Please check this page again as much more information
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Edah Fact Sheet on Genocide in Darfur
Beyond Mourning a Genocide, What if We Could Prevent
As we hear of the stories of horror from Darfur, of genocide
in this new century, we are called as Jews to stand up and have our voices
be heard. As we do so, we look to our tradition, which has always taught us
to stand against injustice and oppression no matter where it lies. Our age-old
Jewish teachings make our 21st century stand more sturdy and powerful, as
we can stand today with all of our brothers and sisters who have proceeded
us in the cause of justice among human beings. We welcome your ongoing reflection
as you take this stand and beyond.
NEW - Source Sheet on the Jewish Obligation to Prevent Genocide
in Darfur (MS Word Version)
for victims of slavery and genocide in Darfur
- Click Here for a listing of events and efforts within the Orthodox community
to help the citizens of Darfur
Here to Download the Free Adobe Acrobat Reader
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!
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
* View the movie Hotel Rwanda and utilize the educational materials at www.amnestyusa.org/education
* 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
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 www.savedarfur.org
* Click Here to Donate
to the relief effort or mail a check to: AJWS Sudan Relief and Advocacy
Fund, 1501 Broadway
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
*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
Please check this page again as
much more information and new links are added in the coming weeks!