Rabbis from Across the Country Go to Washington, D.C. to Urge Support for Human Rights

Social justice advocates meet with leaders of Congress and the State Department to lobby for human rights in the developing world

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Twenty-six rabbis from across the country gathered in Washington, D.C. this week as part of a human rights lobbying effort organized by American Jewish World Service (AJWS), the leading Jewish organization supporting advocates for human rights and social change in developing countries.

The rabbis urged Congress and officials at the State Department and USAID to take action on three crucial human rights issues. They advocated for human rights in Guatemala, justice for the Rohingya people in Burma, who have suffered genocide, and an end to the “global gag rule” that restricts U.S. funding for life-saving sexual and reproductive health programs overseas.

The rabbis are participants in a program run by AJWS that collaborates with rabbis to advocate for human rights. They spent Tuesday on Capitol Hill meeting with Democratic and Republican Senators and Representatives and staff members involved in foreign relations, appropriations and other key issues. On Wednesday they met with State Department and USAID officials.

The rabbis arrived in Washington as Congress prepares to debate legislation calling on the U.S. to demand that the governments and military brass in Burma and Guatemala respect the human rights of everyone in their countries, including long-oppressed ethnic minority groups.

“The new Congress is already challenging the Trump administration on issues of American foreign aid and support for human rights,” said Robert Bank, President and CEO of AJWS. “These rabbis are playing a key role in educating elected officials and the public about the importance of U.S. leadership on the global stage in standing up for human rights.”

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About American Jewish World Service (AJWS)

American Jewish World Service (AJWS) is the leading Jewish organization working to pursue justice and fight poverty in the developing world. By supporting hundreds of social change organizations in 19 countries, we respond to the most pressing issues of our time—from disasters, genocide and hunger to the persecution of women and minorities worldwide. With Jewish values and a global reach, AJWS is making a difference in millions of lives and bringing a more just and equitable world closer for all. Learn more at www.ajws.org.

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