OUR CURRENT AGENDA
For 2020, JPAC has focused on COVID-19 response and state support for the non-profit sector; ensuring that California’s Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum does not contain derogatory references or biased descriptions of Jews, Judaism, Israel, and Israelis; and supporting legislation that protects our State’s needy seniors through the protection of the Multi-Service Senior Program (MSSP) in the State budget.
Protecting the Non-Profit Sector
JPAC’s membership is composed of non-profit organizations across California. Our member organizations collectively employ approximately 5,000 staff and serve over 1,000,000 people each year. JPAC member organizations provide critical aid, assistance, and legal services to our state’s most vulnerable, including individuals detained at the border, forced into homelessness, or denied essential healthcare. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, many of our member organizations have established emergency funds to further be of assistance to their clients and the communities they serve. See our letter to Governor Newsom here.
California’s Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum
The Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California (JPAC) recognizes the value of Ethnic Studies and the research demonstrating its benefits on students. On July 23, 2019 JPAC submitted a letter to the IQC that included a thorough review of the model curriculum and recommendations for modifications. See our letter here.
In addition, JPAC requested that the CDE, in their review of the first draft and subsequent second draft, ensure the following:
1. The final Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum must remove all derogatory references or biased descriptions of Jews, Judaism, Israel, and Israelis.
2. If the State retains the expanded coverage of ethnic groups as seen in the first draft of the model curriculum (Chapter 2), then Jewish Americans should be appropriately and respectfully included.
3. The Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum should include Antisemitism in discussions of hate crimes, bias, prejudice, and stereotyping and be listed explicitly
See our letter to CDE here.
JPAC has a long history of advocating on behalf of critical social service programs that serve those members of our community most in need. Protecting and providing for our elders has always been a high priority for the Jewish community. Across the state, Jewish Family Service and Jewish Children and Family Service agencies serve more than 200,000 clients annually, many of whom were impacted by previous cuts to programs and services whose funding was never restored. Jewish human service agencies are statewide leaders in providing comprehensive services to seniors, from wellness programs, to behavioral health services, to caring for the frailest elders, including Survivors of the Holocaust.
MSSP serves almost 12,000 frail older adults (65+) in their homes, rather than in institutions. MSSP providers across the state, including Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles and Jewish Family and Children’s Services in the San Francisco Bay Area, provide clients with case management and patient advocacy, professional nursing, social work, and other clinically-driven direct services to the frailest elderly so they may remain safely at home.
The majority of MSSP clients live alone, subsist on approximately $1000 per month, and have complex medical and psychosocial needs that require specialized medical and social support services. MSSP staff serve in the critical role of client advocate to make sure that clients have access to community resources and services. Without this assistance, these individuals or their families are left to navigate an increasingly complicated system of medical and social services.
MSSP was on the chopping block this year and was threatened by total elimination. Together with our partners, JPAC lobbied to ensure that this program remained funded by the State.