

NORPAC will be hosting two more events for Congressman Josh Gottheimer later in 2018 - once by Arthur Sinensky in the Bergen PAC on July 30th, and later by Leslie & Allen Levinson in Upper Saddle River on Sunday, September 16th.
 
 
 
 
 
Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY)
Sunday, October 14th

From Left: Ezra Lightman, Rep. Nita Lowey, Miriam Lightman in 2015

NORPAC Teaneck welcomes back Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) on Sunday, October 14th.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Upcoming Events (Dates Pending)
 
 
 
 
 
Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA)
Teaneck, NJ

Arthur Sinensky & Debbie Oremland welcome back Congressman Brad Sherman to an event at their home this Summer.
 
 
 
 
 
Congressman Dan Donovan (R-NY)
Five Towns, NY

Saul & Debbie Bienenfeld welcome back Congressman Dan Donovan (R-NY) to their home in Cedarhurst this Summer.
 
 
 
 
 
Congresswoman Kathleen Rice (D-NY)
Five Towns, NY

NORPAC's Five Towns Chapter will welcome back Congresswoman Kathleen Rice on March 14th at an event hosted by Ilyse & Alex Sternberg.
 
 
 
 
 
Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL)
Teaneck, NJ
NORPAC Teaneck welcomes back Congressman Ted Deutch to an evening event this Summer.
 
 
 
 
 
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
Englewood

Fred Horowitz and Rabbi Menachem Genack will be Chairing a NORPAC event for Senator Whitehouse in Englewood.
 
 
 
 
 
Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT)
Englewood, NJ

We look forward to hosting Senator Chris Murphy later this year in Englewood.
 
 
 
 
 
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)
Teaneck - December

NORPAC's Teaneck Chapter welcomes back Congressman Kevin McCarthy, Majority Leader in the House of Representatives, to an event in December.
 
 
 
 
 
Senator John Thune (R-SD)
Senator John Thune will be joining us for his first NORPAC event, hosted by Drs. Alan and Marc Berger TBD.

John Thune is Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference. He is pushing hard to make sure that the United States Senate is doing its job in support of Israel, making sure that they are able to defend themselves, and that the funding for the Iron Dome which has been so effective as a defense mechanism against Hamas rocket attacks is funded in a way that allows Israel to continue to use it in that capability.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Recent Past Events
 
 
 
 
 
Congressman Brian Mast (R-FL)
Friday, June 1st in Teaneck, NJ

From Left: Phil Goldschmiedt, Rep. Brian Mast, Rochelle Goldschmiedt

NORPAC's Teaneck Chapter welcomed Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL) to an event on Friday, June 1st hosted by Rochelle & Phil Goldschmiedt.
 
 
 
 
 
Congressman Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ)
Thursday, May 24th in Teaneck, NJ

From Left: Dr. Bob Goodman, Rep. Josh Gottheimer, Sarah Goodman

Bob & Sarah Goodman welcomed back Congressman Josh Gottheimer to a NORPAC event in their home in Teaneck, NJ.
 
 
 
 
 
Senator Jon Tester (D-MT)
Thursday, May 10th in Bergenfield, NJ

From Left: Senator Jon Tester, Leah & Reuven Escott

Leah & Reuven Escott welcomed back Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) to an event at their home in Bergenfield on May 10th.
 
 
 
 
 
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)
Sunday, May 6th in Five Towns, NY

From Left: Stanley Stern, Baruch Glaubach, Sen. Cruz, Ariel Glaubach, Trudy Stern

NORPAC's Five Towns Chapter will welcomed back Senator Ted Cruz on May 6th at an event hosted by Ariel & Baruch Glaubach in Lawrence, NY.
 
 
 
 
 
Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD)
Sunday, April 29th in Closter, NJ

From Left: Senator Ben Cardin, Dr. Munr Kazmir

The Kazmir Family welcomed Senator Ben Cardin to an event at their home in Closter, NJ on April 29th.
 
 
 
 
 
Representative Steny Hoyer (D-MD)
Sunday, April 22nd in Teaneck, NJ
Nathan & Shari Lindenbaum welcomed back the House Democratic Whip, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) to their home in Teaneck on Sunday, April 22nd.
 
 
 
 
 
Representative Lee Zeldin (R-NJ)
Tuesday, March 27th in Manhattan, NY

From Left:Stanley Stern, Rep. Lee Zeldin, Trudy Stern

Ben Heller hosted a NORPAC event for Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-NY) on March 27th.
 
 
 
 
 
Representative Ron Estes (R-KS)
Sunday, March 25th in Closter, NJ

From Left: Dr. Ben Chouake, Congressman & Mrs. Estes, Dr. Munr Kazmir

The Kazmir family welcomed Congressman Ron Estes to a NORPAC event in Closter, NJ on March 25th.
 
 
 
 
 
Representative Peter Roskam (R-IL)
Sunday, March 18th in Teaneck, NJ
Rabbi Steven & Yael Weil welcomed Representative Peter Roskam (R-IL) to their home for an in event in Teaneck on Sunday, March 18th.
 
 
 
 
 
Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
Sunday, March 11th in Englewood, NJ
Daniel & Joyce Straus and Moshael & Zahava Straus welcomed Senator Robert Menendez to an Englewood NORPAC event on Sunday, March 11th.
 
 
 
 
 
Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL)
Sunday, March 8th in Englewood, NJ

Leon & Dr. Roz Kozak welcomed Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) to an event at their home in Englewood on Thursday evening, March 8th.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pick one task

I like to give time  to see and interact with my grandchildren, but my long work hours, paid and unpaid work, creates limits. I generally use all my vacation days for the Jewish holidays and frankly am not much for taking more vacation time. So I am not called the fun or vacation Zaydie.

I try to make up for it by taking on a specific task. I work on teaching all my grandchildren to read. We do other activities together but getting an early start on the reading is a confidence builder. I keep a stash of lollipops handy as an extra incentive to sit with me and do the work. 
 
 
 
 
 
Seeking Hosts for 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:
Connecticut - Chris Murphy (Democratic) Date pending Event Chair Michael Blumenthal
Delaware - Tom Carper (Democratic)
Hawaii - Mazie Hirono (Democratic)
Indiana - Joe Donnelly (Democratic)
Maine - Angus King (Independent)
Massachusetts - Elizabeth Warren (Democratic)
Minnesota - Amy Klobuchar (Democratic)
Nevada - Dean Heller (Republican)
New Mexico - Martin Heinrich (Democratic)
New York - Kirsten Gillibrand (Democratic)
North Dakota - Heidi Heitkamp (Democratic)
Virginia - Tim Kaine (Democratic)
Washington - Maria Cantwell (Democratic)
Wisconsin - Tammy Baldwin (Democratic)
House Members
Representative Carolyn Maloney D-NY (voted against the JCPOA)
Representative Alcee Hastings​​​​​​​ D-NY(voted against the JCPOA)

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 bchouake@aol.com
 
 
 
 
 
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 avi@norpac.net or bchouake@aol.com.

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 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)
President NORPAC
 
 
 
 
Paid for by NORPAC