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At Central Synagogue

Preventing Genocide and Protecting the Rohingya People

Posted December 14, 2017

By Rabbi Maurice Salth

Eighty years ago, Jews in Europe were beginning to suffer under the Nazis.  Imagine if there had been a groundswell of people around the world attempting to protect them - millions could have been saved.  Since the Holocaust we Jews have had a keen sense of our responsibility to help prevent genocide.  This is why I spoke about joining the global effort to protect the Rohingya people in my d’var Torah on Parashat Vayeshev.

Read, listen and watch my dvar Torah on the responsibility to prevent genocide and how we can help protect the Rohingya people.

The Rohingya are a Muslim ethnic minority in Burma (also known as Myanmar).  Recently the American Jewish World Service (AJWS) reported: “since August 25, 2017, Burmese forces have burned entire Rohingya villages to the ground, soldiers have indiscriminately massacred and raped Rohingya men, women and children, and more than 600,000 people have been forced to flee by foot and boats to refugee camps in Bangladesh, a three-day trek from their burned villages.”  These genocidal and other heinous acts continue to be committed.

There are no easy answers to this crisis and yet we can attempt to impact this situation.  Please take a few minutes to join us in urging President Trump and Senators Schumer and Gillibrand to co-sponsor and vigorously support S.2060 - The Burma Human Rights and Freedom Act of 2017.  AJWS has a template for a letter on this crisis which you can customize.  You can find this letter here.

You can write or call the president and our senators via these links:
Senator Chuck Schumer
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
President Donald Trump

AJWS also has established a fund to support refugee camps attending to the Rohingya. Please consider making a contribution.

Please share these links to your Facebook page and spread the word about this crisis to your friends in the United States and beyond - ask them to act as well.

Together we can make a difference.