Tag Archives: African Development

World Malaria Day in Review

Two weeks ago, on April 25, the global community celebrated World Malaria Day, a day when advocates around the world raised awareness and took action to end malaria. Leading up to the day, a number of champions in the fight against malaria, including three of our college fellows, shared their stories on the RAC blog. We were also thrilled to celebrate World Malaria Day at Consultation on Conscience, the Reform Jewish Movement’s flagship public policy conference which began the day after World Malaria Day. Read more…

Bella and Congressman McDermott

Fighting Malaria on My College Campus

By Isabella Merritt

As I sat in Congressmen Jim McDermott’s office waiting to meet him, I was extremely nervous. I was about to have a meeting with someone who had served my district for 26 years to ask if he would speak to students at American University about the importance of fighting malaria. This was a big deal. Before I moved to Washington D.C. I had no idea I would ever set-up a meeting with a member of Congress. This meeting would have never happened if it wasn’t for my fellowship with the United Nations Foundation Nothing But Nets campaign and the Religious Action Center. Over the past year and a half, my fellowship with these two organizations has evolved from an extracurricular activity to a true passion.  Read more…


This World Malaria Day: Join the Fight Against Malaria

Next Saturday, April 25, is World Malaria Day, a day when advocates and citizens across the globe will raise awareness and take action to end malaria. In honor of this important day, a number of champions in the fight against malaria have shared their stories. Read more…

Dan Skallman

Why I Joined the Fight Against Malaria

By Dan Skallman

Before I joined the Nothing But Nets team, I lived and worked in a rural farming community in eastern Senegal. Although nearly everyone I worked with was a farmer, one topic of conversation in the community was even more prevalent than the coming harvest – malaria.

Farmers, who make up around 65 percent of the African workforce, know the dangers of malaria better than most people. They perform work that is dependent on heavy rains – rains that can bring a bountiful harvest, but also the pervasive threat of malaria-carrying mosquitoes. If these communities don’t have access to high quality insecticide-treated bednets, the threat to their health and safety is critical. Read more…


Learning about Advocacy through the RAC and Nothing But Nets Fellowship

By Rachel Landman

As World Malaria Day approaches on April 25, I have been reflecting on how much I have learned and accomplished as a Religious Action Center and Nothing But Nets Malaria Fellow over the past three semesters. Nothing But Nets is a global grassroots campaign that raises money to send mosquito nets to Sub-Saharan Africa to prevent malaria. I had firsthand experience while studying in Kenya and Tanzania during the fall of 2013 where I slept safely under a net protected from the deadly bite of a mosquito each night, but helplessly witnessed my local friends suffering from malaria. But prior to the fellowship, I had heard of Nothing But Nets, but did not truly understand the vast prevalence of malaria worldwide, or what I could do once I returned to the United States. Read more…

Jason Flatt

Fighting Malaria with My Whole Soul

By Jason Flatt

A couple of weeks ago, we read one of my favorite Torah portions, Parashat Ki Tissa. In this parsha, all of the Israelites are told to give a half-shekel to the building of the Tabernacle.

One of the ways Torah scholars try to understand the text is through Gematria where each letter of the aleph-bet holds a specific numeric value. It is said that there is a great symbolism every time two words hold the same numeric value in Gematria.

The Hebrew word for soul is nefesh, and it happens to hold the exact same numeric value as the word shekel. Thus, it can be said that when each of the Israelites gave their half-shekel to the census in Ki Tisa, symbolically, they were giving much more than a piece of metal. Read more…

front door of the RAC, our year in blogs

2014 at the RAC: Our Year in Blogs  

The (secular) New Year brings new opportunities and new challenges in the world of Jewish social justice. The 114th Congress will convene on January 3, 2015 at noon. As we look towards what 2015 will bring, let’s take a moment to look back at 2014 through 14 RACBlog highlights.

This list is a mix of our most popular blogs or the blogs that represent landmark moments in our programming or observances. Don’t see your favorite blog here? Let us know in the comments! Read more…


The Latest Bzzzzz: Our Work to Fight Malaria Continues

As we approach the joyful holiday season, it is important to remember the challenges that so many across the world continue to face. Malaria, which is transmitted from the bite of a single mosquito, causes 200 million illnesses per year and kills more than 600,000 people, most of whom are children under the age of five. Jewish tradition teaches us that human life is sacred because all of humanity is created b’tselem Elohim, in the image of God (Genesis 1:26). Thus, we must make sure to treat each life with equal value, and fight this disease that is both treatable and preventable.

Read more…