To quote Ecclesiastes, Pete Seeger and the Byrds: “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”
The festival of Chanukah resonates deeply with us at AJWS, because it focuses on the human desire to be free. As a human rights organization, this is the fundamental value underlying all our work.
This year, we are driven to light our AJWS menorah for those who continue to struggle for their freedom today. We light candles for the Rohingya Muslims in Burma who are being persecuted, murdered and sent fleeing to the sea by Buddhist extremists (yes, you read that correctly); for the people of Haitian decent who face expulsion from the Dominican Republic—their land of birth—because of prejudice; and for the refugees streaming into Europe fleeing the atrocities of civil war and religious fundamentalism.
Because of our own history of experiencing persecution, we, as Jews, cannot turn a blind eye to these injustices around the world. And the Internet and 24-hour news cycle mean that we can no longer hide behind the excuse of ignorance.
One way you can respond to injustice is to join us for one of our upcoming events to learn about our issues and get inspired by our leaders. AJWS President Ruth Messinger and our future president and current Executive Vice President, Robert Bank, will be in the Bay Area on December 3-4 for Ruth to receive The Landres Courage for Dignity Award at the Keshet Glimmer gala. While they are in town, Ruth will speak at Congregation Chochmat HaLev on Friday night. I hope you will be able to join us.
Please see below for details on all of our upcoming events or check the Bay Area page for the most up-to-date information about our community.
Finally, thank you to each and every one of you for ensuring that AJWS can continue to empower amazing and inspirational grassroots organizations and individuals. If you have any questions or would like to chat over coffee with me or my wonderful staff, please just reply to this email to reach out.
Executive Director, San Francisco and Western Region
AJWS Bay Area Upcoming Events
Ruth Messinger in Berkeley!
December 4th at 7:30 pm
2215 Prince Street, Berkeley
AJWS President Ruth Messinger will speak at Congregation Chochmat HaLev’s Shabbat services. For more information, please visit www.chochmat.org.
Night at the Jewseum with Global Circle
December 10th at 6:30 pm
Contemporary Jewish Museum
736 Mission Street, San Francisco
AJWS’s Global Circle will be a partner at “Night at the Jewseum: Power!”—a Chanukah party for young professionals at the Contemporary Jewish Museum. The event will connect the exhibition “Chasing Justice” with the Maccabees and contemporary superheroes through music, DIY crafts, cocktails, gallery chats and more. AJWS will host a “Girl Superhero” booth to raise support for girls and young women around the globe who are fighting for their human rights. For more information or to sign up, please visit the Contemporary Jewish Museum’s website.
Alon Shalev at Congregation Beth Jacob
December 11th at 7:30 pm
Congregation Beth Jacob
1550 Alameda de las Pulgas, Redwood City
AJWS Executive Director for San Francisco and the Western Region, Alon Shalev, will speak about the citizenship crisis in the Dominican Republic and the Jewish mandate to aid people who are being persecuted or expelled because of their race, religion or nationality. For more information, please visit www.bethjacobrwc.org.
Books Beyond Borders: Our Global Justice Book Club
December 15th at 7:30 pm
The home of Bryan Johnson and Jocelyn Goldfein
In Beyond the Beautiful Forevers, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Katherine Boo tells the dramatic story of families striving toward a better life in Annawadi, a slum settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels in Mumbai, India. With intelligence and humor, this story offers deep insight into what connects people in an era of tumultuous change and a growing chasm between rich and poor. The book carries the reader headlong into one of the 21st century’s hidden worlds—and into the hearts of families impossible to forget.
Please RSVP online at www.ajws.org/BooksBeyondBordersSanFrancisco