May 18, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Why I’m Joining the NORPAC Mission To DC and Why You Should, Too

NORPAC is a bi-partisan political action committee (PAC) whose primary purpose is to support candidates and sitting members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives who demonstrate a genuine commitment to the strength, security and survival of Israel.

Last May, I attended the NORPAC mission to Washington. We went there to meet with members of Congress, to thank those who are already supporting Israel and ask others to support Israel. Some of the key issues we spoke about included Israel and the U.S., a 75-year, mutually beneficial relationship; the key role of American security assistance; Iran; and reducing incitement in Palestinian education.

More than 600 people attended the advocacy mission on Capitol Hill in 2023. Imagine for a minute how much impact we can make if we get 6,000 or 10,000 people attending, how much more of a powerful statement we can make. This past November more than 300,000 people Jews and non-Jews gathered in the National Mall in Washington in a show of unity standing together with our brothers and sisters in Israel.

On Oct. 7, the Jewish nation went through stages of grief. We were in denial, anger, shame, depression. It seemed like a nightmare that you just wanted to wake up from. Our lives changed forever. It was the worst one-day attack on the Jewish people since the Holocaust. This is something that I am still trying to comprehend. Our brothers and sisters were attacked on one of our happiest days of the year in our Jewish homeland just because they were Jewish.

The world felt bad for Israel for just a few days. The world is used to seeing Jews as victims. Self-defense for the Jewish people is something that we have to justify while it is not the same for everyone else. The Jewish people were attacked and now we are called the attackers. The pro-Palestine lobby is extremely strong and loud. Looking for a numeric and realist perspective, it is true there are a lot more haters than there are Jews and allies of Israel.

However, the Jewish people are an eternal nation and in the last 3,000 years many nations tried to harm us, but they are gone and we are still here. We are Hashem’s chosen people and we cannot be defeated. Our spirit is strong and when we are united it is even stronger.

Currently, there are members of Congress who are calling for a ceasefire, but they are not doing enough to bring the hostages back and stop the hate against Jews. As a U.S. citizen, I want to let every member of Congress know that they must work harder to help free our fellow Jews who are still kept hostage by Hamas. I want to make sure that they are supporting Israel, in a bipartisan manner, with aid, arms and diplomacy (the U.S. recently did not veto the U.N. resolution about the ceasefire but it should have). The U.S. government should stand strong together with its true ally and the only true democracy in the Middle East. I want to make sure that they are working hard to reduce antisemitism on the streets and on campuses around the country.

I am here because of people like you who cared. Myself and other Soviet Jews and their descendants are no longer in the former Soviet Union because of simple Jews like you. When my family and I were stuck in the former Soviet Union, caring citizens like yourself went to demonstrations and lobbying missions. Eventually, Gorbachev, the former Russian president, caved in to the international pressure and let the Jews out. I am here to tell you that every one of you can make a difference.

Yes, Israel is fighting the majority of the fight. However, the power that we have here as U.S. citizens is not something we should give up on. We can make a difference by letting Congress know our expectations and as constituents; we have this power and must utilize it.

Every day I think about how in Israel our brothers and sisters are fighting for us to have our Jewish homeland and what can we do from here. This is why on May 15 I am taking a day off from work and arranging childcare. I am a volunteer just like you. I am a caring Jew just like you and I want my voice to be heard. Ultimately our help comes from Hashem but he has to see our hishdatlut. We are stronger together.

To register for the mission visit norpac.net/mission-to-washington. For more information, email Rivka at [email protected].


Rivka Sonts is a longtime Israel activist who has worked with numerous Jewish organizations including the Jewish Agency for Israel, UJA Federation, Ateret Cohanim, and Americans Against Antisemitism. She also participated in many demonstrations and lobbied with AIPAC, ZOA and NORPAC. She is a current board member of Rescuers Without Borders in Yehuda Veshomron and recently co-organized a fundraiser for an ambulance for Israel. She is also a life coach and is currently the public relations director for The Park Med Spa. She resides with her children in Highland Park.

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