AJWS Gathers American Jews for Educational Program on Hunger, Encourages Congressional Action on Stalled Farm Bill
New York, NY; October 29, 2012— More than 200 synagogues, college groups and households across the U.S. will participate in American Jewish World Service’s 3rd annual Global Hunger Shabbat on November 2-3. During Global Hunger Shabbat, participants will examine the root causes of global hunger and commit to advocate for passage of U.S. food aid policy that would support people in the developing world growing their own food to feed themselves and their communities.
American Jewish World Service (AJWS), the only Jewish organization focused on empowering people in the developing world to end poverty and realize their human rights, anchors this weekend of learning and action in the Jewish Sabbath, a period traditionally centered on worship, study and rest.
“Global Hunger Shabbat is about ensuring that people in developing countries are able to grow their own food and feed themselves with dignity,” said AJWS president Ruth Messinger. “Our responsibility as Americans and Jews is to change ineffective U.S. policies that contribute systemically to global hunger, especially in the developing world. We must urge Congress to reauthorize the Farm Bill with new reforms that empower local communities to grow and consume their own food.”
Global Hunger Shabbat is a key component of AJWS’s Reverse Hunger campaign, an initiative to rally the American Jewish community to change U.S. food and agriculture policies which the organization believes are major contributors to global hunger. Global Hunger Shabbat provides participants with resources about the U.S. Farm Bill and its impact on food prices and the livelihoods of small-scale farmers in developing countries.
Over the past year, AJWS has mobilized thousands of American Jews around hunger and Farm Bill reform. In June, AJWS and its partners in the Jewish Farm Bill Working Group delivered a petition with over 18,000 signatures to the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives and officials of the Obama Administration demanding a food system that pursues long-term, sustainable approaches to eradicating hunger. AJWS also organized hundreds of Jewish activists throughout the country to meet with their representatives to talk about global hunger and the Farm Bill.
“Our community has made tremendous strides in the battle for international food aid reform that could save millions more lives,” said Messinger. “Let’s tap into the power of our community and keep the pressure on our government to enact policies that make economic and moral sense.”
To help individuals, congregations and communities host Global Hunger Shabbat events, AJWS created an online toolkit (available here), which includes:
- A sample sermon on ending global hunger
- Readings about communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America that are developing innovative solutions to hunger
- Activities and discussion guides for various audiences and ages
- Jewish text studies related to global hunger
- A prayer for the world’s hungry
- Talking points about food insecurity and aid, along with a reading list on these topics
- Suggestions for ways that American Jews can take action to end hunger
To view a map of Global Hunger Shabbat events throughout the country please, visit www.ajws.org/hunger/ghs.
If you are a member of the press and wish to obtain information about our work or speak to a member of our global team on deadline, please contact Madeline Cohen at firstname.lastname@example.org during AJWS office hours from 9 am to 5 pm eastern time, Monday through Thursday. If you are on an urgent deadline on a Friday, over a weekend or during evening hours, please write Stuart Schear at email@example.com.