NORPAC September 2019 Newsletter
Dr. BenMessage from Dr. Ben

The 2020 election is underway and, as expected, the nomination process on the Democratic side is rapidly narrowing to about three or four candidates. The eventual winner may take a bit longer to determine without a very dominant player. Joe Biden consistently pulls in about 30 percent of the polling which, while this may seem anemic, is what Donald Trump was polling in the Republican Primary of 2016. With a relatively large field of candidates, predictions are typically unreliable this early in the race. 

Prominently in the news are Representatives Omar and Tlaib. They seem pleased to play an oversized role in publicity-seeking and have knocked most of the Democratic presidential candidates off the media front pages. Hopefully these terribly bigoted members of Congress will lose constituent support as they are becoming increasingly unpopular due to their unprofessional conduct. 

Primary Elections
Over the last 10 years Primary Elections have become a tool to displace long-term incumbents. This was first a big problem for Republican Candidates and cost the party its formal majority years ago, leaving it to hold only a slim majority today. Senators Olympia Snowe and Jon Kyl retired; Luther Strange, Richard Luger, Mike Castle and other candidates for Senate on the Republican side lost the election. Republicans lost multiple seats by fielding fringe candidates.

These days the Democrats are facing similar circumstances. Candidates like AOC won a Primary with 15,000 total votes in a district of about 800,000 people. The progressive wing of the Democratic party, which has historically been funded by and electing anti-Zionists, represents a threat to some of the standard bearers of US-Israel relations. The metropolitan NY area homes numerous Representatives who are excellent on our issues, and who who are now being targeted by progressive Super PAC money funded by those antagonistic to strong US-Israel relations. We need to organize for these 8-10 percent turnout, bottle-neck elections.

In these low turnout Primary races it is all about who shows up, because each vote counts many times more than in the General. The recent Queens DA race was saved by a relatively strong showing of the Kew Gardens Jewish community where there was about an 8 percent turnout generally, but in the Kew Gardens Assembly District turnout was 40 percent. Ninety thousand total votes for all the candidates in a county of two million. Our preferred candidate Melinda Katz won by 60 votes. Our thanks to David Steinberg whose work in Queens has been impactful.

The New Persian Empire has influence from Afghanistan to the Mediterranean, to the  Southwest Coast of the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen. Imposing a renewed Sanctions Regime, the Trump administration has been effective in limiting the Iranian economy. The Mullahs in Tehran are aggressively pursuing a hegemony of power and influence but this is more difficult to do when you cannot  pay your bills and financially subsidize your surrogates like Hezbollah. 

Iran has responded to the sanctions by threatening to cut the flow of oil transport through the Persian Gulf. Expect a greater international military presence in the area  to protect commerce. With such aggressive leadership in Iran, it is likely that this cold conflict will turn into open warfare. We are concerned that a conflict in the Persian Gulf will result in Iranian surrogates attacking Israel on the northern border. Tehran hopes that the latent anti-Semitism in Europe will cause them to side to some extent with Iran. 

The civil war is largely concluded, with Assad remaining in power from the help of Iran, Russia, and unexpectedly the United States. The Trump administration's intervention to cause ISIS to abandon its geographic positions in Syria and Iraq has taken away the most effective Sunni opposition to Assad. We agree with eliminating ISIS, but caution the administration to fill the vacuum so as to prevent Iran from effective control of a Shiite Crescent from Afghanistan to the Lebanon.

Iran has increased and improved the ballistic missile ability of Hezbollah and is establishing bases in Syria. The threat along Israel's northern border is substantial. The newfound ability of a battle-hardened Hezbollah is a real concern if there is a ground war in the north.

Our work at NORPAC garnering support for US-Israel relations, as well as our prayers for the welfare of our beloved America and Israel, is something to give our time and heartfelt efforts toward during this holiday season.
NORPAC Member of the Month:
Irene & Robert Gottesman

From Left: Robert & Irene Gottesman with Senator Rob Portman (right)

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 Irene & Robert Gottesman of Englewood, NJ

Robert came from Ohio and received his MBA in Accounting from the Columbia Business School. He currently co-manages Shelby Funding LLC, a Florida company that specializes in originating, underwriting, funding and servicing short term or bridge commercial real estate loans.

Irene is an Adjunct Professor of Business at Bergen Community College and studied at Columbia Business School. She is a past president of Emunah, first on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and then in Englewood. Irene has attended the NORPAC Mission for nearly 20 years uninterrupted.

Robert has served on the Board of Ahavath Torah and in the leadership of Bnai Akiva for many years. He also serves as one of NORPAC's National Vice Presidents and is chief organizer of the Englewood groups for the NORPAC Mission.

Irene has been part of the NORPAC Mission Committee for over 20 years, and in addition to her leadership at Emunah she has served on the Board of Frisch Yeshiva High School. Robert & Irene drive down ahead of attendees each year for the NORPAC Mission to make sure our operations in DC run smoothly.

The Gottesmans have hosted and chaired events for numerous Members of Congress including Senator Portman, Senator DeWine, Representative Shelly Berkley, and are scheduled to host Senator Kyrsten Sinema this year.

Robert & Irene are tireless advocates whose love and passion for the US-Israel relationship has materialized into a driving force behind our Englewood chapter and our Mission to Washington. We thank them for their generosity and continued work in helping NORPAC grow.
House Passes Critical Pro-Israel Legislation

We are proud that the House of Representatives moved to approve three critical pro-Israel measures on July 23rd. Not only did these measures pass, but they were supported in a bipartisan manner and with overwhelming support.

We wish to thank all of our Mission to Washington attendees who advocated for these measures in Congress, among other points, back in May of this year. Your participation and continued dialogue with Congressional offices helped this legislation succeed to such a great degree!

The bills now head to the Senate where we expect similarly strong approval and passage in the near future.

  • H.Res.246, introduced by Reps. Brad Schneider (D-IL), Lee Zeldin (R-NY), Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Ann Wagner (R-MO), passed by an overwhelming 398 - 17 vote.
  • The Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevention Act (H.R.1850) , authored by Reps. Brian Mast (R-FL) and Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), passed by overwhelming voice vote.
  • The U.S.-Israel Cooperation Enhancement & Regional Security Act (H.R.1837), authored by Reps. Deutch (D-FL) and Wilson (R-SC), also passed by overwhelming voice vote.
U.S.-Israel Relations in the News​​​​​​​ 

The White House announced the departure of Jason Greenblatt, one of the President's top advisors on the Israel-Palestinian peace plan, in early September. He will stay in his role until President Donald Trump unveils his peace plan, expected sometime after the Israeli election on September 17. Greenblatt is then expected to return to his family in New Jersey to continue to pursue his private sector career as an accomplished real estate attorney.

We are grateful for Mr. Greenblatt's vigilance in promoting the US-Israel relationship and for helping the administration fight anti-Semitism in the Middle East. As the President's chief advisor on these issues, he has tirelessly pursued avenues to expand America's strategic partnership with Israel, and worked to ensure bilateral talks between the Israelis and Palestinians go unhindered by BDS and other outside influences.

In late August, Rep. Jerry Nadler criticized fellow Democrats Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib for sharing a cartoon that shows President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu covering their mouths. The Congresswomen were criticized for sharing it because the cartoonist Carlos Latuff participated in an anti-Semitic Holocaust cartoon competition sponsored by an Iranian newspaper in 2006.

We commend Rep. Nadler for taking a stand against anti-Semitism and taking his colleagues to task for their distasteful behavior in this matter.

The US State Department has updated its definition of antisemitism to include "drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” as an example of antisemitism in public life.
Upcoming Events
Senator James Risch (R-ID)
Sunday, September 15 - Englewood, NJ @ 7 PM

From Left: Elisabeth & Avi Samuels, Dr. Ben Chouake, Sen. Risch
From Left: Dr Richie Schlussel, Sen. Risch

Senator Risch (R-ID), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, will be hosted by Dr. Richard & Sara Schlussel and Elisabeth & Avram Samuels on Sunday, September 15th.
Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA)
Sunday, September 15 - Five Towns @ 5 PM

Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) will be hosted in the Five Towns by the NORPAC Long Island group on September 15th.
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME)
Sunday, September 22 - Teaneck, NJ @ 10:30 AM

David & Rena Schlussel welcome back Senator Susan Collins to their home in Teaneck, NJ on Sunday morning, September 22nd.
Senator Tina Smith (D-MN)
Sunday, September 22 - Englewood, NJ @ 7 PM

Michael & Debbie Blumenthal welcome Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) to their home on Sunday evening, September 22nd.
Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)
Thursday, October 24 - Englewood, NJ @ 6:30 PM

On Thursday evening, October 24th, Irene & Robert Gottesman welcome Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) to their home.
Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY)
Sunday, October 27 - Queens, NY

From Left: Rep. Meng, Dina & David Steinberg

NORPAC Queens welcomes Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY) to an event on Sunday evening, October 27th.
Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS)
Sunday, November 3 - Englewood, NJ
Marion & William Weiss and Dr. Roslyn & Leon Kozak welcome Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) to a NORPAC Englewood event on Sunday evening, November 3rd.
Upcoming Events (Dates Pending)
Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
TBD - Five Towns, NY and Teaneck, NJ

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will be hosted by the Stern Family on in the Five Towns later this year, and in Teaneck, NJ.
Senator John Cornyn (R-TX)
rescheduled date pending - Englewood, NJ 

Senator Cornyn (R-TX) will be hosted by Dr. Paul & Esther Lerer 
Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL)
TBD - Teaneck, NJ

From Left: Dr. Robert Goodman, Rep. Deutch, Sarah Goodman

The Goodman Family welcome back Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL) to their home on Sunday, September 22nd.
Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD)
TBD - Teaneck, NJ

From Left: Esther Fridman, Sen. Rounds, Mort Fridman

NORPAC Teaneck welcomes back Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD) on Thursday evening, July 18th.
Senator Gary Peters (D-MI)
TBD - Bergen County, NJ

Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) will be hosted in Bergen County in late 2019.
Congressman Max Rose (D-NY)
TBD - Five Towns, NY
Freshman Congressman Max Rose (D-NY) will be hosted in the Five Towns later this year.
Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK)
TBD - Bronx, NY
Jessica & Jason Muss welcome Senator jim Inhofe (R-OK) to an event at their home later this year.
Recent Past Events
Congressman Brad Schneider (D-IL)
Wednesday, July 31 - Teaneck, NJ

From Left: Allen Friedman, Rep. Brad Schneider, Phil Goldschmiedt

Congressman Brad Schneider (D-IL) was hosted in Teaneck, NJ by Rachel & Allen Friedman and Rochelle & Phil Goldschmiedt.
Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ)
Sunday, July 21 - Englewood, NJ

From Left: Esther Muschel, Senator McSally, David Muschel

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Sunday, July 14 - Englewood, NJ
From Left: Howard Jonas, Sen. Graham, Jonas Family
Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY)
Sunday, June 30 - Riverdale, NY

From Left: Congressman Engel, Joshua Landes
Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)
Sunday, June 23 - Englewood, NJ

From Left: Kevin & Lori Lemmer, Senator Capito, Lemmer Family
Congressman Dan Lipinski (D-IL)
Monday, June 17 - Teaneck, NJ

From Left: Miriam Pfeiffer, Congressman Lipinski, Allen Pfeiffer
Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Sunday, June 16 - Englewood, NJ

From Left: Dr. Ben Chouake, Sen. McConnell, Jerry Gontownik
Congressman Dan Crenshaw (R-TX)
Sunday, June 2 - Five Towns, NY

From Left: Ruth Jungreis, Rep. Crenshaw, Aaron Jungreis
Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE)
Thursday, May 30 - Teaneck, NJ

From Left: Esther Fridman, Sen. Sasse, Mort Fridman
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) Event Chair Trudy and Stanley Stern
David Perdue (R-GA)
Dick Durbin (D-IL)
Ed Markey (D-MA)
Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) Event chairs William Weiss and Leon Kozak
Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
​​Thom Tillis (R-NC)
Jeff Merkley (D-OR) 
Jack Reed (D-RI) Event Chair Mort Fridman
John Cornyn (R-TX) Event Chair Esther & Paul Lerer
Mark Warner (D-VA)
John Thune (R-SD) Event Chairs Marc & Allan Berger

House Members
Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
John Lewis D (GA) Event Chair Mayor 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)
Adam Smith (D-WA)
Mac Thornberry (R-TX)
John Yarmuth (D-KY)
Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)
Alcee Hastings​​​​​​​ (D-NY)
Donald Norcross (D-NJ) Event Chair Mayor Michael Wildes

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 [email protected]

This is one of my favorite stores. It is hard to explain why I like to go shopping for stuff in large quantities that I do not need. It may play into my dwindling but still present masculinity as I notice my male peers also find the shopping experience there fun and tend to come home with things like enough honey for Rosh Hashanah 2050. 
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 [email protected] or [email protected].

Current lay leaders funding this initiative at various schools include:
Abigail & Scott Herschmann, Monique & Mort Katz, 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 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