April is Genocide Prevention Month: a time to reflect upon the tragedy of past genocides, recognize current mass atrocities and fight for peace. Although our Jewish values compel us to engage in these actions on a regular basis, the occasion of Genocide Prevention Month gives us a larger platform to join with our coalition partners in promoting this important issue. As we observe Passover throughout the week and Holocaust Remembrance Day on April 18, we are reminded of our responsibility to stand up for those struggling under oppressive governments and suffering injustices around the world. As it says in Leviticus 19:16, “You shall not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor”—and this commandment applies whether our neighbor is across the street or across the globe. In Sudan, President Omar al-Bashir is attacking his own people for reasons based on religion, ethnicity, race and territory. As the rainy season approaches, hundreds of thousands of civilians are at the risk of starvation because Bashir is blocking humanitarian aid from entering areas in need.
May April be a month to raise awareness of this and other atrocities and an opportunity to do what we can to help those in need. You can begin by urging your Representative to co-sponsor the Sudan Peace, Security and Accountability Act and educating yourself about different regions in the world that are experiencing conflict. We can learn from the past to make lasting changes in the future.