According to the United Nations at least one in three women and girls around the world is beaten or sexually abused in her lifetime and some four million women and girls are trafficked annually into forced marriage, prostitution, or slavery. At least 60 million girls who would otherwise be alive are missing, mostly in Asia, as a result of sex-selective abortions, infanticide, or neglect. According to the World Health Organization, between 10-52% of women report having been assaulted by an intimate partner. The UNFPA estimates that 130 million girls and women around the world have undergone female genital cutting (FGC) and at least 2 million girls every year – nearly 6,000 per day – are at risk of undergoing FGC. Despite increased public awareness and two recent UN Security Council Resolutions (1820 and 1888), rape is increasingly used as a weapon of war in armed conflicts. The UN reports that during the Rwanda genocide between 200,000 and 500,000 women were raped, and in Bosnia during the conflict there between 20,000 and 50,000 women were raped.
Jewish World Watch was founded in 2004 by the legendary Encino, California, based Rabbi Harold Schulweis and former environmental law attorney turned community activist, Janice Kamenir-Reznik. With a mission to honor the promise made following the Holocaust, that "Never Again" would we stand silent in the face of genocide, President Janice Kamenir-Reznik and Executive Director Tzivia Schwartz-Getzug, have positioned Jewish World Watch as a major anti-genocide presence, both on the west coast and nationally.
DARFUR: The genocide in Darfur has been the first order of business, and the guiding Biblical mandate, "Do not stand idly by" has defined the culture and life of the organization. With a three-pronged approach of education, advocacy and refugee relief, Kamenir-Reznik, Schwartz-Getzug and a dedicated five person staff have built a national reputation for quality and results. With more than sixty synagogues as a base of support, Jewish World Watch staff works with hundreds of organizations throughout the country to implement their programs, which include:
o curricula development in the middle and high schools,
o community mobilization through a three-county Walk to End Genocide and a multitude of other activities,
o extensive speaking engagements through an active Speakers Bureau,
o advocacy at high levels of government, and
o funding of acclaimed relief programs for the survivors of genocide and other egregious human rights abuses.
In the last six years, Jewish World Watch has sponsored a major California divestment campaign,and mobilized communities across the country to raise millions of dollars for their nationally acclaimed refugee programs that include:
o The Solar Cooker Project, which protects and empowers the women and girls of the refugee camps by reducing the number of trips taken out of the camps in search of firewood;
o water reclamation vegetable gardens;
o the Backpack project, which brought school and hygenic supplies to the children of the camps; and more recently,
o the Dream Team Sister Schools project, sponsored by LA Clippers star, Baron Davis.
The Democractic Republic of Congo (DRC): A second campaign focus, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was launched in May, 2010. The DRC is known as the worst place on earth to be a woman or a child. Through advocacy at high levels of government and through survivor relief programs, Jewish World Watch programs will protect and empower the women and girls who are constantly at high risk for brutal attack, as well as locate and reclaim the children who have been kidnapped and enslaved by rebel groups caught in the grip of a deadly war over conflict minerals.
Jewish World Watch has recently funded the very first Burn Center in Eastern Congo, which serves the survivors of deadly rebel attacks in which whole villages are burned as a method of intimidation and extermination. As part of this program Israeli physicians are flown to Congo to train the Congolese physicians in the latest techniques in burn medicine.