House Passes Key Bill to Strengthen US – Israel Relationship

What an incredible and inspiring few days we just had at AIPAC Policy Conference 2014. The amazing speakers, powerful moments and emotional videos made it an experience I will never forget. Thank you so much for coming to Washington and I hope you enjoyed it as much as my family and I did.

One of the most exhilarating aspects of the conference is lobbying every single Congressional office to strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship.Yesterday, we urged the House to support the U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act, and today, the House voted 410-1 to pass the bill.

The legislation declares Israel to be a “major strategic partner” of the United States. This designation lays the foundation for expanded U.S.-Israel cooperation in a wide variety of spheres, including defense, intelligence, homeland security, energy, agriculture, science and trade.

The overwhelming, bipartisan vote is a strong statement about support for Israel and the U.S.-Israel relationship, and is a testament to the impact we can have.

Please click here to email and thank your House member for passing this bill, which was led by Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Ed Royce (R-CA) and Eliot Engel (D-NY).

As you know, this is not the only initiative we are working on with Congress. Both the House and Senate are considering important letters to President Obama regarding Iran’s nuclear program and Congress’ role as negotiations proceed.

Broad bipartisan support for each of these letters will send a clear message to the Iranians about Congress’ expectations both for Tehran’s behavior today and what will be expected from it in a final deal.

Urge your Senators to back the Menendez-Graham letter, and your representative to support the Cantor-Hoyer letter. Now is the time to press our elected officials to speak with a clear voice about this critical issue.

I will continue to update you with legislative updates as the letters gain more support. Thank you again for coming to Washington and strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship.


Robert Cohen
AIPAC President

P.S. If you have not done so already, be sure to register for next year’s conference so we can continue to keep America and Israel strong and secure. Click here for your personal link to take advantage of the $200 discount. Share this video with your friends and family, and encourage them to sign up and experience with it you next year!

Organizations Helping to Feed the Hungry

Jewish Council for Public Affairs

The work of the JCPA, especially in matters relating to democratic pluralism and social justice, reflects the profound Jewish commitment to tikkun olam, the repair of the world. It expresses the conviction of the organized Jewish community that it must be active in the effort to build a just society. The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), the united voice of the organized Jewish community, was formally established in 1944 by the Council of Jewish Federations, the forerunner of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). The JCPA was known for many years as the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council (NJCRAC).


Beth Dillinger Foundation

The Beth Dillinger Foundation is a not-for-profit organization of volunteers dedicated to providing clothing and other daily necessities for maintaining health and personal hygiene for any needy child (up to eighteen years old) in and out of the foster care system. Help feed the over 7,000 children who are chronically hunger in Pinellas County.


Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger

Founded in 1985, MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger is a national nonprofit organization working to end hunger among people of all faiths and backgrounds in the United States and Israel. MAZON, which means “food” or “sustenance” in Hebrew, was the first national organization to rally the American Jewish community around the issue of hunger, and remains the only national Jewish organization dedicated exclusively to that same cause.


The Food Cliff

On November 1, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) was cut for every single participant in America when a temporary boost to the program provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 ended. In all, 23 million households, 22 million children, and 9 million senior or disabled Americans saw their benefits reduced to an average of less than $1.40 per person per meal. This means it will become even harder for those who are already food insecure to afford the nutrition they need.

Even as families grapple with this reduced food budget, Congress is considering even more cuts to SNAP in the Farm Bill. The Senate-passed bill includes $4.1 billion in cuts to SNAP over 10 years. The House-passed bill, in contrast, would slash SNAP by $39 billion – eliminating nutritional support for 3.8 million hungry Americans. If Congress passes such drastic cuts, they will push Americans over a food cliff. Take action today and urge Congress that we cannot afford any more cuts to SNAP.


Pinellas Hope

Before arriving at Pinellas Hope, residents who lived on the streets went hungry many days. As a result, Pinellas Hope’s mission is to provide them with a warm, comforting meal each day. To do so and because our shelter only has a serving kitchen, we work closely with our partners made up of organizations, churches, and families who prepare up to 250 meals and serve them to our residents at our shelter. As a result, Pinellas Hope and its partners donate and serve an average of 250 meals each day or 91, 250 meals per year! Are you ready to volunteer to donate and serve breakfast, lunch, or dinner to the residents of Pinellas Hope.  Click here for instructions on how to get started.