General

Is a Gazan cancer patient carrying explosives a threat to the promotion of human rights?

No Comments 23 April 2017

Rabbis for Human Rights is horrified by the use of cancer treatments as a means of transporting explosives into Israel, and hopes the circumstances of this incident will become clear soon. Although we have no expectations from extremist organizations, they have seriously endangered the possibility of medical treatment for the many ill patients in Gaza —  their own people.

Erez Crossing between Gaza and Israel

Erez Crossing between Gaza and Israel

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General

Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Memorial Day and Human Rights

No Comments 23 April 2017

By Rabbi Yehiel Grenimann

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General, Legal Work, Press Releases

Army prohibits activists from removing unauthorised and offensive signs in Hebron

No Comments 19 April 2017

PRESS RELEASE | APRIL 19 2017
Israeli army prohibits Rabbis for Human Rights and Palestinian activists from removing unauthorised and offensive signs in Hebron 

General, Legal Work

Our duty as free people once enslaved: Dvar Torah for Passover 5777

No Comments 09 April 2017

Moses_LOC

“As Rabbi Marshall Meyer said: ‘The role of the rabbi is the role of the prophet, to speak truth to power, to voice the conscience of society.'”

Rabbi Idit Lev

The story of the Exodus is a miraculous story of redemption. The people, who did not fight at all to change their condition,were redeemed from slavery when God decided to act. God is represented by Moses, who is a leader, a prophet and a legislator. The life of Moses, who grew up as a free man, is understood to be part of his preparation for leadership. He did not grow up in slavery and later found a way to resist it. Rather he saw the enslavement from the other side and knew he was a part of those people, but he himself lived a different life in the palace of King Pharaoh.

Moses did not seek to be a leader, and when God appointed him as one he bargained with Him fiercely before agreeing to represent God and lead the people.

Moses’s mission to Egypt was twofold: he had to both persuade Pharaoh to let the Israelites leave, and persuade the Israelites that God had the power to extract them from Egypt and bring them to a life of freedom. In Exodus 10:2, in the middle of the story about the plagues, it says: “and that thou mayest tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son’s son, what I have wrought upon Egypt, and My signs which I have done among them; that ye may know that I am the LORD.”

Moses manages to convince the Israelites to exit Egypt and to persuade Pharaoh to let them go. Moses, however, finds that he must constantly reiterate God’s messages and teach God’s laws to the Children of Israel. Over and over, he attempts to educate them and persuade them to follow those laws.

Passover is associated with freedom and the transformation of the Israelites from slavery to redemption in Exodus. During the month of Nissan, we at Rabbis for Human Rights think and speak about our moral duty to repair the wrongs of our society, the wrongs that we commit against all of the disempowered groups among us: people living in poverty, Palestinians, Bedouin, refugees and asylum seekers, the disabled, and women. We seek to learn from the Exodus the lesson of our duty as free people once enslaved, as well as our moral responsibility not to rule over another people, and to care for the orphan, the stranger, and the widow of our times.

When we make these analogies we do not always remember that when the Jewish people changed they did so with the help of a leader who called God forth. Moses’s direct connection with God, and the faith that guided him in his actions, were the basis for his leadership, and I have no doubt that this calling was evident in every step he took.

Now, as Passover approaches, we at Rabbis for Human Rights remember that today we must take on the role of Moses. As Rabbi Marshall Meyer said: “The role of the rabbi is the role of the prophet, to speak truth to power, to voice the conscience of society.” This role is essential in modern Israel and we perform it with humility, conviction, and passion in each and every one of our many projects. In the coming weeks, as we mark fifty years of occupation, we will continue to strive to fulfill the vision of Israel’s prophets as we demand an end to the vile injustices at one of Judaism’s most holiest, and most desecrated cities: Hebron. Over the years, Jewish settlers have sought to undermine the historic and cultural rights of Palestinians living in areas in Hebron under the control of Israel by changing the Arabic names of the streets and replacing street signs with signs in Hebrew and English only. This is done in areas where the majority of residents are Palestinians. Historic placards and mosaics on buildings, walls, and sites now appear without any Arabic, often with new names and in some cases, on privately owned Palestinian property without the owner’s consent. We at Rabbis for Human Rights, as Israelis, Jews, and people of conscience, cannot accept this injustice. We asked the army to take down the signs, but they refused — so together with Palestinian activists, we will do it ourselves. We don’t expect it to be easy — indeed the press and the extremist settler community have already caught wind of our plans — but nevertheless we will persist because human rights are for all humans.

“You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” -Exodus 22:21

Will you show us your support by giving a generous donation in honor of Passover, Moses, and the right of ALL people to live freely and in dignity?

Purim Sameach!-5

Thank you and chag sameach!

Rabbi Idit Lev
Director of Rabbis for Human Rights socio-economic justice programs

Thank you to Rabbi Mauricio Balter for assistance in preparing this dvar Torah

General

Passover human rights haggadah supplements

No Comments 31 March 2017

The connection between Passover and human rights is explicit and unavoidable. We encourage all who attend or host a seder to include at least some discussion on the topic. 

As in years past, please find below Rabbis for Human Rights’ special human rights themed Passover haggadah supplements. They are:

  • “Which child am I?”
  • “Commentary to the Torah by Rabbi Samson Rapael Hirsch.”  
  • Refugee haggadah

 Please feel free to use these materials as you see fit.

Passover Haggadah SupPlements-2
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General, Parasha / E-Letter

Weekly Parasha: Between our aspirations and our realities

No Comments 22 March 2017

In honoring Shabbat, many of us help to build “sanctuaries in time.” In her commentary below, Rabbi Miri Gold helps us understand how we can also contribute to building sanctuaries of justice and righteousness in our every day, earthly reality.  Continue Reading

General

Israeli human rights NGOs stand in solidarity with Human Rights Watch

1 Comment 26 February 2017

Rabbis for Human Rights is proud to join other NGOs and civil service organisations in Israel in condemning Israel’s decision to deny Omar Shakir, a Human Rights Watch worker, a visa to enter the country. The following advertisement was published today February 26 2017 in popular print magazine Haaretz, in both Hebrew and English. Text reads: Continue Reading

Field Reports, General, Occupied Territories

Repeated attacks on Palestinian students in South Hebron Hills

No Comments 26 February 2017

Last Wednesday (February 15 2017), international activists reported another attack on Palestinian students on their way to school in the village A Tuwani by Israeli extremists coming from the direction of the illegal outpost Havat Maon. Attacks on Palestinian students in the region have become so routine that an army patrol jeep has been tasked to escort the students and increase their efforts to apprehend the perpetrators. Yet, as far as we know, security forces have not ramped up their efforts to catch those responsible,  while the patrol itself often does not show up to provide  protection to the students, forcing them to decide between taking the risk of possibly being attacked, or accruing frequent classroom absences.

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General

“Jerusalem Bedouin – to the Garbage Dump!”

1 Comment 23 February 2017

By Deborah Greniman

“Several years ago, we took a short drive into Kfar Adumim, a pleasant bedroom suburb of Jerusalem, on the well-traveled road linking Jerusalem to Ma’ale Adumim, Jericho and the Dead Sea. In a bid to attract young families, a huge sign over the settlement’s entrance read “Education is our highest priority!” Indeed, Kfar Adumim has a beautiful school. ” Please click here to read the full blog posted on the Times of Israel Continue Reading

Field Reports, General, Justice in Israel-Negev Bedouin, Occupied Territories, Press Releases

February 10: Tu B’Shevat tree planting with Palestinians and Bedouin!

No Comments 30 January 2017

PRESS RELEASE | JANUARY 6 2017

Rabbis for Human Rights invites you to celebrate Tu B’Shevat with us on February 10th at our annual tree planting with Palestinians in the occupied territories, and at Bedouin village Umm al Hiran! 

Tu BShevat flier EnglishJPEG2

Rabbis for Human Rights will hold tree planting events in order to celebrate the Jewish “New Year of the Trees” (Tu B’Shevat) in a West Bank Palestinian village where olive trees were uprooted, and in the unrecognized Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran in the Negev. The event in Umm Al Hiran will be held in a partnership with the Negev Recognition Forum and Oz Veshalom-Netivot Shalom, the Orthodox-Jewish religious peace organization; and Rabbinical students from T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, will participate in the event. Both events will take place on Friday February 10th.

Event in the West Bank

Every year, Rabbis for Human Rights donates olive trees to Palestinian villages where extremist settlers have previously uprooted or destroyed olive trees. Once again on Tu B’Shevat of 5777 [2017], we will join these farmers in the field, helping them put the trees in the ground.

Together with volunteers from both Israel and from Jewish communities across the world, we show a different face of Judaism and express our condemnation of the injustice perpetrated against Palestinian farmers and their agriculture. Returning trees to the ground acts as a powerful symbol of hope for peace between the two peoples!

Olive trees are integral to life in the West Bank. According to OCHA , around 183,000 hectares of land in occupied territories are cultivated for agriculture, nearly half of it for olive trees, mostly in the North and Northwest West Bank. “Between 80,000 and 100,000 families are said to rely on olives and olive oil for primary or secondary sources of income and the sector employs large numbers of unskilled laborers and approximately 15 per cent of working women.” Olive trees connect the Palestinian people to their land and their ancestors, provide income and substance for generations, and are an important symbol of Palestinian culture.

Transportation leaving from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem at 8am with an estimated return at 2pm. It will be available based on the number of participants who sign up. RSVP REQUIRED!!!!  Register here 

Facebook event here

The Tree Planting event in Umm El Hiran:

This coming Friday (10/2) 14th of Shvat, we will also conduct a symbolic tree planting in the yard of the mosque in Umm El Hiran at 10.00 a.m. We will be there to strengthen and express our solidarity to the community.

The unrecognized Bedouin village has recently been in the news because of the Israeli Government`s plan to expel its residents to the township of Hura; and also because of the tragic death there of a police officer and a resident of the village in the action to begin the destruction of the village.

The planting is in cooperation with “Negev Recognition Forum” and with the “Oz VeShalom” movement; and Rabbinical students from T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, will participate in the event.

Transportation & registration  From Beit Shmuel, Jerusalem on Friday, 8:00 a.m. It is possible to contact our office tel. 02-6482757 regarding possible transportation from other places and we will inform you if there will be transportation from Tel Aviv. To sign up, please call our office at 02 -6482757 or email at [email protected]

 

Not in the area or can’t make it? Donate a tree instead! Just $10 purchases an olive sapling. Go here to donate, and be sure to choose “olive tree campaign” in the pull down menu titled projects.

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