rmessinger

Ruth Messinger


A Must-See Movie: "Finding Fela"

If you’re looking for a powerful, thought-provoking film to see this summer, look no further than Finding Fela—a new documentary that opened this past Friday in New York City at IFC and has bookings throughout the country opening on various dates this month. Fela Kuti was the brilliant Nigerian performer who became a human rights …Read More

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An AIDS-Free Future Requires More Than Medicine

Originally published in The Health Care Blog. In 1985, during the height of the AIDS crisis in New York City, I was elected to the New York City Council. Time and again, I felt heartbroken as my friends and constituents lost their lives to a deadly disease without a cure. Too frequently, they suffered the …Read More

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My Thanksgivukah Recipe

Lately, no matter where I am—conferences, meetings, board rooms—American Jews are buzzing about Thanksgivukah, the concurrent celebration of Thanksgiving and Chanukah on November 28, 2013. These two holidays have overlapped only once before, in 1888. And, according to calculations by Jonathan Mizrahi, a quantum physicist at the Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico, this Thanksgivukah …Read More

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The Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement

Originally published on the blog of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. On the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, I’ve been reflecting a great deal on the power and possibility of social change. The climactic moment on August 28, 1963 came when Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his quintessential “I Have a Dream” …Read More

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My 2013 Summer Reading List

When summer rolls around, I try to carve out some quiet moments to catch up on my reading. At AJWS, it’s become a tradition for me to share my summer reading list with the staff. This year, I wanted to share it with the whole AJWS family. And even though summer is winding down, I …Read More

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Facing a Food Crisis: The Ingenuity of Haitian Farmers

Originally posted on The Jew and the Carrot. With Passover around the corner, many of us are poised to recite the words, “Let all who are hungry come and eat.” But when nearly 1 billion people around the world are hungry or malnourished, these words become acutely daunting—particularly for communities recovering from disasters. More than three …Read More

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Why Is This Day Unlike Other Days?

Today is International Women’s Day—an important date on AJWS’s calendar! It doesn’t get a lot of fanfare here in the U.S. but it means a whole lot for women and girls around the world who are struggling against injustice. In the communities AJWS supports, International Women’s Day is a day to honor brave women who …Read More

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With Hillary gone, will State Department still prioritize women?

Originally published by Salon. It’s no secret that when former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton famously declared in 1995 that “women’s rights are human rights,” she cemented her status as a champion for women and girls around the world. And as secretary of state, Clinton made gender equality and women’s empowerment a pillar of American diplomacy. The question now is whether the departure of the …Read More

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Ask Big Questions: Where Do You Give?

Originally posted on the blog of Ask Big Questions.  Like many people in my generation, I first associated tzedakah, the Hebrew word loosely understood to mean “charity,” with the pushke—the little metal box given out in Hebrew school, rusting on my parents’ windowsill. I learned in the 1950s that Jews were supposed to collect pennies in …Read More

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