Reform Jewish Movement Joins Nothing But Nets Campaign to Combat Malaria Hopes Donors Will Purchase 50,000 of the Lifesaving $10 Nets
NEW YORKOctober 8, 2007As part of its efforts to combat extreme poverty and preventable disease through the world, the Union for Reform Judaism is urging its members to purchase 50,000 insecticide-treated bed nets to fight malaria in Africa through the Nothing But Nets campaign. And, to kick off the campaign, the Union has donated $25,000enough for 2,500 nets from its Sudan Relief Fund.
For just $10 you can buy a net and save a life. It is that simple, said Naomi Abelson, manager of Congregational Relations for the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism. The donation pays for the net, its delivery, training for disease prevention and follow up evaluations, she explained.
Nothing But Nets is a grassroots campaign to save lives by preventing malaria, a leading killer of children in Africa. It began in May 2006 when Rick Reilly, senior writer for Sports Illustrated, wrote about malaria, challenging each of his readers to donate at least $10 for the purchase of an anti-malaria bed nets. The incredible response from thousands of people led to the creation the Nothing But Nets campaign. Within a few short months, Nothing But Nets raised over one million dollars.
To reach its goal of 50,000 nets, the Union is encouraging congregations to organize netraising teams. Resources including fundraising ideas, workshops, and educational and programming tools are available on the Nothing But Nets website (www.urj.org/nets) to help congregations get involved. At the very least, the Union hopes congregations will make certain its members are aware of the campaign. By working together, we can potentially save hundreds of thousands of lives, Abelson said.
The Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism assists congregations in establishing social action committees that will help them to apply ethical Judaic principles to contemporary issues. It oversees the work of Reform Judaism's Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington, D.C. which pursues social justice and religious liberty by mobilizing the American Jewish community and serving as its advocate in the capital of the United States.
The Union for Reform Judaism (formerly the Union of American Hebrew Congregations) is the central body of Reform Judaism in North America, uniting 1.5 million Reform Jews in more than 900 synagogues. Union services include camps, music and book publishing, outreach to unaffiliated and intermarried Jews, educational programs, and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington, D.C.