“Sealed for a year of plenty: Challenging the destiny of hunger” Helps Rabbis Address Global Hunger with Congregants
New York, NY; August 24, 2009— As part of a national hunger awareness campaign to be formally launched this September, AJWS has published a new resource pack, “Sealed for a year of plenty: Challenging the destiny of hunger,” for rabbis and other Jewish educators wishing to use the High Holidays as an opportunity to address global hunger.
Six children die every minute due to hunger-related causes and more than 1.2 billion people worldwide are undernourished. In response to this unacceptable truth, AJWS is launching its campaign, called Fighting Hunger from the Ground Up, in order to mobilize the American Jewish community to take action against hunger. AJWS’s rabbinical resource pack— designed as a supplement to AJWS’s hunger awareness campaign— is comprised of the following six components:
- An introduction to the global hunger crisis and Fighting Hunger from the Ground Up.
- Hungering for Change, a meditation on fasting and hunger written by AJWS’s Rabbi-in-Residence, Rabbi Brent Chaim Spodek
- From the Sources, an easy-to-use source sheet connecting the issue of hunger to the themes of the High Holidays
- A sample High-Holiday sermon about global hunger and what we, as Jews, can do about it, by Rabbi Steven Exler
- Unetaneh Tokef: Challenging the Destiny of Hunger, an original reading to augment the Unetaneh Tokef prayer
- Ten Things Your Community Can Do About Hunger, by AJWS President Ruth W. Messinger
“We are launching Fighting Hunger from the Ground Up because hunger is an issue where every word spoken, every action taken and every dollar contributed can quite literally help somebody survive,” Messinger said. “The world produces more than enough food every year. There needs to be a more universal understanding that hunger is not the result of a sudden drought and it is not about scarcity, but rather a function of inequities in control over the means of food production and distribution. The result has been poverty on a massive scale that has left more than one-sixth of the world’s population without sufficient food.
“The message we need rabbis to communicate to their congregations this High Holiday season is that hunger is a political problem. As such, it can be solved— and Jews have an obligation to participate in the solution.
“We can help end hunger by supporting indigenous groups that are effectively using sustainable methods to grow their own food and organizing to protect their land and water sources while pooling resources such as seed supplies, natural fertilizer and equipment. We can also play a major role in achieving universal food security by advocating for trade and foreign assistance policies that better serve and protect the interests of local farmers around the world.”
A PDF of “Sealed for a year of plenty: Challenging the destiny of hunger” is available for download at http://ajws.org/assets/uploaded_documents/ftgu_high_holidays_packet.pdf.
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David L. Marcus