The Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California (JPAC) is the largest single-state coalition of Jewish organizations in the nation. Comprised of local Jewish Federations, Jewish Community Relations Councils, Jewish Family Service agencies, and other Jewish community organizations we advocate for traditional community concerns and broadly shared values that affect the citizens of California. JPAC has lobbied the Legislature on many issues, including Social Services, Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum, Immigration and Immigrants’ Rights, Gun Violence Prevention, Human Trafficking, Anti-Poverty and Affordable Housing. Our members collectively serve over 1 million Californians each year.
JPAC has helped to galvanize local and state-wide support for initiatives of importance to our members. Our work has resulted in many wins for California and the California Jewish community:
• Since 2014, JPAC has successfully secured over $50 million in the State budget that directly impacts our members and their communities.
• Every year we work to prevent budget cuts for social services and secured $3.6 million in state funding in 2018 for Holocaust survivors in California.
• We fight anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination on our college campuses, securing $1.2 million in 2018 for an anti-bias training program for administrators, faculty, law enforcement and students on California college campuses.
• Since 2015 we have secured $19.5 million in the State Budget for the California Non-Profit Security Grant to protect non-profits at risk of a terrorist attack or hate crime.
• $2 million increase in General Fund support for senior nutrition programs in 2018.
In 2019, JPAC worked with the State Legislature and Governor Gavin Newsom to achieve the following:
• $15 million for the California Nonprofit Security Grant Program. The California State Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which was a key issue at JPAC’s Advocacy Day this year, provides support for target hardening and other physical security enhancements to nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of a terrorist attack, particularly from hate crimes based on ideology and beliefs. Continuing previous investments to combat attacks of this sort, $15 million will assist California’s nonprofit organizations that have historically been targets of hate-motivated violence.
• $6 million to expand the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust is the only museum with free admission in Los Angeles that is open daily for Holocaust education and commemoration. $6 million will expand their physical space allowing them to serve 150,000 visitors annually by 2023.
• $23.5 million to rebuild Jewish camps destroyed by the Woolsey and Tubbs Wildfires. Funding for the camps destroyed in the fires in 2017 and 2018 includes $23.5 million one-time for local assistance for capital outlay to the Wilshire Blvd Temple Camps (Camp Hess Kramer and Gindling Hilltop Camp), the Shalom Institute Camp and Conference Center, and Camp Newman in Santa Rosa.
• $14.8 million for the Multipurpose Senior Services Program (MSSP). The Multipurpose Senior Services Program (MSSP), which was a key issue at JPAC’s Advocacy Day this year, provides social and health services for frail elderly individuals so that they can remain living in their homes and avoid costly institutionalization. Many seniors who utilize this program are Holocaust survivors.
• $24.3 million for the Rapid Response Program at the California border. The Rapid Response Program will provide grants to nonprofit organizations that provide critical assistance to immigrants at the border during emergent situations.
• JPAC persuaded CalPERS – the nation’s largest pension fund – to officially divest targeted investment funds in companies with interests in Iran’s energy sector.
• A package of 7 immigration bills, including two budget items and SB 54;
• The Life Act, a package of gun violence prevention bills;
• An increase in maximum aid payment (MAP) amounts for CalWORKs recipients by 10%;
• The Local Homeless Solutions Program to provide matching funds to cities to create innovative and immediate solutions to the problems of homelessness;
• Sponsored the California Combating the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions of Israel Act of 2016, which prohibits a public entity from entering into a contract with a company that is participating in the boycott of Israel
Presence in Sacramento:
JPAC has deep relationships with elected officials across the State, including the California Legislative Jewish Caucus and other ethnic Caucuses, and continuously cultivates those relationships via our Sacramento based lobbyist, and through our annual Advocacy Day.
About Advocacy Day:
JPAC’s annual Advocacy Day is the culminating effort of months of research, lobbying, coalition building and convening to bring concerned citizens from the Jewish community to Sacramento to meet with key legislators and staff on issues that impact our community, whether it is seniors living on SSI/SSP, early childhood education, or anti-Semitism. Each May, JPAC brings over 150 individuals to Sacramento for a day of networking, hearing from experts, and lobbying their representatives in the Legislature on issues of critical importance to the California Jewish community and the community at large. This culminating event is core to our success in Sacramento.
JPAC is non-partisan and a registered 501 (c) 4.
Membership in JPAC enables your community to civically engage, learn more about the legislative process in Sacramento, and influence legislation that impacts your community and the broader California Jewish community. JPAC membership provides opportunities to network with similar organizations and be a part of a larger voice calling for policies that benefit the Jewish community in California and the population at large.
JPAC has developed strong and deep relationships with elected officials from across the State, and continuously cultivates those relationships via our Sacramento based lobbyists, missions to Israel, and our annual Advocacy Day.
Members benefit in the following ways:
- One vote on the JPAC Board
- Access to Governmental Advocates in Sacramento
- Opportunities for lobbying 101 trainings, introducing your community members to local elected officials, and assistance with legislative interests in Sacramento
To be a member of JPAC:
- Pay annual dues
- Assign a lay leader or staff liaison who will attend three Board meetings annually
- Participate in JPAC legislative priority setting
- Participate in JPAC’s annual Advocacy Day in May
For more information, please contact Julie Zeisler at Julie@jpac-cal.org.