Civil Rights Leaders to Nancy Pelosi: Pass Bill to End Muslim Ban

Prominent Civil Rights Leaders Ask House Dem Leadership for Vote on the NO BAN Act

WASHINGTON, DC — On Wednesday, a diverse group of civil rights and social justice leaders sent a letter asking House Democratic leaders to schedule a markup and vote on the NO BAN Act (H.R. 2214), a bill that would end President Trump’s Muslim Ban and end religious discrimination in our immigration laws. Noting that House Democrats have already passed other, historic civil rights bills this term—such as the Violence Against Women Act, the Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Equality Act—the civil rights leaders called for Democrats to take similar action and pass the historic Muslim civil rights bill.

Like the other civil rights bills passed by the House Democrats in this Congress, the NO BAN Act enjoys broad support. More than 200 House members have signed on to be cosponsors of the bill. Additionally, nearly 400 civil rights, faith, national security and community organizations have endorsed it as have many leading corporations such as Airbnb and Postmates.

“Enacting the Muslim Ban was one of Donald Trump’s first acts as president. Since then, this government-sanctioned religious bigotry has continued to tear tens of thousands of families apart—including many U.S. citizens who have been separated from their loved ones for no reason other than their religion and national origin” said Muslim Advocates Executive Director Farhana Khera. “By passing the NO BAN Act, the U.S. House of Representatives can end this cruel and bigoted policy, send a strong message of support to American Muslims and reassert our nation’s commitment to religious freedom for all.”

“Immigrant youth of United We Dream wholeheartedly support the NO BAN Act because over the last three years we’ve seen how the racist and discriminatory Muslim Ban has devastated our Muslim members and the larger Muslim community,” stated United We Dream Executive Director and Co-Founder Cristina Jimenez. “Trump is restricting the migration of people of color seeking refuge in our country through the Muslim Ban and other anti-immigrant attacks. The House must set an example of the way forward by passing the NO BAN Act, a policy that would help people without hurting people.”

“The National Council of Jewish Women condemns intentionally targeting travelers and immigrants based on their religion,” said the National Council of Jewish Women CEO Sheila Katz. “As Jews, we are taught va’ahavtem et ha-Ger—we must love the stranger. The Muslim Ban is an affront to these Jewish values and the U.S. Constitution. We call on members of Congress to rectify this wrong and enact the NO BAN Act as soon as possible.”

NCJW Responds to Anti-Semitic Attacks in New York

Contact: Amanda Lang
Director of Marketing and Communications
917.886.0336 cell
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NCJW Responds to Anti-Semitic Attacks in New York

December 29, 2019 — The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is alarmed by the increase of violent hate crimes targeting the Jewish community in New York. The following is a joint statement from NCJW and NCJW’s New York sections (New York, Brooklyn, Rockland County, Lakeville, Peninsula, South Shore, Westbury, Greater Rochester, and Greater Syracuse) as shared by NCJW CEO Sheila Katz:

“In the last week, over what should be the joyous days of Chanukah, New York has seen as many as nine violent anti-Semitic attacks on the Jewish community, including last night’s horrific attack in a rabbi’s home in Monsey. Any incident is one too many, particularly as we celebrate Chanukah and our freedom from religious persecution. We’re heartbroken for the victims and the larger New York Jewish community, and we are resolved in our commitment to call out and address the disturbing trend of rising anti-Semitism and hate that these attacks are part of.

Nobody should be targeted for their religious beliefs. Nobody should live in fear that they will be a victim of a hate crime. In a state as vibrant and diverse as New York, there’s more than enough room for people of all cultures and faiths. There’s no room for hate and anti-Semitism.

We appreciate the swift condemnation of the attacks by New York City and state law enforcement and government officials, and we challenge them to do more to keep the Jewish population, and all vulnerable minorities, safe from harm. Hate must not only be condemned – it must be confronted. Lives are at stake.

Addressing anti-Semitism isn’t a short term challenge, yet much can and must be done to stem the current crisis. We call on state lawmakers to update and expand the New York State Hate Crimes law to ensure robust protection. Congress should pass the Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer NO HATE Act (HR 3545/S 2043), which would tie hate crime reporting and training to federal grants, incentivizing data collection. And, we must all commit to building a culture rooted in respect and empathy. The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) will continue to work in New York, Congress, and across the country to ensure nothing less.”

The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms.

Fifth Circuit Court ACA Ruling Threatens Health Care for Millions

December 18, 2019, Washington, DC – The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) expressed its disappointment at the ruling of the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Texas, et al. v. United States, et al. NCJW Chief Policy Officer Jody Rabhan released the following statement:

“Today, the Fifth Circuit all but handed District Judge Reed O’Connor carte blanche to dismantle the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA), once again reminding us of the importance of all federal courts. Just over a year ago, Judge O’Connor issued a deeply flawed ruling declaring the ACA legally void. Today, the Fifth Circuit invalidated the individual mandate and sent the case back down to the district court to decide if the rest of the ACA will survive. We already know where Judge O’Connor stands on this question.

“Let’s be clear: destroying the entire ACA would lead to chaos for the tens of millions of Americans who will directly lose coverage as well as those who will lose vital protections and critical health benefits enshrined into law by the ACA. The ACA is a critical source of health care coverage for America’s historically underserved communities including individuals and families living in poverty, people of color, women, immigrants, LGBTQI individuals, individuals with disabilities, seniors, and individuals with limited English proficiency. Furthermore, the ACA has been instrumental in covering a wide range of preventive services, ensuring that individuals have access to life-saving cancer screenings and treatment as well as effective contraception and reproductive health care services (well visits, mammograms, lactation counselling and supplies) at no cost to the patient. The confusion surrounding the fate of this landmark legislation, and whether its essential patient protections remain will in effect, will undoubtedly chill access to care and the insurance necessary to access that care.

“Jewish tradition teaches that each of us is made in the image of the divine — b’tselem Elohim (Genesis 1:26) — meaning every single person’s health is paramount and unassailable. We have an obligation to care for and protect our bodies and to ensure all others can do the same. NCJW was proud to play a role in the enactment of the ACA, and we won’t stop fighting for it now.”

The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms.

House Passes Voting Rights Advancement Act

December 6, 2019 Washington, DC – The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) celebrates the passage of the Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R. 4) in the House of Representatives. Jody Rabhan, NCJW Chief Policy Officer, released the following statement:

“For the past 125 years, NCJW has educated and engaged our advocates and supporters to drive voter turnout and expand voting rights, including advocating for women’s suffrage and the historic Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA). This work is in pursuit of T’zedek, or justice — a core value of Judaism and an inspiration for our advocacy. We continue to work for election policies that ensure easy and equitable access and eliminate obstacles to the electoral process.

“It’s been nearly six years since the Supreme Court gutted the 1965 Voting Rights Act in its Shelby County v. Holder decision, after which voter suppression laws multiplied. With the passage of HR 4, the House has taken the first step to restoring the Voting Rights Act to its former strength by requiring states with recent histories of voter discrimination to seek federal preclearance for election changes. 

 “Without access to the ballot, we can’t elect lawmakers who represent our communities and our needs. Access to abortion, citizenship for Dreamers, LGBTQ equality, sensible gun laws — all are beyond our reach if we do not have the right to vote. Now that the House has taken a stand for democracy, the Senate must do the same and pass the Voting Rights Advancement Act without delay.

The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. More information on Facebook and on Twitter.

Advocates for Civil and Reproductive Rights Decry Confirmation of Sarah Pitlyk to the Eastern District of Missouri

Contact: Amanda Lang, Director of Marketing and Communications
Cell: 917-886-0336

For immediate release

Advocates for Civil and Reproductive Rights Decry Confirmation of Sarah Pitlyk to the Eastern District of Missouri

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Sarah Pitlyk was confirmed for a lifetime position as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. The expert non-partisan American Bar Association has determined she is not qualified for a lifetime seat on the federal bench.

Pitlyk holds extremist views on reproductive health care and has an extensive record of seeking to undermine reproductive rights and access to critical health care. Pitlyk’s record includes defending Iowa’s unconstitutional six-week abortion ban that blocks abortion before many even know they’re pregnant. She relied on racist and harmful stereotypes about women of color in arguing for abortion bans that restrict abortion access. Pitlyk opposed in-vitro fertilization and surrogacy, and she has fought for the right to discriminate against people for using birth control. Her entire career is built on rolling back the clock on reproductive freedom.

Sheila Katz, National Council of Jewish Women CEO:

“Sarah Pitlyk’s confirmation to a lifetime seat on the federal bench is devastating for women, children, and families across the country who will suffer as a result of her advancement. Pitlyk has dedicated her career to rolling back reproductive freedoms, including birth control, and holds strong positions against in vitro fertilization and surrogacy. Further, she has no experience in a civil or criminal court and is ranked unqualified by the independent American Bar Association. Our rights and freedoms — the schools we can attend; our privacy; our ability to start a family when we choose; the safety of the products we buy; our religious freedom; our voting rights; and more — are dependent on judges who are fair and independent. Unfortunately, particularly for women in this country, this was ignored today.

Despite our disappointment, NCJW advocates will continue to push for fair, independent, and diverse judges who will protect the most vulnerable Americans.”

Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO, The National Women’s Law Center:

“We are outraged that Senate Republicans voted to confirm someone who is so egregiously unqualified and biased. Sarah Pitlyk has made a career out of undermining basic reproductive care including abortion, birth control, and in-vitro fertilization. She should not be rewarded with a lifetime appointment to the federal court where she could further erode our rights. Sarah Pitlyk is not what this country needs to move forward toward equality and justice.”

Marge Baker, PFAW Executive Vice President for Policy and Program:

“Sarah Pitlyk’s record is one of the worst we’ve seen among Trump judicial nominees, and we are deeply concerned about the effect her confirmation will have on rights for millions of people in Missouri. Her career has been devoted to curtailing reproductive rights and access to reproductive health care. She is woefully unqualified for a judgeship, having never tried a case – as the ABA made clear when it unanimously gave her a ‘Not Qualified’ rating. And yet Senate Republicans gutlessly fell in line and voted to confirm her because they will not cross Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump. This is a very sad day for the people of Missouri.”

Ilyse Hogue, NARAL Pro-Choice America President:

“Sarah Pitlyk’s confirmation to the district court in Missouri is a dream come true for the anti-choice movement and a profound danger to women and families in the state. Pitlyk’s views should immediately disqualify her: she is hostile to Roe v. Wade, she opposes surrogacy and IVF– critical tools to help people achieve their dreams of having families, and her statements on civil rights is abhorrent. Missourians are already facing an unprecedented assault on their reproductive freedom, with the state’s only abortion clinic fighting to remain open. Putting judges like Pitlyk on the bench who will spend their lifetime appointments working to roll back reproductive freedom is further proof that Donald Trump is paying back his debts and then some to the anti-choice movement that got him elected.”

Nan Aron, Alliance for Justice President:

“Sarah Pitlyk was clearly nominated because she has devoted her entire career to opposing reproductive freedom, including abortion, in vitro fertilization, and surrogacy. Senate Republicans concluded that her commitment to stripping away access to reproductive healthcare was the only qualification she needed to be a federal judge, even though she has virtually no courtroom experience. The Trump administration is rigging the federal courts to try to roll back constitutional freedoms Americans hold dear, and the people of Missouri will pay the price.”

Vanita Gupta, President and CEO, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights:

“Sarah Pitlyk’s confirmation to a lifetime position on our federal courts is deeply disturbing. Pitlyk has spent her career singularly focused on restricting reproductive rights and women’s access to health care. She is exactly the type of judicial nominee that Trump promised to fill the courts with: an individual who threatens reproductive rights and access to abortion. With Pitlyk’s confirmation, the administration is betting on her to carry out their agenda for decades to come. This nomination epitomizes Trump’s and Senate Republicans’ agenda to roll back our civil rights by stacking the courts with unfit nominees.”

Alexis McGill Johnson, Acting President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

“Missourians already have to navigate an impossible landscape just to access abortion. Gov. Parson’s administration has shown people across Missouri that they cannot trust his administration to handle their sensitive and personal information. Sarah Pitlyk’s confirmation to the U.S. District Court puts their health and rights in even greater jeopardy. She has spent her career openly opposing access to birth control, abortion, and even IVF and surrogacy. Now confirmed, Pitlyk could rule on these issues and more. Given her extreme ideology, she cannot be trusted to protect people’s health and rights in Missouri.

“Don’t be fooled: this is part of the Trump administration’s dangerous agenda to fill judicial seats with unfit people, driven by ideology, who will restrict our reproductive health and rights. This is not what the people of Missouri or the country want, and Planned Parenthood and our partners will continue fighting to protect people’s rights and freedoms — no matter what.”

Announcement on Israeli Settlements Destructive and Ill-Advised

Contact: Amanda Lang
Director of Marketing and Communications
917.886.0336 cell

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Announcement on Israeli Settlements Destructive and Ill-Advised

November 18, 2019 – The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is dismayed by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement today that the US will no longer consider Israeli settlements in the West Bank a violation of international law. Dina B. Charnin, NCJW Director of Israel Policy and Programs, issued the following statement:

“The decision by the Trump administration to derail four decades of bipartisan US policy severely diminishes the prospects for a two-state solution. This is a sharp turn that takes us even farther away from a pragmatic, long-term, negotiated solution leading towards 2-state co-existence between Israelis and Palestinians.

“A majority of those in the American Jewish community envision an Israel that is democratic, just, and a homeland for Jews everywhere. This decision makes that vision much harder to achieve — but not impossible.

“In support of the only reliable way forward to create the conditions for peace and security, we call once again on Congress to quickly pass House Resolution 326, which reiterates the US support for a negotiated two-state solution and opposes unilateral moves by any side, including annexation. We look forward to a time in the near future when honest, creative, deep-feeling and thinking brokers on all sides, including women leaders, can sit and negotiate.”

The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. More information on Facebook and on Twitter.