AHRC Greetings for a Shana Tova this Jewish New Year 5781

Rosh Hashana starts the Jewish New Year. It is a time for renewal and leading into the ‘Days of Awe’ it is a time for contemplation and atonement

For many of us this has been an extremely difficult year and we wonder about our World:


Over 30 million cases of the deadly Corona-Virus and 1 million deaths, worldwide, including the over 200,000 deaths in the U.S., where the grip of failed leadership dictates so many more will die


After the brutal murder of George Floyd at the hands of police officers, Americans and the World took to the streets in historic protest of the many lives lost to State-sanctioned violence, with the Black Lives Matter movement helming the fight for the liberation of Black people, and the critical quest to end white supremacy forever


The attempted slaughter of the U.S. Asylum System by its current administration


The unconscionable reduction of refugee admissions into the U.S.A.


What is my part in all of this?


Many of us are driven by our legacies: We understand persecution, and in reflecting on our painful histories, we are clear on our obligation – to participate in humanitarianism and change.

wE canNot siT bAck –

Sitting back and accepting any of this as if NORMAL is not an option…

We are all being called to go beyond to do much more to participate in repairing our world…

Personally, I am driven by the history of my people, my family – I am Jew and I am a lesbian: The Jewish granddaughter of Pogrom Refugees, resettled to South Africa, with my daughters’ grandparents Holocaust Survivors

Reflection is very personal, and no one can pronounce on another’s self-scrutiny, especially during Days of Awe: As a lesbian, I realize I live at a time when over 70 Countries consider me a criminal just because of my sexual orientation, and yet I live safely in a country where I have a decent measure of equality. I consider my global LGBTQI community, many of whom do not live safely, my family. So, I am bound – not to rest on my blessings, but to use my blessings to play my part in the fight for decriminalization, equality and to partner with my global family in this struggle.
In this, I am resolving to dig deeper and look harder – into my mistakes. What am I doing right? What am I doing wrong? What can I do better?


I know that in the same way Jews took on the fight for freedom from persecution for all Global Jewry, we as LGBTQI must do the same for our Global LGBTQI family.

That said…

Together with Marc Cohen, Director of Humanitarian Services, and all of us at African Human Rights Coalition, I would like to thank you for your support over this past year and to invite you to join us in our reflection and optimism


Can be THAT special year for everlasting change, born out of the scrutiny that hardship insists upon

We wish you ALL a Happy Healthy and Joyous Rosh Hashana – And May You All Be Inscribed in the Book of Life

L’Shana Tova

Please consider donating to African HRC’s Humanitarian work HERE

Many Thanks



By Melanie Nathan
Law, Human Rights Advocacy and Mediation
African Human Rights Coalition
Executive Director
pronouns: she / her / hers

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