JWW Press Coverage
“Inside Uganda: Home of the fastest-growing refugee crisis in the world”
August 31, 2017
They live in huts and mud houses, partaking of bare essentials only when they are available. There are few markets and fewer police. Daily life is a constant struggle to survive.
This is the Bidi Bidi refugee camp, deep in the bush of northern Uganda in central east Africa. More than 272,000 people are living in conditions that would make reaching poverty seem like an aspirational goal.
“Refugees are not just fleeing because of the violence but to escape an economic collapse and crazy inflation,” Mike Brand, advocacy and programs director at the Encino-based Jewish World Watch (JWW), said in an interview as he surveyed the crisis in Uganda’s Adjumani border district, adjacent to the Bidi Bidi camp. “People can’t afford to work and buy food in South Sudan, and severe food insecurity has been plaguing the country.”
“A war without end: Neighbours carry the burden of South Sudan’s fleeing millions”
August 17, 2017
More than a million South Sudanese refugees have now crossed the border into Uganda in what is the world’s fastest-growing refugee crisis. Analysts say the chances of forging peace are becoming slimmer and so the war and the flow of desperate people is set to continue, further straining an already struggling aid operation.
“This ‘revitalisation process’ is a bad joke,” Mike Brand, a genocide prevention expert at Jewish World Watch, told IRIN. “I don’t think there is any hope the ARCSS can be revitalised as it is structurally inadequate to address the current drivers of conflict.”
“Couple devises DIY method of getting critical medical supplies into Syria”
June 21, 2017
It was midday in China, early morning in Syria and dusk in Los Angeles — time for Philip and Tamar Koosed to get to work. … With no staff and virtually no overhead, they have stitched together a network of doctors, suppliers and shippers to send medical aid to the war-torn provinces of Idlib and Aleppo.
“Anybody else that would have come to me and said, ‘So, we’re starting to send medical supplies inside of Syria,’ I would have looked at them like they had three heads,” said Mike Brand, director of programs and advocacy for Jewish World Watch (JWW), an Encino-based anti-genocide organization.
“Moving and Shaking: Valley Beth Shalom, American Friends of Hebrew University and more”
May 31, 2017
At a symposium of the Genocide Coalition at Adat Ari El in Valley Village on May 24, several speakers addressed the current state of genocide in the world and what can be done to stop it.
“We can’t fight genocide alone — that’s the message of tonight,” Amy Friedman Cecil, director of community engagement for Jewish World Watch, said to the diverse audience of about 100 people, which included Muslims, Jews and others. Drawing from the words of Pirkei Avot, she added: “You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to desist from it.”
“Community puts best foot forward at JWW’s Walk to End Genocide”
May 3, 2017
To help raise awareness of efforts to end genocides, approximately 1,000 people participated in the 11th annual Jewish World Watch (JWW) Walk to End Genocide on April 30, starting at Pan Pacific Park.
“It’s one place where everyone comes together,” said Susan Freudenheim, executive director of JWW. “It’s a community event where people of all denominations and across the board — churches and other groups — come together.”
“Proactive Advocacy Prevents New Genocide Denial Ads and Billboards”
The Armenian Weekly
May 3, 2017
Sixteen national organizations joined an Armenian National Committee of America Eastern Region (ANCA-ER) initiative earlier this year to prevent genocide denial ads from appearing in American newspapers, billboards, and other media. Unlike in 2016 and previous years, no major media carried genocide denial advertising in April 2017.
…A coalition of 16 national anti-genocide and human rights organizations joined the ANCA-ER in efforts directed at major newspapers and advertising companies in the U.S. The initiative sought to heighten awareness of attempts to place genocide denial advertising and to urge these companies not to accept such ads. The coalition included…Jewish World Watch…and Together We Remember.
“Preventing genocide shouldn’t be a partisan issue”
MIKE BRAND and CLAUDE GATEBUKE
May 2, 2017
In this extremely divisive political climate there seems to be fewer and fewer opportunities to find common ground. Nearly everything today is politicized and partisan. But there is one issue that should have no opposition, no reason why we cannot garner widespread bipartisan support. That issue is genocide prevention.
“Opinion: By not recognizing the Armenian genocide, the U.S. promotes an ‘alternative fact’”
The Los Angeles Times
April 28, 2017
To the editor: …Few issues are more compelling to me, a Jew and an American, than demanding accountability for the commission of genocide. It is shocking that the Armenian community continues to be stalked by genocide deniers, and it is shameful that Congress fails year after year to pass a resolution officially recognizing the Armenian genocide.
“A Passover without sustenance in South Sudan”
April 6, 2017
Each year, we gather with family and friends for our Passover seder. We lift the matzo and remember how we were once slaves in the land of Egypt. We talk about the blood, locusts, boils, hail and so on, then we dig in to our “festive meal.” We remember, and then we eat. How lucky are we?
“Anti-genocide group to show film”
Venture County Star
February 24, 2017
THOUSAND OAKS – Local anti-genocide organization Jewish World Watch will host a free screening of the film “The Heart of Nuba” at California Lutheran University on Sunday.
“Moving and Shaking: Jewish World Watch, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and more”
January 19, 2017
Anti-genocide organization Jewish World Watch (JWW) has named Diana Buckhantz as its new board chair, according to a Jan. 3 announcement by the organization.
Buckhantz, previously JWW’s vice chair, said she was excited about taking on the leadership position.
“Obama’s upsetting decision to lift sanctions on Sudan”
January 13, 2017
In a surprising move, President Obama, with only a week left in his presidency, has made the decision to lift sanctions and open up trade with Sudan; a regime that has and continues to commit genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity against its own people.
…Since 1997, the United States has imposed economic, trade, and financial sanctions against Sudan due to its support of terrorism, and since 2003 due to the gross human rights violations in Darfur. Sudan’s President, Omar al-Bashir—an indicted war criminal and génocidaire—has led Sudan’s armed forces and militias to rape, pillage, and kill the non-Arab populations of Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile. Never wavering from his steadfast extermination strategy, Bashir has been able to consistently evade justice and strong international pressure to end the assault on civilian populations.
“No Peace to Keep: The UN Is Letting Down Civilians in South Sudan”
January 4, 2017
…A recent policy brief from Jewish World Watch (JWW), a genocide prevention advocacy group, concluded, “Without political will to end the war, South Sudan will never be at peace. But, with the severe and worsening crisis, an expansion of the peacekeeping mission is necessary to protect civilians.” Considering the fractious relationship between the government forces and the current, arguably irresolute mission, it seems necessary to advocate not for an expansion, but for a fundamental reimagining of UN theories on peacekeeping.
The executive summary of the report blames “a lack of leadership on the part of key senior mission personnel [culminating] in a chaotic and ineffective response to the violence.” More than 1,800 UN infantry troops were stationed in Juba, but they “did not operate under a unified command, resulting in multiple and sometimes conflicting orders,” the report says.
“DRC President Kabila could ‘capitalise’ on Donald Trump’s weak foreign policy in Africa”
International Business Times
December 16, 2016
…”One of the main concerns I have right now is with the change in power in the US government and the chasm that will be left in US foreign policy, with crucial positions like the special envoy being vacated at such a crucial time, it is unlikely there will be much action taken from the US government,” Mike Brand, director of policy and programs at JWW, a Los Angeles-based human rights organisation with expertise on mass atrocity prevention, told IBTimes UK.
“I fear that Kabila could capitalise on this and take actions he may otherwise be afraid to, knowing he will likely not face reprisals from the US government.”
“Moving and Shaking: Israel Cancer Research Fund,Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project and more”
October 10, 2016
…Susan Freudenheim is leaving her post as executive editor at the Jewish Journal to become executive director at Jewish World Watch (JWW), an Encino-based nonprofit that works to combat genocide and mass atrocities worldwide.
“Cool Kid Gabriella Blum Educates People About Global Genocides”
ABC 7 (KABC-TV)
August 18, 2016
LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Our ABC7 Cool Kid for Thursday, Aug. 18, is Gabriella Blum, who volunteers at the Jewish World Watch to advocate and educate others about global genocides and mass atrocities.
“NGOs to Secretary Kerry: More Pressure Needed on Kabila on Congo Elections”
August 18, 2016
A coalition of U.S.-based NGOs and Congo experts sent a letter today to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry calling for greater financial and other pressure on the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as incentives. The coalition is deeply concerned about the closing of political space and growing democratic crisis in Congo. The policy aims of these tools should be to help support Congo to hold timely elections in line with its constitution and end political repression.
“Heavy fighting in South Sudan sparks fears of return to civil war”
July 10, 2016
…Mike Brand, policy director of the US-based Jewish World Watch, which seeks to halt mass atrocities, said he feared this was “just a small example of what’s to come”, adding: “I’m surprised this didn’t happen sooner with so much hate, anger and angst in such a confined space.”
“Czech Torahs reunite at Holocaust Museum”
April 27, 2016
…The majority of the Torahs followed European-Jewish émigrés across the Atlantic, finding new homes in the United States. Several scrolls ended up in Southern California, and in an exhibition continuing through May 9, dozens of those scrolls will be on display at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust (LAMOTH).
The scrolls began to gather in the museum’s lobby area on April 15, the same Sunday morning more than 3,000 Angelenos marched through neighboring streets for the annual Walk to End Genocide. Several groups who came in to drop off their Torahs were still wearing team T-shirts from the walk.
“NGOs Release Statement on Situation in South Sudan”
April 25, 2016
We, the undersigned organizations, continue to be alarmed by the drastic humanitarian situation in South Sudan, with the Famine Early Warning Systems Network reporting increasing death rates and a deepening humanitarian catastrophe. While the formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity may be an important step, its first actions must be to end the fighting that continues and to provide immediate unimpeded humanitarian access throughout the country to alleviate the suffering of the South Sudanese people. Progress on these issues should be a key test of the new government in determining whether the international community should provide financial support in the coming months.
“Machar’s aborted return sets back peace plans in South Sudan”
April 20, 2016
…Mike Brand, policy director of the US-based Jewish World Watch — which seeks to halt mass atrocities, said lasting peace is only likely if the implementation of the agreement between the two warring sides also involves other groups in society and the international community delivers some tough love to South Sudan.
“When Machar does come back and the transitional government is set up, foreign governments need to make sure they put conditions on their support for the new administrations,” he said. “It can’t be an open faucet.”
“10th Annual Walk To End Genocide Held Sunday”
April 18, 2016
The 10th annual Walk to End Genocide was held on Sunday in the Mid-City area, raising funds for anti-genocide educational and advocacy efforts in the U.S. and to support projects aiding survivors of the conflicts in Sudan and Congo.
The two-mile walk that began at the La Brea Tar Pits was billed by organizers as the nation’s largest anti-genocide rally. Organizers expected more than 3,000 participants.
“Mayor Garcetti, Thousands Gather For 10th Annual Walk to End Genocide”
CBS Los Angeles
April 17, 2016
Crowds gathered Sunday for the 10th annual Walk to End Genocide, which raised funds for anti-genocide educational and advocacy efforts in the U.S. and to support projects aiding survivors of the conflicts in Sudan and Congo.
The two-mile walk in the Mid-City area was billed by organizers as the nation’s largest anti-genocide rally. Organizers expected more than 3,000 participants. Mayor Eric Garcetti was among the participants.
“USC holds first human rights conference”
March 6, 2016
The Student Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy, an anti-genocide coalition, hosted its first annual Human Rights Conference on Saturday, which included participants from USC and other regional universities. The conference aimed to address issues of human rights in developing countries and promote humanitarian goals across the world to help end genocide.
The conference included speeches, workshops, presentations on activism and a documentary screening and was funded by USG and the Jewish World Watch.
“Senate should pass the Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act”
February 15, 2016
When a United Nations (UN) official stated that the UN was in no better position to prevent widespread crimes against humanity, even genocide, in Burundi than they were during the 1994 Rwandan genocide, it took many people by surprise. In reality, nothing about that statement should be surprising. The international community and the United States are presently ill equipped to prevent episodes of mass atrocities because prevention is not prioritized in foreign policy.
“Thousand Oaks synagogue fosters good deeds for Mitzvah Day”
Ventura County Star
November 1, 2015
…Children in the Sunday school classes…made boxes for a Jewish World Watch project, which helps to fight genocide.
…While the kindergartners decorated Jewish World Watch boxes for its Change for Change project, the idea was put forth that small change leads to big change.
“This age group is being taught they can do things that will help other children,” said Amy Friedman Cecil, the synagogue’s community development director, of Jewish World Watch. “It’s as simple as putting little bits of money in that box and then bringing that back to contribute to their walk teams.”
“Congo’s Indiana Jones: Changing Lives, One Child at a Time”
October 12, 2015
JWW Board Member Diana Buckhantz and Director of Policy and Programs Mike Brand are traveling in the Democratic of Republic of Congo’s eastern provinces to work with survivors of the country’s decades-long conflict, which has claimed nearly six million lives. They are meeting with JWW’s partners on the ground, with whom JWW works to create innovative programs and projects that change lives and transform communities. This is Diana’s sixth trip to Congo with JWW, and Mike’s first as a staff member of JWW.
“On Syrian refugee crisis, Jewish community moves from words to action”
Jewish News Service
October 7, 2015
…Just before Yom Kippur, Jewish World Watch—a Los Angeles-based coalition that fights genocide and mass atrocities—announced an emergency fund to provide relief to refugees displaced by violence in Syria.
…“Our concern is the fact that there are millions of people that have been displaced and are on the move and are being treated in some ways that are terribly reflective of how Jews were treated during World War II,” said Bill Bernstein, the organization’s executive director.
…“When you’re barrel-bombing your own citizen and thousands of those citizens are being killed, it is of great concern that this could evolve into a genocide,” Bernstein said.
“A way out of the crisis in South Sudan”
July 8, 2015
…South Sudan, a country that top United States officials have proudly claimed to have helped “midwife” into existence, has been embroiled in a brutal civil war since December 2013, just two years after it became independent from Sudan. Mass atrocities have been widespread since the start of the conflict, some of which may even amount to genocide. Children have faced some of the worst violence. UNICEF recently reported horrific stories of boys being castrated and left to bleed out. Girls as young as eight have been gang raped and murdered. UNICEF also estimates that 13,000 children have been forced to fight on both sides of the conflict. The total death toll is unknown, but estimates are upwards of 50,000 and more than two million people have been displaced. The conflict has had secondary and tertiary consequences as well: 2.5 million people are at risk of famine, and tens of thousands are at great risk of contracting diseases like cholera at internally displaced persons (IDP) camps, due to overcrowding and unsanitary conditions.
“Jewish World Watch Remembers Sir Nicholas Winton”
The Huffington Post (blog)
July 8, 2015
In a world filled with constant conflict, senseless violence, and seemingly endless suffering, there’s a natural human inclination to feel paralyzed by the enormity of the problems we face. Many believe that there’s little they can do to protect the innocent in the face of violence and persecution. Others don’t view this responsibility as their own. Some simply don’t have the courage to speak out or the conviction to stand up.
“Yom HaShoah commemorations draw thousands to Pan Pacific park”
April 23, 2015
Two events recalling past genocides — and promising to fight against future ones — drew thousands of people to Pan Pacific Park on April 19.
The first event, Jewish World Watch’s (JWW) annual Walk to End Genocide, began with drumming and song and the sounds of the shofar, which then gave way to the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust’s (LAMOTH) more solemn Holocaust commemoration a few hours later.
“Alum captures stories of genocide survivors for ‘One Life at a Time’”
April 14, 2015
As co-founder and president of Jewish World Watch, an organization fighting against genocide, UCLA alumna Janice Kamenir-Reznik has aided and photographed survivors of mass atrocities during service trips to places, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Chad.
On her first visit, Kamenir-Reznik spoke with a rape survivor who was hospitalized for five years. After listening to her story, Kamenir-Reznik said she wanted others to connect with survivors’ tales regardless of distance, which her photographs strive to help accomplish.
“Janice Kamenir-Reznik of Jewish World Watch: ‘Never stand silently by in the face of injustice’”
January 2, 2015
L.A. Biz named 40 honorees for its inaugural Women of Influence Awards. The program honors women business leaders in the Los Angeles area who innovate, succeed and “pay it forward.” In the days ahead, we’ll be giving readers a chance to hear directly from these women.
“Moving and shaking”
July 16, 2014
…Jewish World Watch (JWW) continues to fulfill its promise to bear witness to the world’s suffering. On May 25, in its staff’s fifth annual visit to Africa, six representatives from JWW traveled to Congo on a 10-day trip to further develop JWW projects providing assistance to the country’s people.
Led by JWW co-founder and president Janice Kamenir-Reznik, the group focused on a wide array of projects to help the most vulnerable members of the population, such as rape victims and former child soldiers.
“Slaves Then, Slaves Now: a Passover Story From Congo”
July 15, 2014
A couple of years ago, I found myself in a gold mine in a remote town in Eastern Congo the week before Passover. It was a horrific sight to see. Young children dressed in rags stood on top of each other’s shoulders, passing buckets up steep walls of dirt. They all lived under the control of a warlord — who appeared to be straight out of central casting — dressed in an Armani suit with heavy gold chains around his neck. There are thousands of mines just like this all over Congo.
“Thousands walk in Los Angeles for Holocaust Remembrance Day with Walk to End Genocide”
Los Angeles Daily News
April 27, 2014
Their footsteps Sunday tread softly across Los Angeles, while sounding a thundering rebuke against mass slaughter.
More than 4,000 marchers marked Holocaust Remembrance Day with an eighth annual Walk to End Genocide, held in six cities from Los Angeles to New York.
“Human rights legislation fought for in D.C.”
April 18, 2014
Students with the USC Gould School of Law’s International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC) met with lawmakers in Washington, D.C., to advocate for legislation and executive action to address the widespread sexual violence and mass atrocities in Sudan and the Congo.
Amani Floyd, John Korevec and Kelsey Perry presented position papers at a three-day conference organized by Jewish World Watch and the Enough Project’s Hear Her Voice campaign, which urged support for peace and justice. They also met with survivors of genocide in the region.
“Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis: What do we owe the stranger?”
April 4, 2014
…And there’s nothing age-bound about his thinking. Over decades of reflection, Schulweis has methodically fleshed out an enlightened philosophy based on kindness and social justice that continues to motivate others, young and old. Perhaps most notably today, he is the inspiration for and co-founder, with Janice Kamenir-Reznik, of Jewish World Watch (JWW), a nonprofit aiding and advocating for victims of genocide worldwide, especially in Darfur, Sudan and Congo. Since Schulweis introduced his idea for JWW in a Rosh Hashanah sermon in 2004, the organization has grown to become a coalition of some 70 synagogues, churches, schools and other groups, with many hundreds of additional contributing organizations and individuals, according to Kamenir-Reznik. To date, JWW has raised about $12.5 million to support its efforts to end genocide.
“‘Never Again’ Must Not Become ‘Yet Again:’ You Can Stop Genocide in Sudan”
March 18, 2014
Late last November, Sudan’s defense minister, Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein, stood before his nation’s parliament and calmly laid out his government’s plan to commit another genocide. Testifying about a massive military mobilization now underway, Hussein said, “[O]ur troops are moving to end the rebellion once and for good.”
It’s no secret what such a statement means from the regime in Sudan, which has already killed more than 2.5 million of its own people under the pretense of fighting rebels, employing a strategy of “getting the fish by draining the pond.”
“USC STAND and PSA rally against conflict minerals”
March 12, 2014
Students gathered outside Tommy Trojan on Wednesday afternoon to raise awareness about violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo and to petition the university to release a statement against conflict minerals, which are mined under conditions of conflict or human rights abuse. The event was sponsored by Jewish World Watch and the Political Student Assembly and organized by USC STAND Against Genocide.