Congregation Bonai Shalom is one of about 200 Jewish communities around the country participating in American Jewish World Service‘s (AJWS) Global Hunger Shabbat this coming Shabbat, November 4-5. It is a weekend of nationwide solidarity, learning, awareness and reflection around food justice and other issues relating to hunger. It is also a call to meaningful action in the 18 days leading up to Thanksgiving, mobilizing the American Jewish community in the fight for food justice.
Ariel Amaru and I were both on different life changing programs this summer with AJWS in Ghana and we have collaborated to bring this program to Boulder.
On Friday night, November 4, we will be having Kabbalat Shabbat services at 6:00 pm, which will include a special prayer for people living in hunger and Ariel will share some reflections about her time in Ghana. Our sold out dinner after the service will include some important discussions around awareness of hunger and some of our own challenges with the food that we eat and don’t eat.
On Saturday morning, our service, which starts at 9:30 am, will also be focused on Global Hunger with readings, discussions and reflections. I will be speaking briefly about my work with Hazon and AJWS and Ariel will share some of what she has learned at various food conferences, including Panim al Panim’s Poverty, Bread and Justice in DC, and will especially talk about US Food Aid. There will be an opportunity at kiddush for congregants and community members to share ideas on how to address hunger in our own community and how we can commit to taking action. Kiddush will be in honor of Lisa Bates who has worked tirelessly as the site coordinator for our CSA program, which has donated much local, organic, fresh food to the hungry, as well as provided great produce to those of us who have been part of this. The recognition of Lisa and the work of other volunteers for the CSA and our farmers is an obvious partnership for this Shabbat and this season alone, our Jewish CSA has donated approximately 800 pounds of fresh produce to people in need in our community, as well as to EFAA (Emergency Family Assistance Association.)
We have so much abundance and yet so many in the world, locally and globally, are hungry. We hope that you will be able to join us for this Shabbat as we consider these questions that our lives of privilege demand that we ask in a world where so many have so little.
There will be a chance to hear Ruth Messinger, President of AJWS, speak on Tuesday night at Har HaShem.