Humanitarian to address issues in Darfur

Ruth Messinger, activist, politician and humanitarian will be coming to UVM this Friday to speak about her experiences in Darfur. Messinger, who has held several positions in New York City and also ran for New York City mayor against Rudi Giuliani in 1997, is now wrapping up her term as the President of the American Jewish World Service. “AJWS [American Jewish World Service] is dedicated to alleviating poverty, hunger and disease among the people of the developing world regardless of race, religion or nationality. Through grants to grassroots organizations, volunteer service, advocacy and education, AJWS fosters civil society, sustainable development and human rights for all people, while promoting the values and responsibilities of global citizenship within the Jewish community,” accord?ing to the AJWS website.”The Shabbat and speech will begin at 6:00 p.m. in the Campus Center Theater, Billings, followed by a 7:30 p.m. public reception in Billings Marsh Lounge. The Shabbat service will be led by Rabbi Jim Glazier of Temple Sinai and Rabbi Joshua Chasen of Ohavi Zedek. The event is not ticketed and will be open on a first come, first serve basis. Messinger will speak to students from 4:30 to 5:30 in Billings North Lounge.”Every person wants to tell you about how their village was attacked, local militia are forcing people to leave their small villages,” Messinger said of her experiences in Darfur. The American Jewish World Service has “raised a total of 5.5 million dollars” Messinger said. Seventy-five percent of the money raised has gone to humanitarian aid in Africa, Asia and the Americas and the other 25 percent has been spent on advocacy in the US including lobbying congress, Messinger stated. Messinger said that the organization teaches about is?sues of global responsibility and links them to biblical references such as “Justice, justice shall you pursue”, and “Do not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor.” Messinger said that she hopes that her presentation will help “spread information on campus.” “I hope students come to think about the global needs in the parts of the world that frankly don’t get enough teaching and talking about in most American media,” Messinger said. To learn more about the Amerian Jewish World Service please visit www.ajws.org.