NORPAC November 2022 Newsletter
 
 
 
 
 
Officers of NORPAC 
Ben Chouake, MD (Dr. Ben)
National President

Phil Goldschmiedt                      Trudy & Stanley Stern
President, NORPAC NJ             Co-Presidents, NORPAC NY

Rabbi M Genack        David Schlussel
Founding Chairman      Chairman Emeritus 

Regional Presidents:
David Steinberg (NORPAC Queens)
Joshua Landes (NORPAC Riverdale)
Marc Berger (NORPAC Westchester)
Barbara Bortniker (NORPAC Essex)
Dr. Marc Hanfling (NORPAC Edison/Highland Park)

National Vice Presidents:
Dr. Laurie Baumel
Allen Friedman 
Jerry Gontownik
Robert Gottesman
Jason Muss
Drew Parker

Avi Schranz
Executive Director
 
 
 
 
 
​​​​​​​Message from Dr. Ben

The recent midterm election results came with much surprise as the majority of predictions were drastically inaccurate. Control of the House and Senate are still awaiting the final tally.  

There will be plenty of blame for Republican losses. The Party of Lincoln will need to carefully analyze why, in a midterm election, they fared so poorly. 

In a consistent effort for many years, millions have been spent by the Democrats in Republican primaries to promote what was perceived as the least electable Republican in the General Election. Democrats were also aggressive in getting out the early and mail-in vote and, where allowed, harvesting ballots. New rules create new opportunities and require new strategy. 

With regard to NORPAC efforts, most of the candidates we supported won election. We also reached out in some open seats when we had a prior relationship, and that candidate was expected to win. 

The pro-Israel community in general paid close attention this cycle to primary races. Most Congressional districts are heavily gerrymandered and so the determining election is the primary. This is where members of the Squad have been able to get into Congress irrespective of their fringe positions on so many issues like crime, energy costs, and job production. In a primary race each vote has a multiplier effect because it is party-based, and the turnout is generally very low. Our participation, both financially and at a grassroots get-out-the-vote effort, has been very effective. 

We are grateful for the time we get to spend with the Members and candidates for Congress, both at our events and at the Mission to Washington. The NORPAC general membership is the most knowledgeable group on US-Israel relations in the country. We are issue-focused, and as volunteer citizen advocates, we have received a consistently warm reception from Congressional offices.  

Mission to Washington
With the exception of 2020, when the pandemic surprised the world, we have managed to continue our annual Mission to Washington. Most groups have cancelled their missions, making our efforts more important. In the last two years we have done the mission by Zoom, having about 400 meetings each year with about 90 percent of the Senate and the majority of the House. Depending on circumstances in DC, we plan to have either an in-person or Zoom Mission this coming year. Keep in mind, with the rise in anti-Semitism, how important our voice is in Washington, so please make every effort to attend. We give special thanks to our Executive Director Avi Schranz who did a remarkable job putting the technology together for the hundreds of Zoom meetings with Congress, and our scheduling staff led by Bracha Berg with Anna Plittman and Rebecca Bick.

Iran
The new Persian Empire is partnering with Russia. Iran is now an arms exporter and their technological wherewithal in missile, drone, centrifuge, and cyber capability is formidable. Israel and the west need to prepare for a new type of asymmetric warfare and a capable Iran.

Fortunately, the Iranian people are pushing back against an oppressive and corrupt government and the continued sanctions will make it more difficult for Tehran to continue expanding their sphere of influence. The argument against a weak JCPOA, without verifiable anytime anywhere inspections, is that it allows the clandestine development of WMDs. Lacking sanctions, this gives Iran the financial strength to continue their quest for Middle East domination. 

JCPOA
There has been little progress with re-entering the JCPOA ("Iran Deal") as it is likely Iran feels it is close to achieving its nuclear goals. With their newfound close relationship with Russia, it is likely Iran also expects assistance with any technological barriers left, and moreover they feel less vulnerable to attack from the west.

Every administration understands the existential threat to our allies and America that a nuclear-armed Iran would present. We plan to continue to outline the risks of letting the Ayatollah, who has spoken of leaving American cities in ash, acquire the weapons to do so. 

Syria 
There is little pushback from President Assad or Russia regarding the anonymous attacks on Iranian assets in Syria. Given the lack of protest from either Assad or Russia it seems they are satisfied to see Iran as less of a presence in Syria. 

Israeli Election
Bibi is back. In Israel, the life expectancy of politicians is quite long. There is some concern that a more right-wing government will have some difficulty working with Congress and the Biden Administration. In terms of Congress, we have spoken with the key players and have been assured of their continued support and willingness to work with the elected leaders of Israel. We wish the people in Israel much success with their electoral choice. 
 
 
 
 
 
Good News in the General Election

We are thrilled that so many of the pro-Israel candidates NORPAC supported in the 2021-22 cycle have won (re-)election in the November 8 General. Please find a list below of these candidates and the NORPAC leaders who took responsibility for these events. 

Won:
Rep. Don Bacon R-NE Chaired by Trudy & Stanley Stern
Sen. Richard Blumenthal D-CT Chaired by Mayor Michael & Amy Wildes
Sen. John Boozman R-AR Chaired by Yocheved & Donald Liss, and Yehuda Shmidman
Rep. Shontel Brown D-OH Chaired by Esther & David Muschel, Careena & Drew Parker
Rep. Ted Budd R-NC Chaired by Rochelle & Phil Goldschmiedt
Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto D-NV Chaired by Sarah & Bob Goodman
Sen. Mike Crapo R-ID Chaired by Lori & Kevin Lemmer
Rep. Ron Estes R-KS Chaired by the Kazmir family
Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick R-PA Chaired by Galina & Mark Moerdler
Rep. Jared Golden D-ME Chaired by Rena & David Schlussel 
Rep. Josh Gottheimer D-NJ Multiple events Chaired by Sarah & Bob Goodman, Leslie & Allen Levinson, Beth & Lloyd Fishman, Galina & Mark Moerdler
Sen. Chuck Grassley R-IA Chaired by the Chouake Family
Rep. Mark Green R-TN Chaired by Bellene & Yoni Gontownik
Sen. Maggie Hassan D-NH Chaired by Yael & Rabbi Steven Weil
Sen. John Hoeven R-ND Chaired by Debbie & Howard Jonas
Rep. Steny Hoyer D-MD Chaired by Shari & Nathan Lindenbaum
Glenn Ivey D-MD Chaired by Rochelle & Phil Goldschmiedt
Rep. Ronny Jackson R-TX Chaired by Freda & Scott Englander
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries D-NY Chaired by Esther & Mort Fridman
Sen. Ron Johnson R-WI Chaired by Linda & Arthur Kook
Sen. John Kennedy R-LA Chaired by Ilyse & Alex Sternberg
Rep. Young Kim D-CA donation given
Sen. James Lankford R-OK Chaired by Suzanne & Barry Gurvitch
Sen. Mike Lee R-UT Chaired by Naomi & Aryeh Davis, Trudy & Stanley Stern
Rep. Nancy Mace R-SC donation given
Rep. Michael McCaul R-TX Chaired by the Kazmir Family
Morgan McGarvey D-KY Chaired by Jenny & Ben Siscovick
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers R-WA Chaired by the Kazmir Family
Rep. Gregory Meeks D-NY Chaired by Michael Cohen 
Rob Menendez Jr. D-NJ Chaired by Rochelle & Phil Goldschmiedt
Rep. Grace Meng D-NY Chaired by Dina & David Steinberg
Marc Molinaro R-NY Chaired by Anne & Shelly Golombeck
Sen. Jerry Moran R-KS Chaired by the Chouake Family
Sen. Patty Murray D-WA Chaired by Rachel & Allen Friedman
Rep. Bill Pascrell D-NJ Chaired by Susan Berger & Daniel Turk
Rep. Donald Payne D-NJ Chaired by Barbara and David Bortniker 
Sen. Marco Rubio R-FL Chaired by Bellene & Yoni Gontownik and family.
Eric Schmitt R-MO Chaired by Linda & Raphael Benaroya
Rep. Brad Schneider D-IL Chaired by Rachel & Allen Friedman
Sen. Charles Schumer-D-NY Chaired by Joyce & Daniel Straus
Sen. Tim Scott R-SC Chaired by Dana & Adam Sasouness
Rep. Chris Smith R-NJ Chaired by Rena & David Schlussel
Rep. Elise Stefanik R-NY Chaired by Dana & Marc Gibber
Sen. John Thune R-SD Chaired by Alan Berger, Marc Berger
Rep. Ritchie Torres D-NY Chaired by Carrie & Ilan Stern, Abigail & Scott Herschmann, the Garbuz Family, Dana & Jeremy Frenkel
JD Vance R-OH Chaired by Trudy & Stanley Stern, Dana & Marc Gibber, Betsy & Ben Lopata, Smadar & Jonah Meer
Sen. Todd Young R-IN Chaired by Careena & Drew Parker

Heartbreakers (Lost):
Rep. Steve Chabot R-OH Chaired by Laurie Baumel & Manny Litchman
Rep. Elaine Luria D-VA Chaired by Trudy & Stanley Stern, Laurie Baumel & Manny Litchman (multiple events)
Steve Irwin D-PA (Primary) Chaired by Dana & Jeremy Frenkel
Pat McCrory R-OH (Primary) donation
Josh Mandel R-OH (Primary) donation

Still Counting Votes:
Sen. Lisa Murkowski R-AK Chaired by Trudy & Stanley Stern

Out of Cycle events
Sen. Cory Booker D-NJ Chaired by Sara & Rabbi Menachem Genack
Rep. Anthony Gonzalez R-OH (Retired)
Sen. Bob Menendez D-NJ Chaired by Sarah & Rabbi M Genack, Zahava & Moshael Straus, and the Jonas Family. (Multiple events)
Sen. Jacky Rosen D-NV Chaired by Esther & Ben Chouake
 
 
 
 
 
NORPAC Mission to Washington 2023

NORPAC was proud to host our Virtual Mission to Washington on May 9 - 12, 2022. 

Once again, NORPAC's Virtual Mission was the largest such pro-Israel event in the country. Hundreds of advocates from a dozen states came together online to meet with the majority of the U.S. House and Senate to discuss aid to Israel, Iran's dangerous nuclear weapons program, and other issues.

We anticipate hosting our next Mission in 2023. We will send out more details in the coming months as planning begins for this next important event. Please stay tuned.

We thank our Mission Chairs and team involved for an extraordinary effort and results. 

Mission Chairs
Dr. Laurie Baumel           David Steinberg          Trudy Stern
Allen Friedman (Talking Points)     Jeffrey Schreiber (Logistics)

Mission Area Leaders
Bergen: Reuven Escott,  Mollie  Fisch, Phil Goldschmiedt, Robert & Irene Gottesman, 
Leon Kozak, Sharon Lynn, Galina Datskovsky Moerdler, Zvi Plotzker, David Schlussel
Bronx: David Frankel, Jason Muss, Stanley & Ethel Scher, Leslie Tugetman    
Brooklyn: Nisan Hershkowitz  
Edison/Highland Park: Marc Hanfling    
South Florida: Anne & Jerry Gontownik  
Five Towns/Long Island: Stanley & Trudy Stern, Jeremy Frenkel    
Manhattan: Dan Feder, Charles Gross  
New Rochelle: Marc Berger    
West Hempstead: Richard Kolchin   
West Orange/Livingston: Barbara Bortniker
 
 
 
 
 
 
Upcoming Events

NORPAC anticipates hosting both virtual and in-person meetings via Zoom for Members of Congress in 2023-24.

Please let us know if you might be interested in hosting any of the Senate candidates below, or any House candidates.

Senators up for Re-Election in 2024:
Kyrsten Sinema
Chris Murphy
Tom Carper
Rick Scott
Mazie Hirono
Mike Braun
Angus King
Ben Cardin
Elizabeth Warren
Debbie Stabenow
Amy Klobuchar
Roger Wicker
Josh Hawley
Jon Tester
Deb Fischer
Jacky Rosen
Bob Menendez
Martin Heinrich
Kirsten Gillibrand
Kevin Cramer
Sherrod Brown
Bob Casey Jr.
Sheldon Whitehouse
Marsha Blackburn
Ted Cruz
Mitt Romney
Tim Kaine
Maria Cantwell
Joe Manchin
Tammy Baldwin
John Barrasso
 
 
 
 
 
 
Recent Past Events
 
 
 
 
 
Eric Schmitt (R-MO) for Senate
October 27, 2022 - Englewood, NJ

AG Schmitt (Second to Left) with the Benaroya Family
 
 
 
 
 
Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH)
October 13, 2022 - Teaneck, NJ

Hosted by Yael & Rabbi Steven Weil
 
 
 
 
 
Congressman Steve Chabot (R-OH)
October 2, 2022 - Teaneck, NJ

From Left: Dr. Mort Fridman, Rep. Chabot, Dr. Laurie Baumel, Dr. Ben Chouake
 
 
 
 
 
Senator Todd Young (R-IN)
September 18, 2022 - Englewood, NJ

From Left: Drew Parker, Sen. Young, Careena Prker
 
 
 
 
 
Congresswoman Elaine Luria (D-VA)
September 9, 2022 - Five Towns, NY

From Left: Rep. Luria, Trudy & Stanley Stern
 
 
 
 
 
Congressman Ted Budd (R-NC)
August 23, 2022 - Teaneck, NJ

From Left: Phil Goldschmiedt, Jason Greenblatt, Rep. Budd, Dr. Ben Chouake
 
 
 
 
 
Senator-elect JD Vance (R-OH)
August 12, 2022 - Five Towns, NY

JD Vance (Center) with the Stern/Wolf Family
 
 
 
 
 
Congressman Ritchie Torres (D-NY)

August 2, 2022 - Five Towns, NY

Ritchie Torres with hosts Ilan & Carrie Stern and the Gibber & Stern family

June 27, 2022 - Englewood, NJ

From Left: Abigail & Scott Herschmann, Rep. Torres
 
 
 
 
 
Zoom Recent events

November 2 - Sen. Mike Lee (Chaired by Naomi & Aryeh Davis, Trudy & Stanley Stern)

October 26 - Rep. Don Bacon (Chaired by Trudy & Stanley Stern)

September 21 - Sen. Ron Johnson (Chaired by Linda & Dr. Arthur Kook)

September 21 - Sen. John Hoeven (Chaired by the Jonas Family)
 
 
 
 
 
Some Pictures From Events This Cycle
 
 
 
 

Danny Straus, Senate Majority Leader Schumer, Joyce Straus
 
 
 
 
               Anne & Sheldon Golombeck, Marc Molinaro             Bellene & Yoni Gontownik, Senator Rubio
 
 
 
 
 
Bob & Sara Goodman, Rep Gottheimer               Rena & David Schlussel, Rep.Golden
 
 
 
 

          Senator Booker & the Genack Family        Phil & Rochelle Goldschmiedt, Rep. Gottheimer, & Rob Menendez
 
 
 
 

Dr. Marc Berger, Sen. Thune, Dr. Alan Berger                       Sen. Menendez, Rabbi Genack, Josh Goldberg
 
 
 
 

Cindy & Senator Lankford, Barry Gurvitch                Jenny & Ben Siscovick, Morgan McGarvey
 
 
 
 
Phil & Rochelle Goldschmiedt, Leader Hoyer              Nathan & Shari Lindenbaum, Leader Hoyer
 
 
 
 
       
           Sarah & Bob Goodman, Sen. Cortez-Masto              Sen Jacky Rosen with Tzipporah Chouake 
 
 
 
 
  
                 Esther & David Muschel w Rep. Brown                        Sen. Chuck Grassley, Ben Chouake
 
 
 
 
               Yoni & Bellene Gontownik, Rep. Greene                  Rep. Fitzpatrick, Mark & Galina Moerdler
 
 
 
 
             Susan Berger Turk, Rep. Pascrell, Dan Turk                     Kevin & Loei Lemmer w Sen. Crapo
 
 
 
 
                  Dr. Laurie Baumel, Rep. Elaine Luria                  Dr. Ben Chouake, Rep. McCaul, Dr. Munr Kazmir
 
 
 
 
                      Rep. Ritchie Torres, Jeremy Frenkel                          Howard Jonas, Sen. Bob Menendez
 
 
 
 
                      Senator Hoeven with Howard Jonas              Ben Chouake, Rep. & Mrs. Estes, Dr. Munr Kazmir
 
 
 
 

       Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Blue) with the Stern Family







                        Rep. Don Bacon (Zoom)
 
 
 
 
US-Israel Relations in the News

PM Lapid condemns UNGA vote to take Israel to Hague int'l court

Israeli officials condemned Friday's UNGA (United Nations General Assembly) 98-17 vote to take Israel to the International Court of Justice in the Hague for the Israeli "occupation" of Palestinian territories on Saturday.

"Israel firmly rejects the Palestinian decision," said Prime Minister Yair Lapid. "This is once again a one-sided Palestinian move that undermines the basic principles for resolving the conflict and potentially harming any possibility for a future process. The Palestinians want to replace negotiations with unilateral measures. They are once again using the UN to attack Israel."

Lapid added that "this move will not change the reality on the ground, will not contribute anything to the Palestinian people, and may cause escalation. Support for the Palestinian movement is a reward for the terrorist organizations and the anti-Israeli campaign.

He ended his statement by calling to the countries who were in favor of the movement to reconsider their positions and reject the proposal in the next vote.

Read more here

It is particularly discouraging that the Ukraine, with a Jewish president, continues to vote against Israel at the UN.

Israel's ambassador to the Ukraine stated shortly after that "Ukraine’s support of the UN resolution 'Israeli Practices', denying Jewish ties to Temple Mount and calling for ICJ advisory opinion is extremely disappointing. Supporting anti Israeli initiatives in the UN doesn’t help to build trust between Israel and the Ukraine."



Herzog invited to address Congress as Israel turns 75

WASHINGTON (AP) — Israeli President Isaac Herzog has been invited to address a joint meeting of Congress as Israel prepares to celebrate the 75th anniversary of its founding, which congressional leaders called a “historic and joyous milestone.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., issued the invitation to Herzog in a joint letter Tuesday. They said the two nations have shared “an unbreakable bond rooted in common security, shared values, and friendship.”

The date for Herzog’s address has not been set. The State of Israel was proclaimed on May 14, 1948. President Harry S. Truman recognized the new nation the same day. In their letter, Pelosi and Schumer said Truman’s swift action “has always been a point of pride for our Country.”

Read more here


US Lawmaker Introduces Bill To Sanction Iran Leader, President

A bill proposed by a US Republican lawmaker, dubbed the Mahsa Amini Act, would impose sanctions on Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Ebrahim Raisi.

The bill which would “impose sanctions on the supreme leader of Iran and the president of Iran and their respective offices for human rights abuses and support for terrorism.”

The Mahsa Amini Act, named after the 22-year-old woman who was killed in the custody of Iran’s hijab police, would block the assets of all officials of the Islamic Republic, including Khamenei and Raisi who can be considered the main decision makers in human rights abuses.
 
 
 
 
 
TO MASK OR NOT TO MASK

We continue to have events both zoom and in person. People are anxious to move on despite the continuing risk, although smaller with vaccines and improved therapeutics

By in large nothing is bullet proof. Even though the CDC and other government agencies are more lenient with the vaccinated, in fact they can spread the disease and we have had some very difficult cases of breakthrough infections.

So please remain careful with crowds, leave a window open when you have company and take your vitamin D. If you have had covid, ask your doctor what precautions to take especially for the first month when risk of heart attack and stroke are 30 times greater. 

For all those front liners who have kept the country going the last 3 years, remember to say thank you. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Seeking Hosts and To-Be-Scheduled Events

We like to host as many Senators and important House members as we can each election cycle. Please let us know if there is a member of congress you would be willing to take the lead in hosting and serving as the NORPAC key contact for.

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

Why NORPAC?
We remain the most cost effective and largest citizen advocacy group facilitating US-Israel relations. The personal nature of our relationships, the grassroots work that we do, and our level of volunteerism, is a national model. It is an opportunity to put your wishes to be active and effective to work.  
 
 
 
 
 
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, Trudy & Stanley Stern, Anne & Jerry Gontownik, and 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 our American soldiers, and the IDF, and do something more. Donate to - and participate with - NORPAC, an organization in the front lines of virtually every struggle to ensure the strength of US-Israel relations and 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.

 
 
 
 
Paid for by NORPAC