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Darfur: Are We Part of the Problem or the Solution?

I brought my 7th grade class to the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington last Sunday. I wish I could say they were learning past history. The sad news is, they were not. The very same day, people gathered in front of White House to protest the genocide in Darfur. The U.S. Holocaust Museum has added an exhibit about the genocide in Darfur. It is situated between Holocaust history and survivor testimony.

Someone once quipped, “If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.” Which are we? We have a sign on our synagogue’s lawn, “Not on our watch, Save Dafur.” What are we willing to do so another genocide does not happen on our watch?

As individuals we may not have the clout of a Steven Spielberg, mentioned by Rabbis Waxman and Stern, but together we can make a difference. We can write to President Bush and our Congress people to enact what is called Plan B for Darfur: to enact and enforce targeted sanctions against the Sudan, to enforce a no-fly zone over Darfur, to authorize aide, and to support UN peacekeepers to keep pressure up on China. We can make donations to the Save Darfur Coalition, and work in our local communities to raise awareness.


Last year, my 7th grade class joined me at the large Darfur rally after we visited the Holocaust Museum. Following their visit, the class sold donuts for Darfur and raised $360.36. I was there when they counted the money, so I can attest that no one added anything to make these numbers come out the way they did. The funds added up to twice double chai (chai=18), which symbolizes life. Perhaps it was a siman, a sign, that this next generation can do what our generation has not yet been able to do: build a world in which genocides will no longer be allowed to occur. In the meantime, we must do what we can so when our children ask what we did during this tragedy, we can at least say we did not stand idly by while another genocide occurred.


–Posted by Rabbi Susan Grossman

Read the Full Debate: What Should Jews Do About Darfur?

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posted May 6, 2007 at 4:08 am

The “someone” you quote is Eldridge Cleaver.

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