Regular Shabbat observers and novices alike are invited to join the first annual Global Hunger Shabbat this week on March 19-20. Spearheaded by the international organization, American Jewish World Service (AJWS) as part of their Fighting Hunger from the Ground Up campaign, it offers an opportunity for local communities (AJWS estimates participation from 5,000 people) to raise awareness and solidarity around issues of unjust food access, poverty, and hunger across the world.
Participation can include anything from hosting a Shabbat dinner or lunch conversation around the issue of food access, giving a speech or sermon at your synagogue, JCC or in your house, bringing the topic into the classroom, or organizing a day of action in the fight against hunger.
Jewish communities have a long history of learning during Shabbat meals (hence the “lunch and learns” hosted by nearly every synagogue community across the country). Jewish tradition also deeply believes in ensuring fair food access for all – and with more than 1.02 billion people around the world existing without enough food, there could not be a better time to raise awareness.
So, where to begin? To make things simple as possible, AJWS has created a range of educational materials for Shabbat dinner hosts, teachers, and college students to help shape and guide conversations. (Shabbat newbies: mix and match one of the guides with this helpful 101 guide to Shabbat from The Jew & The Carrot, and you’ll be hosting in no time.)