Justice, Politics

Rabbis for Human Rights-North America First Conference on Judaism and Human Rights


[Find out more about RHR by watching this video.] From December 10–12, 2006 Rabbis for Human Rights-NA will be hosting the First North American Rabbinic Conference on Judaism & Human Rights for Rabbis, Cantors, and Rabbinic and Cantorial Students.
Bringing together Rabbis from all denominations to address themes of human rights and tools for how to address these issues within congregations, these leaders will also be speaking at sessions open to the public, including:
December 10, 2pm
Shedding Light on Human Rights: A Ritual Celebration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Sunday, International Human Rights Day
Dag Hammerksjold Plaza at the United Nations
Second Avenue @ East 47th Street, adjacent to the United Nations, NYC
Sunday, December 10, 7:00-9:00pm
International Human Rights Day: A Dialogue on Judaism & Human Rights in Our Time, Conference Keynote Address
Delivered by Dr. Moshe Halbertal, Professor of Jewish Philosophy, Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Ken Roth, Executive Director, Human Rights Watch. Followed by discussion moderated by Ruth Messinger, President, American Jewish World Service.
UJA-Federation Conference Facility, 130 East 59th Street @ Lexington Avenue, NYC
Monday, December 11, 2:00-3:30 pm
Torture in Our Time: Panel Discussion
A panel discussion with a survivor of torture and those working to end it, including: Brigadier General Jim Cullen; Elisa Massimino, Human Rights First; Sister Dianna Ortiz, Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International; and moderated by Michael Ratner, President, Center for Constitutional Rights.
UJA-Federation Conference Facility, 130 East 59th Street @ Lexington Avenue, NYC
Monday, December 11, 8:00–10:00 pm
To Do What is Just & Right, Inaugural Raphael Lemkin Human Rights Awards
A special benefit honoring: Rabbis David Forman, Ben Hollander, and David Rosen, Founders of RHR; B’Tselem: The Israeli Information Center on Human Rights in the Occupied Territories (Jessica Montell, Executive Director, will accept the award); Center for Constitutional Rights (Michael Ratner, President, will accept the award). Awards presented by Rabbi David Saperstein, Peter Edelman and Letty Cottin Pogrebin, and Hon. Elizabeth Holtzman. Master of Ceremonies: Leonard Fein. Musical Performance by renowned violinist Alicia Svigals.
Congregation Rodeph Sholom, 7 West 83rd Street @ Central Park West, NYC

The timing for this, particularly in relation to RHR’s work in the United States on ending US torture, is critical as Rumsfeld is brought to trial and we still hear of cases of people like Khaled El-Masri, whose case is just one example of the Bush administration’s use of “extraordinary rendition,” abduction, detention and interrogation in secret overseas prisons. ACLU writes, “A father of six, he was forcibly abducted in Macedonia while on vacation, handed over to the CIA and flown to a secret interrogation center in Afghanistan where he was beaten, drugged and repeatedly denied legal counsel. After two months, CIA operatives informed director George Tenet that they were holding an innocent man. But it still took two more months before he was released — flown in secret to Albania and left alone on a hillside in the middle of the night.”
These cases of torture and abuse by the US are ongoing. Watch the video of Mr. El-Masri and his attorneys telling this story and take action here and here, and join RHR-NA for this weekend of historic events.
crossposted to jspot

3 thoughts on “Rabbis for Human Rights-North America First Conference on Judaism and Human Rights

  1. This is very exciting.
    Though I can’t get to NYC, I will be in the company of Arik Asherman and Brian Walt (and other RHR’s) on Monday night.
    Thanks for the post.

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