New York, NY; March 11, 2013— American Jewish World Service (AJWS), the leading Jewish organization working to promote human rights and end poverty in the developing world, has joined with Florida Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz to release a Passover commentary connecting the rights of women and girls with this holiday dedicated to celebrating freedom. Rep. Wasserman Schultz wrote the holiday commentary to pay tribute to women worldwide during Women’s History Month and to call on fellow Jews to rededicate themselves to fighting for gender equality.
“This Passover, I am particularly focused on the rights of women and girls, both in our own backyard and around the world,” writes Rep. Wasserman Schultz. “The Talmud teaches us that the optimism and initiative of Jewish women ensured our redemption from slavery in Egypt. And today, women are often still the catalysts for change and liberation; yet too many women around the world are still enslaved and oppressed—including the victims of rape and violence, those who are denied an education and those coerced into sex trafficking.”
“AJWS joins Rep. Wasserman Schultz in recognizing that women are at the forefront of the fight for freedom and dignity worldwide,” said AJWS president Ruth Messinger. “We are deeply moved by her Passover commentary, which calls for the advancement of women’s sexual health and rights, equal access to education, and the end of forced child marriage and violence against women.”
AJWS frequently invites prominent Jewish leaders to write holiday commentaries that explore the theme of social justice from a Jewish perspective. These commentaries are designed for readers of all backgrounds who are interested in Jewish thought regarding human rights and the essential dignity of all people. AJWS’s materials are designed to be easily printed for personal use or for distribution in synagogues and community centers.
Rep. Wasserman Schultz’s Passover piece is available here.
Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Rep. Wasserman Schultz represents Florida’s 23rd Congressional district, which encompasses parts of Broward and Miami-Dade counties. She is a member of the House Committee on Appropriations and serves on the Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, where she advocates for funding for security, economic and humanitarian assistance and works to reduce poverty around the world. She is also a member of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues, a bipartisan Members’ organization dedicated to promoting women’s economic, health, legal and educational interests. The first Jewish Congresswoman ever elected from Florida, Rep. Wasserman Schultz introduced the resolution behind Jewish American Heritage Month, now celebrated annually in May.
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