Welcome to the Human Rights Shabbat Resource Pack for 5780 (2019). Human Rights Shabbat is always the closest Shabbat to December 10th, International Human Rights Day, when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed in 1948.
Our namesake, Monsieur René Cassin, co-drafted the Declaration and was one of many Jews involved in establishing a post-war framework that ensured the horror of the Jewish experience of the Holocaust would never again be repeated as ‘everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms… without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status‘ (Article 2, Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
However, across Britain today, we are experiencing increasing hostility towards minority groups, with 2018-19 seeing over 100,000 incidents. Reported rises in hate crime add to the notion that our communities are becoming less cohesive.
The Jewish community has benefited from the protection of rights, producing a proud practising community deeply rooted in the wider society. However, we carry in our heritage, values and teachings, warning of the dangers of hate and intolerance, and the importance of standing in solidarity with others
Human Rights Shabbat is an annual event facilitated by René Cassin and as such we decided to dedicate it to raise awareness and work together to promote tolerance and respect for all minority groups.
For this year’s Human Rights Shabbat, we have developed ‘’A Jewish Response to Hate Crime’ , a unique resource designed to explore the different of hate crimes, case studies and and reference to Jewish meditations related to hate crime.
To produce this resource, we worked with partners from across the Jewish community and beyond, with a special thank you to student Rabbi Gabriel Webber, Alice Akca and Sam Alston, and we hope it equips your community to better work to challenge Hate Crime affecting not just Jews but everyone in our society.