Human Rights Shabbat 5781 (2020)

Posted on Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020

‘How can Jewish experience and principles inform the prevention of genocide today?’ 

Over the past few months, the Jewish community and the world have been moved and troubled by issues of social justice.  Now is a chance to consolidate, formalise and act on our collective desire for change within our schools, synagogues, youth movements and communities.

René Cassin has been running the cross-communal ‘Human Rights Shabbat’ Programme for over ten years. Human Rights Shabbat marks the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights drafted on the 10th December 1948, by our namesake Monsieur René Cassin. You can have a look at previous Human Rights Shabbat resources, which are designed to help you deliver sessions or events for all ages in your community, on our website.

Human Rights Shabbat 5781 will be held on December 12th 2020, Shabbat Chanukah. We will be focusing on the theme of Genocide and asking the question ‘How can Jewish experience and principles inform the prevention of genocide today?’ 

With genocides taking place today in living memory of the Shoah, such as the persecution of the Muslim Uyghurs in China, and this year’s Human Rights Shabbat falling on the 2nd and 3rd nights of Chanukah, the theme hopes to explore the moral authority and moral responsibility we have as Jews as ‘speakers by experience’ to take action to ensure it is indeed ‘never again’. 

 Over the course of Shabbat, Jewish communities and movements will be running study sessions, sharing resources and hosting events to mark Human Rights Shabbat 5781. Most of these activities have been designed to take place online.

 To sign up and receive further information, simply reply to  moses.seitler@renecassin.org to register your interest. The only other thing you need to do is appoint a primary point of contact within your community by Friday 16 October 2020.  We’ll be in touch after then with resources, ideas and sessions from which you can deliver a session or mark the occasion in a way that suits you.

Communities that sign up will be offered: 

  • Connections to leading speakers for a virtual event during the week leading up to Human Rights Shabbat
  • Jewish textual sources for sermon ideas and discussion topics
  • Links to speeches, essays and videos on the issue of genocide today
  • Plans and resources for educational activities and study sessions
  • Links on how to get further involved and take action on genocide
  • Posters and materials to promote the day
  • Bespoke support to take a more in-depth look at specific issues around genocide
  • Recognition for taking part in the day

We are also running events throughout the week on the theme of celebrating human rights, so let us know if you or any of your members are interested in getting involved there.

For a sense of what this resource will look like, check out last year’s Human Rights Shabbat resource by clicking here.

Register your community, youth movement, J-SOC, or school for Human Rights Shabbat 5781 today!