Tag Archives: Foreign Policy

Nothing But Nets… 5 Years Later

By Stephanie Garry

Every World Malaria Day, I reflect on my life-changing trip to Kenya.  Five years ago, I had no idea what to expect while traveling to Kenya to visit refugee camps in Dadaab to distribute the nets that are key in malaria prevention. I had been on safari to Kenya 14 years ago with my husband and son and so loved the air of the land and the romance of the sky—and the vistas of animals on our planet. Read more…

The Modern Plague of Malaria

As the ten biblical plagues were recited during my Passover Seder this past week, I was thinking not only of the plagues that afflicted Egypt but also of the modern plagues that affect our world today–and what we can collectively do to eliminate the plague of malaria from our world. Each year, an estimated 219 million people are infected with malaria, causing approximately 600,000 deaths.  Children under the age of five and pregnant women are often the most susceptible to succumbing to malaria, a completely preventable disease.  Read more…

President Obama Speaks at Nuclear Security Summit

President Obama spoke last week at a news conference with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte during the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague. They addressed the news conference together, highlighting the importance of both preventing nuclear terrorism and working with other nations with the same goal.  Read more…

Anti-Semitism in Ukraine

In response to several anti-Semitic incidents in Ukraine, the site of ongoing social upheaval, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, released the following statement:

“The events in Ukraine are deeply concerning for all who value human rights. We pray that the unrest will be resolved in a peaceful and democratic manner and without further loss of life. At the same time, we are also greatly troubled by several recent incidents of anti-Semitism that have shaken the Ukrainian Jewish community. The vandalism including swastikas and graffiti reading ‘Death to the Jews’ on the synagogue in Simferopol in the Crimea region this past Friday is unacceptable and serves as a bitter reminder that anti-Semitism continues to plague too many Jewish communities.  Read more…

Israel Update: Chancellor Merkel’s Visit to Israel and the Peace Process

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her cabinet visited Israel for 24 hours on Monday, February 24th.  Chancellor Merkel told reporters, “We have come here with almost the whole of our new government, and we wanted to show you in this way that this is indeed a very strong friendship.”  The visit also kicked off preparations for the celebration of fifty years of diplomatic relations between Germany and Israel, which began on May 12, 1965.  On Tuesday, Israeli President Shimon Peres presented Chancellor Merkel with the Presidential Medal of Distinction, Israel’s highest civilian award. Read more…

Halting Another Polio Crisis

In 2002, there were 1,600 polio cases in India.  In 2009, there were 741, nearly half of the world’s cases.  On January 13, 2014, India celebrated its third consecutive year of being polio-free.  This momentous accomplishment was marked throughout the worldRead more…

Jewish Disability Advocacy Day: A Big Success!

I spent yesterday on Capitol Hill for Jewish Disability Advocacy Day, which is an opportunity to learn about legislative issues of importance to individuals with disabilities and their families and to lobby members of Congress.  People came from all over the country and the day was an inspiring day of learning and advocating as a Jewish community.  The morning started with welcoming remarks from David Feinman, Senior Legislative Associate at the Jewish Federations of North America and co-chair of the Jewish Disability Network.  Following Dave, Rabbi Lynne Landsberg gave a beautiful d’var about the importance of both work and rest in the Jewish tradition.  Rabbi Landsberg explained that “resting” is different than “doing nothing” and that we need to fulfill our obligation to make sure that people with disabilities are able to participate in the workforce and in all aspects of society.  Read more…

Why Foreign Aid Matters

When we think of the word “tzedakah”, we often think of the translation as “charity.”  But the root of the word tzedakah are the three Hebrew letters tzadi, dalet, and kuf, which together mean justice or righteousness, and shine a light on our obligation as Jews is to build a more just world.  Maimonides taught that the highest form of tzedakah is to enable a person to earn his/her own livelihood. Development assistance through foreign aid plays a vital role in the lives of those in the developing world by increasing the ability of families to be self-sufficient, granting them the freedom to create a better, safer and healthier environment for themselves and their children.  Oftentimes, however, people do not believe that foreign assistance helps people or is necessary.  Read more…

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