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ACWJ Announces New Social Media Campaign To Protest Violations of Women's Rights in Israel

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Council Joins Israeli Grassroots Efforts Supporting Democracy for All

December 29, 2011 (New York, NY) -- On the eve of major demonstrations scheduled to take place throughout Israel to protest discrimination against women, the American Council for World Jewry announced another in its series of social media campaigns designed to inform and rally supporters on an issue critical to Israeli society.

“In recent weeks, Israel has witnessed the growing incidence of some women being forced to sit in the back of the bus, or women’s faces being erased or torn down from advertisements, and attempts to silence the voice of women singers,” said ACWJ Chairman Jack Rosen.  “It’s reprehensible and unacceptable in a free society.  We can’t eliminate bigotry from from someone’s heart, but public space, by definition, is for everyone, and it must be defended fiercely.”

Since its birth in 1948, Israel has dealt with societal tensions between its secular and religious citizens.  Many aspects of Israeli life -- birth, death and burial, bar and bat mitzvahs, weddings and divorces -- long have been controlled by religious law.  But the growing political strength of a significant segment of observant Jews has brought with it an effort to expand religious authority into the public arena, and a large coalition of Israelis is saying “stop.”

“This is not just a women’s issue,” said Zeev Rubenstein, ACWJ’s Executive Director.  “The Council strongly supports those marching in the streets, a majority of Israeli men and women who share a fundamental commitment to Israeli democracy.  Tolerance, openness, and adherence to the rule of law are the hallmarks of Israeli society, and no one can take that away from us.  Denial of equal rights to women is one of the key problems around the globe, including in much of the Middle East.  These protests will succeed, because Israel will not succumb to forces of intolerance that are rampant in too many neighborhoods.”

The ACWJ campaign asks supporters to sign a petition, which will be delivered to Israel’s leaders, demanding the government take every measure available to defend women’s rights.

To sign the petition, go to:

ADL And ACWJ Honor Muslim President Of Senegal For His Commitment To Religious Pluralism

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

New York, NY... The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the American Council for World Jewry honored the president of Senegal in recognition of his leadership and commitment to promoting interfaith dialogue and religious tolerance.

His Excellency Abdoulaye Wade, President of the Republic of Senegal, was presented with theInternational Friendship Awardon September 22 during his visit to New York City in conjunction with the opening of the U.N. General Assembly.

"I'm very honored to receive this award for interfaith dialogue," President Wade said in accepting the award."I believe in this dialogue because I come from a country where 95 percent of our people are Muslim and 5 percent are Christians.We have always lived together in peace and perfect harmony."

The award was presented by Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, and Jack Rosen, ACWJ President, at a luncheon attended by a number of high-ranking diplomats and other dignitaries hosted at ADL National Headquarters in Manhattan.

"He's a man who has accomplished a great deal and the kind of person our community needs to know much better," Mr. Rosen said of President Wade."He is a man who has demonstrated true outstanding leadership.He is a champion of tolerance, of common-sense wisdom, a great leader of a proud Muslim nation who has played a key role in reaching out to people of all walks of life."Mr. Rosen noted that President Wade had worked with Jewish organizations to promote interfaith dialogue, and has been working behind the scenes to urge the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas to free the kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Mr. Foxman praised the Senegalese leader, a Muslim, for a landmark 2006 speech when Senegal held the presidency of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, where Mr. Wade spoke out strongly against Holocaust denial and for universal Holocaust education.

"We can never forget your words," said Mr. Foxman, a Holocaust survivor."You made clear then, and in your presence here with us today, that there is room for dialogue among Muslims and Jews, that we can respect one another, that we should not ignore the long and important history of coexistence between our two people down through the centuries, and that we can learn something from our shared histories and rekindle again a positive relationship in the 21stCentury.… For this, and for your leadership, we cannot thank you enough."

Mr. Wade expressed a dream of bringing together leaders of the world's three major faiths for a world conference to promote peace and interfaith dialogue.

In addition to the ADL-ACWJ award, the Senegalese President was presented with a gift of a traditional Jewish paper cut artwork, etched in six languages with the Biblical phrase, "Thus said the Lord, Blessed be He, to Israel: My beloved children, what do I ask of you?Only that you love and respect one another."


American Council welcomes Dan Shapiro nomination

Thursday, 10 March 2011

New York, NY – The American Council for World Jewry welcomed President Obama’s announcement of Daniel Shapiro as the next U.S. Ambassador to Israel.

Council Chairman Jack Rosen said, “Anyone who has dealt with Capitol Hill or the White House over the past 15 years knows that Dan Shapiro is committed to advancing U.S. strategic goals in the region, including peace and security for the State of Israel. He is a proven conciliator, with a sharp intellect and creative energy. The bilateral relationship between the United States and the State of Israel will be well served with Dan Shapiro as ambassador, and I urge the Senate to confirm his nomination at the earliest opportunity.”

The American Council for World Jewry brings an American voice of support to Jewish communities overseas, and seeks to build bridges with other communities and regions, particularly in the Muslim world. Its overall goal is to build constructive alliances, combat anti-Semitism, and defend the State of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state at peace with its neighbors.

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