This page will serve as a log and collection of links to efforts within the Orthodox community to aid the victims of the crisis in Darfur. If you know of any such projects that are not mentioned here, please let us know about them by clicking here.


Table of Contents

A. Statements and Fact Sheets
 1. Edah Fact Sheet on Darfur
 2. Edah Action Proposals
 3. Joint RCA - OU statement on Darfur

B. Projects and Programs
 1. Edah Slave Food Plate for the Seder
 2. Congregation Agudath Achim - Stamford Conn.

C. Participation in Rallies and Protest
 1. RCA at the UN
 2. New York Orthodox Synagogues, Day Schools, Yeshivot, and Orthodox Organizations sending people to Washington DC on April 30, 2006



A - Statements and Fact Sheets

1. Edah Fact Sheet on Darfur


Edah Fact Sheet on Genocide in Darfur

Beyond Mourning a Genocide, What if We Could Prevent One?

Click Here to Open a Printable Adobe Acrobat (PDF) version of this page

Click Here to Download the Free Adobe Acrobat Reader

I. Background

The Republic of Sudan has endured a civil war that spans four decades during which two million people have died. The Sudanese government and its allied forces have committed egregious human rights abuses, including forced starvation through the denial of international humanitarian assistance; abduction and enslavement of women and children; forced displacement of civilians; and bombing of civilian targets and humanitarian facilities. More than 2.7 million African Muslims from traditional farming communities have been forcibly uprooted and subjected to murder, rape, and other horrifying atrocities. Their homes, villages and livelihoods are being destroyed by Sudanese government forces, and by the militias they support, known as Janjaweed (Arabic for "evil men on horseback"). The Janjaweed militia, with Sudanese government assistance, is committing these atrocities to decimate the black, non-Arabic populations of Darfur, specifically the Fur, Masaalit, and Zaghawa ethnic communities.


II. The Situation Now : Refugees, Rape and Genocide

Almost 2 million men, women, and children are crowded into camps for internally displaced persons in Sudan and refugee camps in Chad without sufficient food, clean water, health care, or schools. More then 3 million people face malnutrition; nearly a quarter of young children do not have enough to eat, in large part because the World Food Program faces a 40% shortfall. Some 400,000 people are dead from genocidal violence, pervasive hunger, and illness. Each month 15,000 people die - another 500 people die every day the world waits. Incidents of rape are escalating; security in the camps is deteriorating; aid workers are being threatened and arrested.


III. Recognizing Genocide

The following have all identified actions of the Sudanese government as Genocide under the terms of The United Nations Genocide Convention:
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom
The US Congress In the Sudan Peace Act of 2002
The Committee on Conscience of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.


IV. The Jewish Duty to Respond

The Duty to Rescue life and limb, based on "Lo taamod al dam re'acha" (Lev. 19:16), and on "Vechai imach" (Lev. 25:35), extends to all persons. (Ramban, Hosafot leMitzvot Aseh, 16; Meiri, Sanhedrin 58a.) The Mitzvah of Tzedakah, to provide food, clothing and shelter to the poor, extends to the impoverished of any nation, and one who shuts his eyes to that duty is called wicked, evil and sinner. (Rambam, Matnot Ani'im 7:7, 10:3). The Prohibition against aiding or encouraging wrongdoing (Lev. 19:14) applies to all persons and societies and precludes indirect aid even through failure to protest. (Avodah Zara 6a-b; Nedarim 22a; Rambam, Kings 9:14.)

We cannot stand by in silence!


2. Edah Action Proposals and additional links



How You Can Make a Difference


Promoting Awareness of Genocide in Darfur

I. A Call to Kavannah during Shabbat Services

To be read before Ashrei, prior to Musaf Amidah of Shabbat:

"As we now prepare to recite Ashrei, our Kavannah should be focused particularly on the sentences beginning with the Hebrew letters Samech and Ayin. In those sentences, we praise God for His attentiveness to the oppressed and His provision of food to the hungry. God's goodness can be achieved through our action. Therefore,

Let us call to mind the people of Darfur in Southern Sudan, who are now being subjected to Genocide at the hands of the Janjaweed militia, supported by the Islamic government of Sudan. Over 350,000 have already been slaughtered, 2 million have been driven from their homes, innumerable women of all ages have been raped and millions more are now threatened by starvation.

In imitation of God, we need to be attentive to the oppressed and seek to provide food for the hungry.

Now, with that Kavannah, let us recite Ashrei."


II. Program Suggestions

Understanding Genocide

* View the movie Hotel Rwanda and utilize the educational materials at

Understanding Darfur

* Utilize Tzedek Hillel's "Never Forget" program guide.
* Utilize the ADL's "The Promise of Never Again" curriculum.
* Bring a survivor from the Rwanda or Darfur genocide to discuss his or her experiences


III. Action Suggestions:


* Write a letter to your senator or congressman to encourage political and economic support for rescue of life in Darfur.
* Call the White House to encourage greater US support for international peace keeping in the Sudan. (202-456-1111)
* Join "Million Voices for Darfur" by sending an electronic or hard copy post card to president Bush calling for US support for a larger, stronger multinational force to protect the civilians of Darfur.
* Set aside Sunday April 30, 2006 for a massive rally in Washington DC; a march from The US Holocaust Museum to the White House for the delivery of a million post cards, and then to the Sudanese Embassy.


* Wear a green "Save Darfur" wristband and other awareness raising items. They can be ordered at


* Click Here to Donate to the relief effort or mail a check to: AJWS Sudan Relief and Advocacy Fund, 1501 Broadway Suite 501 New York, NY 10036. Or make a credit card donation by phone: 800-889-7146.
* Conduct a personal, Shul or School wide "Luxury fast" where the money you don't spend on luxury items go to the relief effort. For guidance on organizing and implementing such an event, Click Here
*Click Here to Donate to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee's Darfur Relief Fund

IV Additional Links:

AJC Position Paper on Darfur "We Must Halt the Genocide in Darfur, Sudan Now"
Article by Ruth Messinger and David Harris - Time for Action on Darfur

3. Joint RCA/OU Statement on Darfur

Darfur Genocide: The RCA and OU Commend President Bush for his Strong Stand
They condemn Sudanese government supported atrocities and persecution of millions of innocent people

Apr 7, 2006 --

President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20050

Dear Mr. President,

The Rabbinical Council of America and the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, representing many hundreds of Orthodox Rabbis and congregations, commend you for your strong and principled stand concerning the atrocities being perpetrated on innocent people of Darfur.

Our tradition teaches the transcendent value of even a single human life, a value rooted in the fact that each person is created in the image of God. The Passover season reminds us that we, too, were victims of tyrants, in the same region of the world. Moreover, our own history teaches us the bitter lesson of what happens when the world is silent in the face of genocide.

Our rabbis have joined with other clergy to publicly call attention to these horrors; we have urged all possible efforts to stem the violence, and we continue to mobilize our communities to stand up - and not stand by - while innocent blood is shed. It is indeed heartening to hear the powerful voice of the United States government and its Chief Executive placing their weight behind this important collaborative effort.

We will continue to work in every way we can to prevent genocide in the Sudan.

May the Almighty bless the work of our collective hands, help avert this disaster, and bring to justice those who perpetrate and countenance such evil.

Rabbi Dale Polakoff
Rabbinical Council of America

Mr. Stephen J. Savitsky
Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America

Rabbi Basil Herring
Executive Vice President
Rabbinical Council of America

Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb
Executive Vice President
Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America

To view the statement at the RCA's web site click Here


B- Projects and Programs

1. Edah Slave Food Plate for the Seder

Click Here for the PDF file


2. Program at Congregation Agudat Achim, Stamford, CT



Wednesday, April 26


7:30 p.m. followed by a special showing of the film “Ever Again”

presented by The Simon Wiesenthal Center and CAS at 8 p.m. Special introduction by Rhonda Barad, Simon Wiesenthal Center, Eastern Director.

Congregation Agudath Shalom
301 Strawberry Hill Avenue
Stamford, CT 06902
Phone: (203) 358-2200
Fax: (203) 358-2323



C. Participation in Rallies and Protests


1. The RCA Rallies at the UN

Mar 24, 2006 -- On Monday, March 13th, Taanit Esther, the leadership of the Rabbinical Council of America took an active role in an unprecedented Joint Rabbinic Rally outside the United Nations in New York City, protesting the genocidal policies and actions of the government of Sudan against its own citizens of Darfur. In coming together with rabbis and spiritual leaders from across the Jewish spectrum, the RCA demonstrated its commitment, both in word and in deed, to protesting the unfolding tragedy in which, it is estimated, as many as 200,000 Darfurians have been killed, and many others persecuted in horrific ways.

As explained by Rabbi Dale Polakoff, President of the RCA, "as Jews we dare not stand by in silence in the face of such persecution, no matter how far away it occurs, how much unrelated to our day to day concerns."

The rally was notable for overcoming denominational and other differences in the religious community, in support of this humanitarian emergency.

The text of Rabbi Polakoff's comments addressing the rally can be read Here.

To see the above at the RCA's web site, click Here.

2. Partial List of Orthodox Institutions Participating in the Rally in Washington on April 30th

The Carlebach Shul, Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, Congregation Ohab Zedek, Congregation Rayim Ahuvim, Fifth Avenue Synagogue, The Jewish Center, Kesher, Lincoln Square Synagogue,The Orthodox Union, The Ramaz School, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, Yeshiva University, Edah

For more info about the rally see

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