On April 27th, Mia Farrow began fasting in solidarity with the people of Darfur, who face ever worsening suffering since Sudanese President Bashir expelled over a dozen aid organizations from the country.
Mia Farrow had to stop fasting due to health reasons, and since then elected officials, activists, and celebrities including Congressman Donald Payne, musician Peter Gabriel, as well as hundreds of activists in over 35 countries have joined the fast, forming a chain of fasters. For six years, a genocide has raged in Darfur.
Each day, mothers and fathers living in camps look into the eyes of their children knowing that they would sacrifice anything for them — but being unable to provide them with the basic food and clean water that they need. As the rainy season threatens mass migration and epidemics in Darfur, rabbis across the continent are invited to fast June 18th. I will be doing this to coincide with the last day of a three day solidarity fast with Rabbi David Saperstein of the Religious Action Center and other clergy and international activists trying to end this ongoing genocide. Visit www.fastdarfur.org for more information on the fast.
For those of us fasting in solidarity with the people of Darfur, our hunger is a choice and a temporary state. But there are hundreds of millions worldwide — in Darfur and elsewhere — who feel powerless and who have no choice. They are crying, and we must hear them.
Rabbis, Cantors and student clergy:
The fast is a water-only fast, from sundown June 17th to sundown June 18th. So that we may keep track of those fasting and create a community of solidarity, please RSVP to me at SZevit@jrf.org
For lay leaders, communal staff, educators and congregational members please see Ruth Messenger's AJWS initiative to join in the effort.
From the Fast for Darfur website: www.fastdarfur.org
"The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has reduced the daily food ration for Sudanese refugees to 1,050 calories — about half an average person’s minimum daily requirement — because donor countries have contributed less than one-third of promised funds for 2006. This severe food cutback, together with attacks on civilians and the humanitarian aid operations trying to help them, endangers the lives of over 2.5 million uprooted Sudanese.
In response to this food ration reduction, many concerned citizens have begun a fast of 1,000 calories per day to stand in solidarity with the victims of genocide in Darfur. Our 40-day fast, which began on May 9th and end on June 17th, has two specific goals: First, we demand the protection of civilians in Darfur through the immediate intervention of an international peacekeeping force of sufficient size and strength to end the genocide. Second, we challenge donor countries to fulfill their promises to fully fund humanitarian aid operations in Sudan and Chad. We appeal to persons of good faith everywhere to reflect upon the urgent situation in Darfur and take action in support of these goals."
Please circulate as you deem appropriate,
Rabbi Shawn Zevit
Director of Outreach and Tikkun Olam
Jewish Reconstructionist Federation
101 Greenwood Avenue
Beit Devora, Suite 430
Jenkintown, PA 19046
Cleveland Office: 216-591-1886