FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Thursday, October 17, 2019
Indianapolis JCRC Joins a National Network To End the Rohingya Genocide
INDIANAPOLIS, IN: The Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) is announcing it has joined the Jewish Rohingya Justice Network (JRJN)*. Inspired by the Jewish commitment to pursue justice, the Jewish Rohingya Justice Network works to promote a robust U.S. and international response to the Rohingya genocide. Convened by the American Jewish World Service (AJWS), the JRJN is a coalition of 26 American Jewish organizations that together encompass the support of millions of American Jews, including all four major denominational branches of Judaism. Together, we are committed to ending the atrocities against the Rohingya people.
The Rohingya are a majority-Muslim minority ethnic group that has been persecuted by Myanmar (Burma) for decades. Since the targeted violence against the Rohingya by the Burmese military in 2017, over 700,000 Rohingya have fled and are now in refugee camps in neighboring Bangladesh, constituting the largest and fastest-growing refugee crisis in the world.
The JRJN invited the Indianapolis JCRC to join this network because of the work we are doing to address the Rohingya crisis alongside our local community partners, including OBAT Helpers, the Center for Interfaith Cooperation, and the Muslim Alliance of Indiana. Joining the JRJN will connect the greater Indianapolis community to a powerful consortium of Jewish NGOs advocating for the rights of the persecuted Rohingya people.
Since our founding in 1942, the Indianapolis JCRC has often raised awareness of the plight of persecuted groups, and advocated that our elected officials engage to help end ethnic cleansing and genocide.
Today, Hoosiers are in a unique position to make a positive impact on ending the genocide through our Congressional leadership. Indiana’s entire House of Representatives delegation unanimously voted for The Burma United through Rigorous Military Accountability Act (H.R.3190), which overwhelmingly passed the full House in September, 2019. Early in 2019, Indiana Senator Todd Young, who serves on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, co-sponsored the bipartisan Burma Human Rights and Freedom Act of 2019 (S. 1186), which unfortunately has not yet received a committee hearing. The Indy JCRC and the JRJN thank Senator Young for his leadership and encourage Leader McConnell to allow the bill to move forward.
Indy JCRC Communications Coordinator, Aaron Welcher (who is representing the JCRC on the JRJN), said the following about why the JCRC felt it so important to join the network: “Throughout Jewish history, we have known what it is like to face persecution, expulsion, and genocide. These experiences, along with our understanding of Jewish values, impels us to speak out when any people is targeted because of religion, race, ethnicity, or identity. By joining this national network the Jewish community is acting on our promise that “never again” means no genocide ever again against any people. Today we are honored to stand with a united Jewish community to continue to act on this promise and bring relief to the persecuted Rohingya people of Myanmar (Burma).”
*Jewish Rohingya Justice Network Members include: American Jewish Committee, American Jewish World Service, The Association of Rabbis and Cantors, Anti-Defamation League, Cantors Assembly, HIAS, JACOB, Jewish Community Relations Council of Indianapolis, Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Jewish Labor Committee, Jewish World Watch, The Orthodox Union, Rabbinical Assembly, Reconstructing Judaism, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, T’ruah and The Union for Reform Judaism. Network Allies: Foundation for Ethic Understanding, Hebrew College, The Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Committee, Never Again Coalition, The New York Board of Rabbis, The Shalom Center, and Uri L’Tzedek.
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