Reform Jewish Movement Launches “30 Days For Darfur” Campaign with www.30daysfordarfur.org
Building on the political momentum of Sunday’s massive rally in Washington, DC demanding an end to the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan, the Reform Jewish Movement is spearheading a new campaign – “30 Days for Darfur” – to urge the international community
Saperstein: The days after the rally are the most important days
WASHINGTON, DC, May 2, 2006 – Building on the political momentum of Sunday’s massive rally in Washington, DC demanding an end to the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan, the Reform Jewish Movement is spearheading a new campaign – “30 Days for Darfur” – to urge the international community to play a more active role in responding to the killings in Darfur. Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center, announced the new initiative during his speech to the approximately 70,000 participants at the “Save Darfur” rally.
“The days after the rally are the most important days,” Rabbi Saperstein explained, “our ‘30 Days for Darfur’ campaign will harness the energy generated by this weekend’s rally to mobilize Reform Jews and other members of America’s faith communities to continue their efforts to end the genocide.”
This campaign – inspired by a meeting between Rabbi Saperstein, President Bush, and other Darfur advocates – will mobilize America’s faithful to visit the consulates and embassies of NATO and African Union countries, as well as Russia and China, and their UN offices. According to Rabbi Saperstein, “The United States has been a leader among nations in the effort to stop the violence in Sudan, and only by joining together with the international community can we hope to end the atrocities currently underway in the Darfur region of Sudan.” Participants will ask embassies, consulates and United Nations’ missions to support UN resolutions to create a robust, well-equipped and effective peace-keeping force with a clear mandate to protect innocent civilian life.
Although the Reform Movement will lead the effort, it will include a wide array of religious Americans. The “30 Days for Darfur” initiative has already been endorsed by the National Council of Churches and the Southern Baptist Convention.
For the Jewish community, “30 Days for Darfur” takes place between Passover and Shavuot, during the time of the “Counting of the Omer.” The Passover holiday marks the historical Jewish liberation from slavery; Shavuot is the Jewish holiday marking the reception of the Torah (Bible). Rabbi Saperstein explains that the Counting of the Omer “marks the transition from the redemption of the Passover exodus to the responsibility that comes with receiving the covenant of the Torah at Mt. Sinai.” This campaign will be completed on June 2nd, 2006; in conjunction with the Jewish community’s celebration of the Shavuot holiday. “This timely connection,” Rabbi Saperstein notes, “makes our mission to not stand idly by while our neighbors are subjected to violence and murder that much more urgent.”
For more information or to become involved in this campaign, please visit www.30daysfordarfur.org or email Jkleinman@rac.org
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1800 Reform rabbis.
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism's work on international issues
is supported by a generous contribution from Marilyn Herst Karsten.