Category: Education

Reaching the next generation of young Jews

JPAC has been around since 1972, and in that time has had a huge amount of influence in Sacramento.  However, for many young people, Sacramento is a distant place compared to Washington D.C.. JPAC is embarking on a new effort to engage Jewish student leaders in California advocacy.

JPAC Student Fellows Program
We aim to change the way that college students think about Sacramento and advocacy through our new JPAC Student Fellows Program.  The program will allow us to raise money for scholarships so that students can attend JPAC Advocacy Days in Sacramento.  We will be planning Days and in the District for students on college campuses across California to meet with their electeds and educate them about JPAC’s policy priorities.

If you or someone you know is a leader on their college campus, we want to connect with them. To learn more, please visit our website: and contact us at



JPAC launched the JPAC Student Leader Scholarship Fund in 2017 to allow Jewish student leaders from all California Universities to attend JPAC Advocacy Day for free.  In 2017, five outstanding Jewish student leaders from UCLA and CSUN attended Advocacy Day in Sacramento through the scholarship fund.

Here is what they had to say abut their experiences:

“JPAC Advocacy Day gave me the opportunity to re-connect with my representatives in Sacramento and to learn more about how the Jewish community can play an active role in fighting for our immigrant communities and against identity-based hatred.”
“JPAC’s Advocacy Day was a meaningful learning and leadership development opportunity for our community’s student leadership at UCLA. I enjoyed learning more about JPAC’s leading role in advocating for California’s most vulnerable populations and established meaningful relationships with community partners who we will continue to work with at UCLA. Serving as a group leader during lobby visits was a personal highlight of the conference.”

“It was incredible to see the depth and breadth of JPAC’s relationships with policy makers — including but not limited to Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Secretary of State Alex Padilla, Senator Anthony Porantino and a staffer from the office of Assemblymember Shirley Weber to discuss legislation related to immigration reform, protections for undocumented immigrants and intolerance targeting religious minorities. There is no more meaningful experience than being surrounded by a community of leaders committed to making this state a better place for all. ”

Donate to the JPAC Student Leader Scholarship Fund here:

JPAC thanks CSU and UC Presidents for opposing ASA Boycott

In December 2013, the American Studies Association issued an academic boycott of Israeli colleges and universities because it contends that Israeli policies have deprived Palestinian scholars and students of their academic freedoms.  While we know this is absolutely false and Israeli universities are open to all, many American universities and professors shamefully signed onto this boycott.

JPAC applauds those colleges and universities across the country that oppose this boycott, particularlythe California State University system and the University of California Regents.

CSU Chancellor White commented: “Academic boycotts violate the basic tenets of higher education including academic freedom and scholarly dialog.  Boycotts attempt to limit the unfettered creation, discovery and dissemination of knowledge vital to our tripartite mission of research, teaching and service.  These characteristics are essential to preparing students with the analytical and critical thinking skills to lead in business, community, educational and civic organizations.” UC Regents President Janet Napolitano commented: ‘Such a boycott threatens free speech and the free exchange of ideas and that an academic boycott goes against the spirit of the University of California, which has long championed open dialogue and collaboration with international scholars.”

Advocacy Day 2013 Press Release

May 21, 2013

For immediate release:

On May 20 and 21, over 60 representatives from 13 Jewish organizations across California came to Sacramento to participate in the 2013 Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California (JPAC) Advocacy Day in Sacramento. Advocates heard from high-ranking public officials including State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, and Assembly Speaker John Perez who received JPAC’s 2013 Legislator of the Year Award.

JPAC Advocacy Day is an annual mission to Sacramento that brings together lay leaders and staff from Jewish organizations all over California, including Jewish Federations, Jewish Community Relations Councils, and Jewish Family and Children’s Services, as well as nationally known organizations including the Ant-Defamation League, Hadassah, and the National Council of Jewish Women.   It is an opportunity to come together in Sacramento and strengthen relationships, discuss policy, and represent the greater Jewish community statewide to our legislators.

The event kicked off Monday night as over 20 legislators joined JPAC advocates at a reception at the Citizen Hotel in downtown Sacramento to mingle and schmooze, including Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), Asm. Bob Blumenfield,  Asm. Achadjian, Asm. Fox, Asm. Adrin Nazarian, and Asm Mark Levine.  They mingled with Rabbi Doug Kahn, executive director of the Bay Area’s Jewish Community Relations Council, Anita Friedman, JFCS executive director, and multiple heads of local JCRC’s and Federations.  At the reception, JPAC also honored Assembly Speaker John Perez with the Jerry Sampson Award, which recognizes and honors a California State Legislator who embodies the spirit and dedication to good civic government and whose leadership and advocacy on behalf of the organized Jewish community’s priority concerns have been exemplary.   Speaker Perez regaled the crowd with stories of conversations with the likes of Governor Jerry Brown and Senate President Pro tem about Jewish values and the definition of Yiddish terms.

On Tuesday May 21, JPAC hosted two panel discussions: the first on the intersection of gun violence and mental health and the second on the Israel/CA trade relationship.  The first panel featured State Senator Kevin De Leon, Assembly member Nancy Skinner, and Executive Director of the Mental Health Association of CA, Rusty Selix.  The second panel featured Assembly member Bob Blumenfield, Abigail Browning of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, and Israeli Consul General of the Pacific Northwest, Dr. Andy David.  The lively discussion on both panels educated and informed JPAC advocates and were useful during their legislative meetings that afternoon.

Additionally, with a strong and united voice, advocates met with over 50 senators and assembly members at the capitol and advocated on three issues.  The first is the Life Act, a package of eight senate bills addressing gun safety and gun violence prevention and which closes loopholes to many existing gun safety laws.  The second was AB 518, which establishes the Community-Based Adult Services (CBAS) program as a Medi-Cal eligible benefit and codifies the program in State law.  The third was not a bill, but asks that law makers sign onto a letter to the UC Regents thanking them for their stance against divestment from companies that do business with Israel.  This letter came about in light of the divestment activities taking place in the halls of student government on many University of California campuses.   During our legislative appointments, JPAC advocates reported practically a rate of 100% support from legislators on our policy priorities for this year, and all of the advocates ended the day with a great deal of satisfaction that their voices were not only heard, but welcomed and respected by our California law makers.

Contact Julie Zeisler for more information on how to get involved with JPAC at


About JPAC:

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 Committees and Councils, and other Jewish community advocacy groups from throughout California we advocate on behalf of Jewish social service agencies, traditional community concerns, and broadly shared values that affect the citizens of our State. Click here for more information.



Register today for JPAC’s Advocacy Day!

Happy New Year! I can’t believe it’s already the middle of January 2013! Time is flying, and that also means that JPAC’s Advocacy Day is going to come up fast- May 20-21 to be exact!  JPAC wants YOU and members of your community, your colleagues, your volunteers, your staff, and your friends who are interested in lobbying on issues of importance to them and to the larger California Jewish community.

JPAC’s Advocacy Day provides opportunities to:
-Participate in real civic engagement
-Be a part of a Statewide community working for common goals
-Network with colleagues and friends around the State
-Meet elected officials and engage in meaningful conversations with them
-Experience the thrill of being in the State Capitol with the largest coalition of Jewish organizations in the nation

Click HERE to register TODAY!