Midterm Madness; Jewish Dems ready for November: JDCA Weekly Roundup


Jewish Democrats have much to celebrate this Shabbat. Conor Lamb’s victory in the Pennsylvania special election was a landmark moment for the Democratic Party and a sign of great things to come in November. That being said, there is still much more work to be done. With the President still showing his blind-spot for anti-Semitism and Republicans continuing to attack a woman’s right to choose, defending our nation’s weak gun laws and threatening hundreds of thousands of Dreamers, we cannot lose sight of the need to win back Congress in November.

JDCA mourns the passing of Rep. Louise Slaughter
We were saddened to learn of Congresswoman Louise Slaughter’s passing this morning after she suffered a head injury. The Congresswoman served in the House of Representatives for 31 years and was a proven champion of gender equality. She was a force of nature who will be missed by all who knew her. We send our thoughts and prayers to her family and loved ones.

Conor Lamb and the 2018 ‘blue wave’
Democrats pulled off a historic upset in southwestern Pennsylvania Tuesday, as voters in a heavily-Republican congressional district elected Conor Lamb to the U.S. House of Representatives. Lamb’s victory is a good omen for the November midterms. Americans are tired of the Trump administration’s divisive and dangerous agenda, and soon will have the opportunity to choose a far better alternative.

The Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA) is doing all we can to see to it that the country makes the right choice. In the PA-18 special election we were active in mobilizing the Jewish vote to help elect Conor Lamb. Through op-eds and targeting advertising, JDCA helped mobilize the estimated 11,000 Jews living in the district, which more than made the 627 vote difference. To read our full statement, click here.

This election was a reminder of the impact we can have in shaping our country’s future. While we celebrate this victory, we refuse to lose sight of the ultimate goal of taking back congress this November. JDCA will continue to mobilize Jewish voters to create not just a blue wave, but what the Forward calls a ‘Jew wave’ and ensure that Democrats continue to win in November. As we say, “Every vote is important in such a close race.”

Joe Kennedy speaks to JDCA board and supporters
Representative Joe Kennedy III (D-MA-4) joined JDCA board members and supporters to discuss Conor Lamb’s victory, the upcoming midterm elections, and the importance of the Jewish vote in winning back Congress.

Congressman Joe Kennedy III (D-MA-4) speaks to JDCA supporters

Dede and Ken Feinberg, along with Michael Gelman, Peter Gillon, Barbara Goldberg Goldman, Izzy Klein and Joel Rubin, hosted the congressman and 50 JDCA supporters in a Maryland suburb of Washington D.C. Rep. Kennedy praised JDCA for our important work and the impact we had in Conor Lamb’s victory. While these are unprecedented times, Kennedy, Democratic pollster Peter Hart and other speakers talked about the upcoming ‘blue wave’ and the implications Conor Lamb’s election will have on the November midterms.

This gathering follows another successful JDCA event with Rep. Adam Schiff last month. Stay tuned for more events in the near future!

Elected officials and candidates must stand up to rising anti-Semitism
We are holding elected officials and candidates accountable in combating the rise in anti-Semitism. Last week, we released a statement criticizing Rep. Danny Davis’s praise for Louis Farrakhan. Soon after, Rep. Davis put own his own statement denouncing Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic rhetoric. The Jerusalem Post recognized our role in prompting Davis’ statement. JDCA subsequently thanked the congressman for his quick turnaround.

In the wake of Vladimir Putin’s anti-Semitic claim that Jews may have been behind the 2016 election cyberattacks, we calls on President Trump to “make it clear to Putin and the Russian government that such bigotry is abhorrent to the United States and its government.” You can read our full statement here.

In addition, Steve Grossman, JDCA board member, a former Massachusetts state treasurer, a chair of the Democratic National Committee, and a president of AIPAC, reflects on the role American leaders must take in fighting the rise in anti-Semitism.

“Growing up, in chemistry class, we all learned that a gas will expand or contract to occupy the space of whatever container it’s in. The same thing is, essentially, true of anti-Semitism. The causes of anti-Semitism — fear, ignorance, resentment, callousness — have always existed, just as anti-Semitism has always existed. It isn’t going anywhere. But, sometimes, as a society, we allow it to occupy greater space. Goaded by opportunistic leaders, a society is encouraged to indulge these base, cruel impulses. President Trump has proved himself an unusually capable goader.”

Click here to read the full op-ed in the Boston Herald.

Ada Horwich: The erosion of a woman’s right
In the Jerusalem Post, JDCA board member Ada Horwich discusses the Republican threats to women’s access to legitimate health care, and how Rabbis and Jewish scholars support a woman’s right to choose.

“It confounds and infuriates me how many people don’t recognize that just as pregnancy and childbirth are part of the life cycle, so too is the end of an unwanted pregnancy – whether a woman’s physical or mental health is at risk, a woman or couple do not want to bring a child into a dangerous or impoverished situation, or the pregnancy was the result of a rape. Judaism, in fact, teaches that the life of a woman takes precedence over the life of a fetus.”

Click here to read the full op-ed in the Jerusalem Post.