Tag Archives: International Affairs

With Each Story, Recommitting to End Violence Against Women

In late April, Nigerian armed forces rescued 93 women and 200 girls who had been held by the terrorist group Boko Haram. When news broke of the rescue, there was early hope that these girls were the schoolgirls abducted from a Chibok school in April of last year—the subjects of the global campaign to “Bring Back Our Girls.” It turns out this was a different group of girls and women altogether, 300 of nearly 2,000 kidnapped by Boko Haram since the beginning of 2015. It is not clear how long these women were held, but we do know from their testimony that Boko Haram subjected them to extreme violence, including rape, forced marriage and sexual slavery. We sigh with relief that these women are no longer captive, while we offer prayers for those still in captivity, and for mental, physical and emotional healing for those who have been freed as they begin to rebuild their lives. Read more…

Rohingya muslims CNN

Faith Leaders Urge Action on Humanitarian Crisis Facing Rohingya Community

Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center, today joined with a diverse group of faith leaders calling on President Obama to take immediate action to address the Rohingan humanitarian crisis in Southeast Asia. The well-documented persecution of the Rohingya minority community in western Burma and the resulting refugee crisis in the region is deeply concerning to us as a people who throughout history have been victims of ethnic and religious persecution and the experience of being forced to flee even as other nations closed their doors. The letter sent today by Rabbi Pesner and others calls for the U.S. government to address the root cause of this crisis and assist with the rescue of refugees. Read more…

Vatican Basilica

Vatican Recognizes Palestinian Statehood

Early Wednesday, the Vatican used the term “State of Palestine” in an official document, a move that has been strongly criticized by the Israeli government. The Vatican had already recognized the entity after it was granted “non-member observer status” at the United Nations in 2012, but this document marks one of the highest profile occasions in which the “State of Palestine” term has been used. The document comes in advance of an agreement between the Vatican and the Palestinians. Read more…

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…

Take Action: Support People Vulnerable to Climate Change TODAY!

The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is joining this week with both faith and secular partners, across denominations and sectors around the United States, to urge Congress to support allocations for the Green Climate Fund in budget appropriations.

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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…

At the Consultation: Fighting Climate Change with the Green Climate Fund

Starting on Sunday, April 26, Religious Action Center staff will be welcoming over 400 rabbis, cantors, and lay leaders to Washington D.C. to participate in our Consultation on Conscience. Over the course of the weekend, participants will have the chance to hear from amazing speakers, attend workshops and lobby their elected representatives on Capitol Hill.

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