Today is Yom HaShoah

On Yom HaShoah we remember the victims and celebrate the people who fought back

Israel’s parliament (the Knesset) set the date for Yom HaShoah. The full name is “Yom Hashoah Ve-Hagevurah“or the “Day of (Remembrance of) the Holocaust and the Heroism.” This year it starts at sundown on April 27 and goes through sundown on April 28.

This day holds great meaning for Jews worldwide.  The overwhelming theme that runs through all observances is the importance of remembering — recalling the victims of this catastrophe, and insuring that such a tragedy never happen again.

The Shoah (Holocaust) posed an enormous challenge to Judaism and raised many questions: Can one be a believing Jew after the Holocaust?  Where was God? How can one have faith in humanity?  Facing this recent event in history, does it really matter if one practices Judaism?

My Jewish Learning

Bring Paul Rusesabagina home

When genocide came to Rwanda in April 1994, Paul Rusesabagina fought back. As the manager of the Hotel des Milles Collines, he was able to save 1,268 people from certain death. His story was told in the movie, Hotel Rwanda.

Last week, celebrities such as Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, and Chris Evans joined the fight to bring Paul home. This has taken on a renewed urgency as he recently suffered a stroke and needs to be evacuated ASAP.

The good news is that there are things you can to do help:

  • Buy a t-shirt. Proceeds go towards Paul’s legal defense fund.
  • Contact Congress. We need the House of Representatives to pass H. Res 892. You can contact your member of Congress here.
  • Sign our petition to Dr. Jill Biden. As an educator, she understands the importance of using stories like Paul’s to teach people how to make a difference. Let her know you want her to help bring Paul home by signing it here.

We won’t stop fighting until Paul is home.

Help the Uyghurs

Since 2017, China has rounded up and imprisoned between one and two million people. New reports are out that China is not content with simply targeting Uyghurs who live within that nation’s borders but is targeting people who live all around the globe. Thanks to your hard work, President Joe Biden signed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act into law. There is more that we can do.

  • Tell the House to pass the Uyghur Policy Act. This will make the Biden Administration take the crisis with the Uyghurs seriously when dealing with China. Check it out here.
  • Tell Anta Sports to do more. Anta Sports has a huge reach. If you play or watch sports, you have interacted with a product from Anta Sports. They own 25 other companies (Fila, for one) and sponsor athletes all over the planet. Tell them to treat Uyghurs with respect by going here.

End the military junta in Myanmar

Nearly 14 months after the military took control of Burma and their brutality continues. Thanks to your work, Harry Winston stopped selling #GenocideGems, Kirin Beer cut its ties to the Myanmar military, and Chevron is moving out of the country.

  • Get the Senate to pass the BURMA Act. Your letters, emails, calls, and meetings made a difference in the House of Representatives but we need the bill to pass the Senate. Will you contact your senators? You can do that here. We heard from a number of Congressional offices that they were impressed with how many people reached out about this issue — let’s keep it up!
  • Tell TIAA-CREF to stop doing business with genocide. Chevron has been one of the biggest cash cows for the Myanmar military. TIAA-CREF has a lot of pull with Chevron. In the past, they have voted against shareholder resolutions to get Chevron out of the genocide business. In late May, Chevron shareholders will vote on a resolution to prevent Chevron from doing business with genocidal regimes. Let’s make sure TIAA-CREF is on board. Sign our petition here.