Temple Emanu-El in Dallas, Texas: Dolls for Darfur
With help from the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and former RAC Legislative Assistant Julie Silverman, Temple Emau-El launched “Dolls for Darfur,” a national advocacy campaign designed to raise awareness about, and bring an end to, the atrocities being committed in Darfur. Dolls for Darfur provides congregations, camps, and other interested groups with postcards and tiny dolls that represent individuals who have lost their lives in Darfur, as well as detailed instructions and materials for lobbying elected officials and curriculum ideas for educated our youth. While the program aims to raise awareness, any net profit is donated to the Save Darfur Coalition or International Rescue Committee. For more information, visit www.dollsfordarfur.org
The Save Darfur Banner Campaign
Congregants of Adas Israel congregation in Washington DC created The Save Darfur banner campaign to raise both congregational and public awareness, as well as encourage action to help end the violence in Darfur. They created banners that say “A Call to Your Conscience: SaveDarfur.org” and urged houses of worship from all faiths around the country to hang the banner in the front of their building. The banner represents unity in seeking an end to the atrocities that continue to occur. Over one hundred banners have already been posted nation-wide, including banners outside churches and synagogues in seventeen states across the country and the District of Columbia, including: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
For more information, visit www.savedarfurbanner.net.
The Greater Washington Jewish Task Force on Darfur
After holding several events including the “Darfur: A Call to Conscience” in 2005, the Greater Washington Jewish Task Force on Darfur helped organize the Darfur Interfaith Network in September 2006. They held their first vigil in front of the Sudanese embassy on Friday, October 27, 2006 to support the people of Darfur and ramp up the pressure on the Sudanese government; an estimated 75 people attended. They are holding weekly protests in front of the Sudanese embassy to continue to demonstrate increased pressure on the government and also helped the Save Darfur Coalition to organize the Weekend of Prayer for Darfur the weekend of International Human Rights Day, December 8-10, 2006. For more information, visit http://www.savedarfur.org/page/group/DarfurInterfaithNetwork.
Congregation Har HaShem in Boulder, Colorado
The Sudan Project:
Inspired by a powerful sermon from Rabbi Deborah Bronstein, several congregants launched an aggressive grassroots campaign to stop the genocide and to directly save a number of individuals from the violence taking place in Darfur. With the help of a grant given to the congregation to run a campaign, Har HaShem has created a program that includes educational and advocacy efforts, broad based coalition work with both secular and faith-based organizations, lobbying elected officials, and organizing community events. Har HaShem is also taking steps beyond advocacy. A significant portion of their budget was used to bring several Sudanese refugees out of the refugee camps in Chad. In 2006, ten Sudanese women from the refugee camps arrived and be settled in Boulder with the coordination and support of the community. For more information, visit www.congregationharhashem.org.
Boulder Day for Darfur:
Congregation Har HaShem continued its outreach by sponsoring the Boulder Day for Darfur, when local businesses, civic organizations, religious groups, student organizations, sport and social clubs and dedicated individual citizens participated in the Boulder Day for Darfur by calling in and asking President George Bush, Secretary of State Condeleezza Rice and elected Colorado officials to take more aggressive steps to stop the Genocide in Darfur. For more information, visit www.boulderfordarfur.com.
San Diego Walk for Darfur
Members of Congregation Beth Israel in San Diego helped to organize the first San Diego Walk for Darfur in historic Balboa Park on November 19 to raise money for the International Medical Corps for the medical relief services they provide in the refugee camps in Darfur and Chad. The walk was open to the entire community and their goal was 2,000 walkers and to raise $50,000. To date, they have raised over $100,000 and are still collecting donations.
More information can be found at www.SanDiegoWalkforDarfur.org.
Day of Awareness for Sudan
Temple Beth El, in South Orange County, California, designated November 26th as “Day of Awareness for Sudan,” where they sold “Stop the Genocide in Sudan” T-shirts to their congregants. Participants were asked to wear the T-shirts in public places around town and answer questions about the conflict when asked. The extent of participation, from simply wearing to the T-shirt to handing out fliers and literature to hosting a fundraiser to writing letters to praying for those in Sudan, was optional; the main goal was empowering others to be aware of the atrocities happening in Sudan. Temple Beth El encouraged synagogues throughout the United States to participate.