The Coalition for Jewish Values contributed to a very important policy change that the Department of Health and Human Services announced this month, which will maximize the number of children receiving needed foster care, while permitting religious organizations to operate in a manner consonant with their religious beliefs.

We detailed our effort to confront a related, false charge of anti-Jewish discrimination back in February, and how that influenced the gubernatorial race in South Carolina. We also sent a letter to HHS Secretary Azar seeking this change — and because the Jewish complaint, backed by the Anti-Defamation League, was a large part of the discussion, our rebuttal had a similarly disproportionate impact.

I was privileged to represent the CJV at the White House on Wednesday, as the President spoke about the successful appointments of over 150 new judges to district courts and courts of appeals across the country. Soon over 25% of the judges will be appointed by the President, who has looked for strict constitutionalists dedicated to protecting religious liberties. This is having an ongoing impact – attorney Nathan Lewin, perhaps the foremost Orthodox lawyer in the country addressing religious liberty cases before the Supreme Court and others, described the current SCOTUS as the best for our religious freedom he has seen in his lifetime.

A series of articles in both US and Israeli outlets featured our advocacy for Jonathan Pollard’s release from parole (his wife is suffering from cancer, and his restrictions often prevent him from taking her for treatment). Both Agudath Israel and the Orthodox Union sent letters to the President with the same request, and the articles featured all three requests. The Jerusalem Post referred to “three major Orthodox organizations” all calling upon the President to terminate Mr. Pollard’s parole on humanitarian grounds.

Press Releases

Rabbinic Group Criticizes Democratic Candidates for Shunning AIPAC but Attending J Street Conference

Oct 25 – US support for Israel has always been bipartisan – but that notion is undermined and vitiated when respect is given to anti-Israel organizations and denied to pro-Israel groups.

Coalition for Jewish Values Calls for Pollard Freedom on Humanitarian Grounds

Oct 30  – Given his wife’s health and need for assistance reaching treatment locations, pharmacies and even basic needs, the current extreme limitations on Mr. Pollard’s movements are not merely an unjustified part of a disproportionate sentence, but are also causing him and his family unnecessary hardship during a very trying time.

Rabbis Welcome New HHS Regulatory Provision Supporting Free Religious Practice in Foster Care

Nov 1 – The new proposed rule is a win for all Americans, and especially for vulnerable children in need of foster care services. That a religious organization should be able to serve the public while acting in accordance with its beliefs is a key part of religious freedom.

Letters and Statements

Coalition Letter on International Abortion Funding

Oct 17  – Of course, what [Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)] refers to as bias is, in fact, a policy designed to protect the lives of unborn children who suffer the ultimate bias when they are disregarded as undeserving of legal protection. Consistent with the bipartisan budget agreement, we ask that you reject the Shaheen amendment.

Coalition Letter Advocating Separation of Payments to Abortion Providers

Oct 21  – We are grateful for the ongoing efforts within the Trump administration and the Department of Health and Human Services to align health-related policies with pro-life principles, to protect women and their unborn babies, and to protect taxpayers from being unwilling participants in abortion funding. To continue this goal, we write to urge the finalization of the abortion separate payments rule.

Featured Op-Eds
All of our board members’ op-eds since our last update can be accessed on our website.

The New Stalinism

by Rabbi Yaakov Menken, The Daily Wire, Oct 13

Democrats set their target in 2016, immediately following the stunning defeat of Hillary Clinton by Donald Trump: Impeachment. The goal came first and the search for evidence came later. And this is where the comparison to Stalinism is not merely appropriate, but frightening in its precision.

An Awakening At The Forward?

by Rabbi Yaakov Menken, Jewish Press, Nov 1

Given her experience with blatant Anti-Semitism couched as “Anti-Israel” protest, one might have expected Opinion Editor Batya Ungar-Sargon and her colleagues at The Forward to have had an awakening – to have finally recognized the true nature of anti-Israel activism and started vigorously defending the Jewish state from its enemies. Sadly, one would have been wrong.

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