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Archive for : Child Abuse & Neglect

Monday Link Round up

Happy Monday and happy day-after-the-Oscars! Hopefully you had fun cheering on your favorite stars, laughing (or not) at Billy Crystal’s jokes, and sizing up the fashion on the red carpet. To get you in the spirit for the rest of the week, here is Repair the World’s weekly round up of service-related posts from around the web.

  • The Huffington Post reported on which Oscar nominees were the most charitable. (For Repair the World’s coverage on Hollywood volunteering and philanthropy, click here.)
  • JTA published a story on the first anniversary of the devastating tsunamis in Japan about the positive impact Israeli disaster responders had in helping post-tsunami trauma victims.
  • GOOD helps introduce Bully, an important new documentary about the epidemic of bullying in American schools.
  • GOOD also shared several books that cover the topic of bullying, and different students’ responses to it.
  • Sustainablog shared a story about an urban garden located at a bus stop in London, that is helping to build community. (Includes a great video featuring charming British accents!)

8 Nights of Service: Give Girls the Gift of Rights

Welcome to Repair the World’s 8 Nights of Service: awesome volunteer projects, donation opportunities and tikkun olam ideas to bring service to the center of your Hanukkah celebration!

While many kids in high school are anxious about their homework, friends or extra-curricular activities, in developing countries, young girls deal with much more. Last week, Gabriella Runnels, a high school student in Louisiana, released “It Only Takes A Girl,” a video that highlights some astounding (and often overlooked) issues that effect women and girls in developing countries – like a lack of education, HIV/AIDS, pregnancy – and marriage:

Hanukkah is about bringing light into the darkness – and we think Runnels’ video is a perfect example of shedding light on important issues to inspire change. Join Runnels and give the gift of standing up for the rights, health and empowerment of women and girls around the globe. Here are a few great organizations you can get involved with:

  • Girl Effect: Empowering girls and young women around the world to lift themselves, their families and communities out of poverty.
  • Girls Not Brides: A global partnership working to end the harmful traditional practice of child marriage.
  • Fistula Foundation: Working to restore health and dignity to women injured in childbirth, particularly in developing countries.
  • Rosh Hodesh: It’s a Girl Thing: Encouraging self-esteem, meaningful friendships, and positive Jewish identity for girls.

Let us know how you stand up for women’s rights and health by tweeting @repairtheworld and #8Nights

Leiby Kletzky’s Family Turns Tragedy Into an Opportunity to Help

Several weeks ago, New York City was rocked by a stunning tragedy when an 8-year old Brooklyn boy named Lieby Kletzky was kidnapped and killed by a fellow community member while walking home from camp.

This type of violence is always shocking, but Kletzky’s young age and innocence made the situation even more painful – for his family, for the community, and for everyone who has followed the story.

Now, the Kletzky family has set up a memorial fund to raise money for other at-risk children and families. Specifically, the fund supports orphans, needy families, children falling behind in school, and critically ill young children. As the website says:
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Weekly Torah: Parshat Balak 5771

This post is part of a weekly series of Torah commentaries presented by the American Jewish World Service. It was contributed by Rachel Travis.

A specter of violence and conflict hangs over Parshat Balak. Fearing attack by the approaching Israelite nation, Balak, king of Moab, hires the prophet Bilaam to curse the Israelites. Balak entreats Bilaam: “come then, put a curse upon this people for me, since they are too numerous for me… for I know that he whom you bless is blessed indeed, and he whom you curse is cursed.” ((Bamidbar 22:5-6.))

In Balak’s day, this request was neither metaphorical nor symbolic: his was a society deeply entrenched in sorcery and magic, where benedictions and imprecations were thought to tangibly and powerfully impact the physical world. ((“Introduction to Parshat Balak.” Dr. J H Hertz, ed. Soncino Chumash. London: Soncino Press, 1996. p. 668.)) Balak’s attempt to curse Israel was therefore a calculated decision with powerful resonance for his people. Understood thus, the nature of his request is striking. Given the option of strengthening his own nation or cursing his rivals, he prefers a malediction.
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Skilled volunteers sought for Rwandan youth village

The Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) is a safe and structured residential community for orphaned children in Rwanda. The Village, which opened its doors to its first class of students in December 2008, is a place of hope where traumatized youth can “dry their tears” (Agahozo) and “live in peace” (Shalom). In December 2010 the third class will enter the Village, for a total of 378 students.

Within this caring environment, the rhythm of life is restored, so that youth who have been through great trauma find a home and a community, as well as a place to learn and become leaders for tomorrow. The youth who come to live and learn in the ASYV will grow into healthy adults who are not only able to care for themselves and their families, but who are also committed to making their community, their country, and indeed the world a better place.
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