News

Open letter to Rep. Brian Fitzpactrick
DJOP published an open letter to Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick in the Bucks County Courier Times and Intelligencer in regard to his position on impeachment. We let him know we find Trump’s behavior more than troubling.
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DJOP Endorses Eugene DePasquale

For Congress in PA 10th

 

The Democratic Jewish Outreach Pennsylvania (DJOP) today announced its endorsement of Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, Democrat candidate for the US House of Representatives from the state’s 10th Congressional District.

The district is in Central Pennsylvania and covers Dauphin County, including Harrisburg, and parts of York and Cumberland Counties.

Jill Zipin, Chair of DOJP’s Steering Committee, said the committee “enthusiastically endorses DePasquale because of his experience in government, because he best reflects the Jewish values and progressive policies of DJOP, and because this is a winnable seat for Democrats.”

Zipin pointed to the Washington Post’s’ reference to PA’s 10th District as being one of the top 10 competitive races in Congressional elections in 2020.  The Republican incumbent, Scott Perry, prevailed in 2018 in the second-closest US House race in the state.

Perry is known as a far right-winger who has accused the news media of exaggerating the 2017 damage of Hurricane Maria to Puerto Rico.  He also spread the false theory that ISIS was behind the 2018 mass murder shooting in Las Vegas, when law enforcement officials say that the shooting was conducted by a lone gunman with no ISIS affiliation.  Perry is listed by the Washington Post as holding the seventh most vulnerable seat in the US House of Representatives, and the Cook Report rates him as the only Republican sitting in what it calls a “Toss Up” district.

DePasquale was raised in a working-class family and worked to help cover the costs of medical care for his brother, Anthony, who eventually lost his battle with Muscular Dystrophy.

DePasquale went on to graduate from the College of Wooster, to earn his graduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh and his law degree from the Widener School of Law.

“Gene DePasquale represents our best chance to replace an ardent Trump supporter with a Democrat who is proud to align himself with the DJOP agenda, including budget priorities, gun safety, women’s reproductive rights, the environment and integrity in government,” Zipin said.  “He will be a high-quality candidate who can win in the 10th District in a Presidential election year.”

The Steering Committee of DJOP consists of David S. Broida, William Epstein, Brett Goldman, Dina Lichtman, Rabbi Seymour Rosenbloom, Nina Rosenthal, Burt Siegel and Zipin.

Response to Muslim massacre in New Zealand
 
We at  DJOP are horrified and saddened by the deaths this week at the Muslim Mosques in New Zealand. As Martin Luther King so eloquently said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” We believe when one House of God is under attack, we are ALL under attack. The Muslim community was attacked simply due to their religious beliefs and their faith. We as Jews understand and know all too well what it like to be attacked for one’s faith. Unfortunately, the President of the United States, the leader of the Free World, who has the power of the pulpit, was unable or unwilling to adequately respond to the horror of what transpired in New Zealand. He said he does not believe that there is a rise in white nationalism around the world. He via tweet sent his “warmest sympathy”, which makes no sense, and nowhere does he mention that this was an attack against Muslims. His statement is what our bubbes would call a “shanda”.

DJOP Endorses Marc Friedenberg for Congress

Marc Friedenberg is our best choice for the US House of Representatives (PA 12th.):

He supports healthcare for all, a clean environment, an economy that works for everyone, commonsense gun laws and a strong, secure Israel.

He is a faculty member at The Pennsylvania State University and a graduate of Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology, where he earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees.

After studying cyber law and internet privacy at Columbia Law School, he worked for law firms pursuing cases against Wall Street banks. While suing the big banks in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, he saw firsthand the greed, corruption, and carelessness that had taken over the US economy and government.

In 2012, Friedenberg returned to State College. He serves on the University’s Faculty Senate and teaches classes on cyber law and the global economy.

On May 21, join us in making our district proud by electing Marc Friedenberg to the US Congress.

The Democratic Agenda

Democrats have taken the house by 39! This gives our party the ability to set the agenda for the coming weeks and months ahead. Although the corrupt Trump administration should be held accountable for its misdeeds, the Democrats must push forward with a positive agenda that will better the lives of all Americans. We at DJOP believe that the Democrats should make the following issues a priority:

  • The ACA needs to be strengthened and improved so all Americans can receive affordable quality health care. We support lowering the Medicare eligibility age to 55.
  • The minimum wage must be raised so people can earn enough to reasonably support themselves.
  • We must rejoin the Paris environmental agreement. Congress should do everything in its power to limit climate change. It is a duty we owe to our children and grandchildren.
  • Common sense gun reforms such as universal background checks and the reinstatement of the assault weapons ban. We have had enough of thoughts and prayers.
  • Citizens United should be overturned by Congress to limit the impact of money inpolitics.
  • Reinstatement of the Voting Rights Act in addition to securing our elections.
  • Infrastructure—we must rebuild America’s roads and bridges as well as rail to move us forward and keep our nation competitive.
  • Comprehensive immigration reform and protection of the Dreamers.

DJOP Endorses Scott Wallace in PA-1

The Democratic Jewish Outreach of PA (DJOP) on Monday, July 2 2018 endorsed Scott Wallace, Democratic nominee for the U.S. Congress in Bucks County (PA-1.)

The Steering Committee of the federal political action committee issued the following statement:

“The Democratic Jewish Outreach of Pennsylvania has studied carefully Congressional candidate (PA-1) Scott Wallace’s clarification of his position on Israel. His strong statement of support and understanding should put to rest any doubts of Mr. Wallace’s commitment to Israel’s security and the critical importance of the special relationship between the U.S. and the Jewish State.

“We especially note Wallace’s recognition of Israel as “a key strategic ally against terrorism and weapons proliferation.” His statement points out the importance of

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continued cooperation in the areas of defense, and that the sharing of military information has enhanced the security of both nations. He has articulated his personal commitment to Israel’s unequivocal “right to defend itself and to keeping its people safe against both military aggression and terrorism.” Wallace also mentions his firm belief that the US has an obligation to help safeguard Israel’s security. If elected, Wallace might well be one of the few members of Congress with family members who are Israeli citizens.

“The DJOP appreciates Mr. Wallace’s affirmation of his support for Israel. We also very much appreciate his strong desire to fight for quality public education, health care for all, a safe environment, and for rights of refugees and their children. While his opponent claims that he is, too, is an advocate for these issues, his voting record in Congress proves otherwise. He has voted to support of President Trump’s policies more than 80 percent of the time. He is not the moderate Republican he purports to be. Counter to the interests of Bucks County residents, he has voted with his fellow Republicans on tax breaks for millionaires, and against reproductive choice and a compassionate refugee policy.

“The DJOP strongly recommends that the voters of Bucks County support Scott Wallace for Congress.”

DJOP Urges Congress To End ‘Humanitarian Crisis’

The Steering Committee of the Democratic Jewish Outreach of PA (DJOP) today urged the state’s members of Congress to demand an end to the “humanitarian crisis” created by the Trump Administration’s taking of children from their parents at the nation’s southern border

The DJOP is a federal political action committee (PAC) formed in 2008 to  support progressive candidates and legislation and sponsor programs on contemporary issues.

“Our Jewish tradition teaches us to welcome the stranger,” the DJOP said in letters to the state delegation.  “The Trump Administration’s policy of separating children from their parents is an inhumane violation of this ideal.  The Steering Committee of the Democratic Jewish Outreach PA PAC urges Pennsylvania’s Congressional delegation to call upon the Trump administration to demand an end to this policy.”  The DJOP letter added:

“The separation of children from their parents is a humanitarian crisis that goes against both Jewish and American values.  As members of the Jewish community we know what it means to be dehumanized and persecuted.  We call upon the organized Jewish community to join us in our call to immediately end this cruel, horrific policy of destroying families simply because they seek safety and a better life.”

DJOP Endorses Chrissy Houlahan in PA’s U.S. 6th

Democratic Jewish Outreach of PA has endorsed Chrissy Houlahan in her race for U.S. Congress from PA’s 6th District in Chester County.

Houlahan, a U.S. Air Force veteran and the daughter of a Holocaust survivor and a career U.S. Navy officer, is a former teacher and business leader making her first run for public office.

“We are proud to endorse Chrissy Houlahan for the U.S. Congress because she brings to the campaign a wide range of experience in the business world and as a community leader,” said Jill Zipin, member of the Steering Committee of the DJOP. “She is exactly the kind of candidate we need to bring our nation together and to pursue the policies that will build strong communities and a strong Pennsylvania.”

She has earned endorsements from former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bob Casey and U.S. Reps. Dwight Evans, Matt Cartwright, and Brendan F. Boyle, along with the Chester County Democratic Committee.

“Chrissy fully represents the values and policies that the DJOP has articulated since our founding 10 years ago,” Zipin said. “We will be fortunate to have her voice in Congress representing the voters of Chester County and all of the people of Pennsylvania.”

Houlahan earned her engineering degree from Stanford University and her masters’ degree in technology and policy from MIT. She then served three years on active duty in the U.S. Air Force and 13 years on inactive reserve.

She worked as a chemistry teacher in North Philadelphia and was a Teach for America Corps member, and served as President of Springfield Collaborative, a Philadelphia-based non-profit focused on improving early childhood literacy in underserved communities.

Following her Air Force Service, Houlahan served as Chief Operating Officer of AND1 Basketball, helping to transform the company from a start-up to a major apparel and footware brand. She also was founding COO of B-Lab, a non-profit that promotes corporations and good business practices.

In addition to endorsement from Biden and Pennsylvania elected officials, Houlahan has been endorsed by Emily’s List, End Citizens United, the Council for a Livable World, Off the Sidelines, New Politics and 314 Action.

Houlahan lives in Devon, PA, with her daughters Molly and Carly and her husband, Bart.

Democratic Jewish Outreach PA Endorses Wendy Rothstein and Jeff Saltz for Montgomery County Court of Common Plea in November 7, 2017 General Election  (October 27, 2017)rothstein-saltz-IMG_9516_SMALL

On Friday, October 27, 2017, Democratic Jewish Outreach PA (DJOP) announced its endorsement of Wendy Rothstein and Jeff Saltz, candidates for judge of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas in the PA General Election being held Tuesday, November 7, 2017. We are taking special interest in this year’s judicial races because of the substantial role the courts have nationally and at the state level in maintaining checks and balances on the executive and legislative branches of government. And even though the Courts of Common Pleas typically receive less attention from voters, they are the courts that state residents are most likely to encounter. Therefore, we decided to make an endorsement in the Montgomery County judicial race.

Democrats outnumber Republicans by over 50,000 voters in Montgomery County. However, only 7 of the 23 judges currently serving on the Court of Common Pleas are Democrats. The election of Rothstein and Saltz will reduce the gap in representation significantly. They are both extremely qualified, highly experienced, and well-regarded by a variety of legal and community organizations. The full text of the endorsement announcement is available here. For more information about Rothstein and Saltz, and the Democratic judicial candidates for statewide positions, click here.

Democratic Jewish Outreach PA Endorses Daylin Leach for Congress in 7th Congressional District (July 14, 2017)

On  July 14, 2017, DJOP announced that we have endorsed State Senator Daylin for Congress in the 7th Congressional District. You can read the media release announcing the endorsement below (click the image to view and download a PDF version of the release). DJOP will also be hosting a fundraiser for Daylin’s campaign on Sunday, September 10, 4:00 – 6:00 PM at the home of Jill and Howard Zipin in Horsham. Click here for more information.

DJOP Press Release for Leach Endorsement_Website_Frame

 

 

Daylin Leach to Run for Congress & You’re Invited to His Congress Kickoff Event July 6

State Senator Daylin Leach announced on July 1 that he is running for Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District, currently represented by Republican Pat Meehan. Daylin has served in the Pennsylvania House since 2003 and in the state Senate since 2009, where he has a well-earned reputation for working across the aisle to pass some of the most meaningful legislation in state history. The official campaign kickoff event will take place this Thursday, July 6, 6:00 – 8:00 PM at the Radnor Hotel (591 E. Lancaster Avenue in Radnor). All are welcome. Click here to RSVP.

Meehan is expected to face a highly competitive re-election battle in 2018 due, in part, to his support for Donald Trump’s agenda in Congress. Despite Meehan’s attempts to portray himself as not beholden to Trump, he has voted in line with Trump’s position 88% of the time (click here to view the figures). It’s also worth noting that Hillary Clinton won the 7th District, which covers parts of Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Chester, and Lancaster Counties, in 2016.

Daylin’s campaign released a video on www.VoteDaylin.com citing three crises affecting the country, including Donald Trump, that spurred him to run. With his legislative accomplishments, outspoken nature, and reputation as a champion of progressive causes, Daylin would be a strong contender for Congress.

Daylin received his undergraduate degree in political science from Temple University, and his J.D. from the University of Houston Law School. He is married to Jennifer, a psychologist who received her Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr College. They live in Upper Merion with their two children, Brennan and Justin. Daylin was honored in May by the Democratic Committee of Lower Merion and Narberth at its annual spring dinner (see photo above). Daughter Brennan was also recognized by the committee’s as its first-ever Youth Advocate of the Year.

To contact Daylin’s political campaign, email info@votedaylin.com, and follow his campaign on Facebook. Hope to see you July 6.

Attack on Mount Carmel Cemetery in Northeast Philadelphia

Update on Mount Carmel Cemetery: Call to Action (posted February 28, 2017 at 3:40 PM)

stand-against-hate_updatedThe Jewish Community Relations Council, the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, and other community groups are organizing a gathering of support in response to the desecration of Mount Carmel Cemetery. The event, called “Stand Against Hate,” will take place Thursday, March 2, at 12:00 Noon at Independence Mall, 599 Market Street. All are welcome. Many people, perhaps 10,000 or more, are expected. So, allow plenty of time to get there and consider taking mass transit.

The program will consist of brief remarks, singing, and a few readings; it should last about an hour. The content will be appropriate for children of all ages. Please feel free to share this information on social media and elsewhere.

Regarding assisting in the clean-up effort at the cemetery, there has been such an outpouring of support that all of the volunteer slots for this week have been filled. People are asked not to enter the cemetery unless they are part of an approved volunteer clean-up group, as the cemetery remains an active crime scene.

Lastly, the Jewish Federation is collecting funds on behalf of Mt. Carmel Cemetery. Any donations received that exceed restoration costs will be used to address the growing security needs of our Jewish communities. We encourage DJOP supporters to make a contribution; visit https://www.jewishphilly.org/donate-now-mt-carmel-cemetery#.

Please feel free to share this information on social media and elsewhere.

Original Post (posted February 27, 2017 at 7:00 PM)

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Mount Carmel Cemetery (Michael Bryant, Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Photographer)

Tragically, a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia’s Wissinoming section (Northeast Philadelphia), Mount Carmel Cemetery, was desecrated overnight Saturday. Philadelphia Police detectives reported that 75 to 100 headstones had been knocked over, although a rabbi at the cemetery said he counted more than 500 Jewish grave sites vandalized. The attack is similar to an attack at Chesed Shel Emeth Society cemetery in suburban St. Louis that occurred last weekend. In that attack, perpetrators knocked over 154 headstones.

Rabbi Beth Kalisch of Beth David Reform Congregation in Gladwyne wrote in an email to congregants, “This news is especially distressing following the desecration of the Jewish cemetery near St. Louis last week, the vandalism of a synagogue in Northeast Philly earlier this winter, and a rise in anti-Semitic incidents throughout our country.”

The staff of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Philadelphia is developing a coordinated Jewish community response to the cemetery desecration. In the meantime, Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia is collecting donations to help defray costs of the repair. Please consider making a donation; the link is https://www.jewishphilly.org/donate-now-mt-carmel-cemetery#.

For more information about the attack, see the articles on Philly.com’s (Inquirer) website: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Cops-Report-of-vandalism-at-Jewish-cemetery.html, and Philly Voice’s website: http://www.phillyvoice.com/police-vandals-strike-gravesites-mount-carmel-jewish-cemetery/.

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