Tag Archives: Peace

Seynabou Male Cissé wins prize from Women’s World Summit Foundation

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Seynabou Male Cissé

Seynabou Male Cissé, leader of AJWS grantee Comité Régional de Solidarité des Femmes pour la Paix en Casamance*/USOFORAL in Senegal, recently won the Women’s World Summit Foundation (WWSF) Prize for Women’s Creativity in Rural Life. The annual prize celebrates the International Day of Rural Women on October 15. Every year, WWSF awards 10 notable women with this prize, honoring female leaders for their courageous and creative work in the rural women’s movement. Read More »

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President Obama’s Push for Peace in Senegal

President Obama was in Senegal last week, the first stop on his three-country visit to Africa. The trip kicks off Obama’s efforts to deepen the United States’ engagement in Africa focusing on trade and investment, democratic institution-building and economic opportunities for young people. The president is traveling with a team of economic advisors and representatives from the private sector and will be speaking with members of civil society and judicial leaders.

Why Senegal Was Chosen

The US ambassador to Senegal affirmed that Senegal was selected because of its political stability and democratic record. Indeed, the Senegalese people are the pride of West Africa because last year they peacefully elected as president an opposition member in a highly contested presidential race. The country plays an important diplomatic role in francophone Africa. It is a large contributor of troops to international peacekeeping missions and a strong US ally in fighting transnational security threats including terrorism, drug trafficking and maritime piracy.

We were thrilled to see Senegal host President Obama and it was a moment to celebrate his homecoming to the land of Teranga (hospitality). Read More »

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Sukkah of Peace: Chag v’Chesed Holiday Dvar Tzedek, Sukkot 5773

Few symbols associated with our holiday cycle are as colorful and interesting as the sukkah. Following the biblical command that we should dwell in this temporary and frail shelter for seven days, many Jews today will not eat under a fixed roof during the entire period of the festival, taking their meals in the sukkah and eating, conversing, singing—truly a moving experience.

What is the meaning of this commandment? I offer one insight from a line in the Hashkivenu prayer, contained in each evening service, which reads: “Ufros Aleinu Sukkat Shlomecha—Spread over us the sukkah of Your peace.”  Read More »

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Interview With Ruth Messinger: AJWS’s Liberia Study Tour

Left to Right: AJWS President Ruth Messinger, Liberian activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee and American Jewish feminist writer Letty Cottin Pogrebin

An intergenerational group of American Jews recently traveled with AJWS to Liberia to learn how Liberian women are effecting social change. Melia Plotkin, an AJWS intern, caught up with AJWS President Ruth Messinger to learn about the trip:

Melia: This was your first trip to Liberia. What was it like to travel to a country where AJWS’s work is well-established?

Ruth: Much of our work in Liberia supports human rights for women, adolescent girls and people with disabilities—issues I care about deeply. Some of the Liberian women we met were leaders in the peace and reconciliation efforts to end Liberia’s civil war. I was enormously inspired to see that these women have remained leaders in their communities and are teaching young people about the importance of human rights and education. One woman was asked how an AJWS grantee had benefited her. She answered: “I can now write down my phone number and give it to someone else.” It was a staggeringly simple comment that reminded me why our work matters.

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Stop the Violence in Sudan!

It’s pretty upsetting that Sudan has experienced a series of events that could reignite a civil war between the North and South of the country. After an overwhelming vote for succession in January 2011—the last stage in fulfilling the 2005 peace agreement that ended more than 20 years of fighting—South Sudan is just six weeks away from formal independence.

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