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Reform Jewish Movement Calls Attention to Slavery in Sudan During Passover

Launches Passover Project Website

Saperstein: "The hagaddah commands us to 'remember the stranger for we were strangers in the land of Egypt.' This is a call to action, a call for us to rise up against slavery and tyranny in our own time."

Contact:Alexis Rice or Erin Glazer 202-387-2800

WASHINGTON, March 19, 2002 - As the Jewish community prepares for Passover, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC) has joined together with the American Anti-Slavery Group to focus attention on slavery in Sudan, a concern that resonates strongly with the themes of Passover. Together, they have launched the Passover Project, a new web resource for the entire Jewish community. Background information, Seder readings, educational materials, program ideas, a sample sermon, advocacy tools and other resources are available at: http://www.rac.org/passover.html.

"As we recall our own slavery during Passover, we recommit ourselves to fight for freedom for all who are enslaved wherever they are," said Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the RAC. "The hagaddah commands us to 'remember the stranger for we were strangers in the land of Egypt.' This is a call to action, a call for us to rise up against slavery and tyranny in our own time."

The situation in Sudan has a particular moral and human urgency to it. In Sudan, Africa's largest country, on-going civil war and inter-ethnic conflict has revived government-sponsored black chattel slavery, where South Sudanese women and children are abducted as slaves by government-armed Arab militia forces. Under the direction of the Sudanese government, millions of people have been forced from their homes, maimed, enslaved, and killed.

The Rabbinical Assembly, the international association of Conservative rabbis, has additionally endorsed the Passover Project.

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The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (UAHC) , whose over 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews , and the Central Conference of American Rabbis(CCAR) whose membership includes over 1800 Reform rabbis .



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