Yesterday’s twin attacks in Copenhagen are a tragic reminder of the fragility of peace, security and pluralism. Our thoughts and prayers, of course, go out to the victims and their families. Rabbi Daniel H. Freelander, president of the World Union for Progressive Judaism, issued a statement, saying: “The attacks in Copenhagen are an assault on our values and on all free and democratic societies that embrace human dignity.”
Just one week ago, on January 22, 2015, following a request by Member States in October 2014, the UN General Assembly convened a meeting to address concerns of a rise in anti-Semitism and related violence around the world. Representatives from some 60 countries came to speak about the necessity of stamping out anti-Semitic violence and discrimination worldwide. Read more…
Last week, the Simon Wiesenthal Center released a list of its top 10 worst anti-Semitic offenses of 2014. Founder and dean of the organization, Rabbi Marvin Hier, explained to The Jerusalem Post that the list is meant to highlight how “rhetoric at the top has filtered down to average people,” meaning that repeat offenders were not included. The list includes the recent outbreak of anti-Semitism in the UK, the spread of hate in academia, a rape and assault in Paris and certain individuals who personally expressed anti-Semitism , among others. Read more…
By Fletcher Harper and Paul Kaufman
OurVoices and #LightForLIMA
OurVoices has emerged as the leading international, multi-faith campaign supporting a strong climate agreement. We were busy during the UN climate meetings in Lima!
In fifteen countries on four continents, and in countries vital to the negotiations, OurVoices organized vigils in support of strong agreement. #LightForLIMA vigils took place adjacent to iconic locations (the White House, the Sydney Opera House, Jerusalem’s Jaffa Gate). They attracted international media coverage. They performed powerfully on social media, with the vigil’s hashtag attracting almost the same number of shares as the hashtag for the entire UN conference during the week of the vigils.
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…
By the Rev. Fletcher Harper and Paul Kaufman
For most of us, understanding the United Nations climate change negotiations is like trying to read an unknown foreign language in the dark. In an effort to shed light on the process, we’ll share brief reflections on last week’s UN meetings in Lima, where Fletcher represented OurVoices, the international, multi-faith campaign for a strong climate agreement.
See 8 short videos – one for each night of Hanukkah – linking climate change to the holiday.
UN Atmosphere and Local Color Read more…
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.
This week, talks have begun between global leaders and civil society in Lima, Peru on what an international commitment to mitigating the harmful effects of climate disruption and reducing our worldwide greenhouse gas emission footprint could look like. In the past month, President Obama has made several historical moves as a global leader on climate change.