Touro College to Sponsor Session on Darfur Genocide at Policy Plenary in Washington, D.C.
Director of Communications
New York, N.Y. – Dr. Bernard Lander, founder and president of Touro College, has announced that Touro College will sponsor a special session devoted to the genocide in Darfur at the upcoming annual plenary of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), the national umbrella for American Jewish public policy advocacy. The special session on Darfur is scheduled for Sunday, February 25 at the plenum at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.
According to the JCPA, the government-sponsored genocide in Sudan's western region has killed over 400,000 people, driven 2.5 million civilians from their homes and left more than 3 million individuals reliant on international humanitarian aid.
"Touro's sponsorship of the special session on Darfur at the annual meeting of the JCPA reflects its long tradition of concern for the general community and the world," Dr. Lander said. "As Jews committed to the Jewish tradition and to its interaction with the world at large, we cannot remain silent in the face of the mass killing that continues in Darfur."
Rabbi Moshe D. Krupka, Touro's senior vice president for college affairs, will help lead the special program on Darfur. The session will include a concert performed by Vincent Nsgeniyumva and the Vanga Inanga Cultural Troupe, a troupe that was founded after the Rwandan genocide. The performance will be followed by a screening of the Darfur Diaries, a documentary produced by a team of independent filmmakers who wanted to expose the world to the deteriorating political and humanitarian crisis in Darfur.
Touro's involvement with the plenum is not limited to its sponsorship of the Darfur session. Two Touro students, Molly Brock and Amanda Minkoff, are participating as full delegates to the plenum – an exception to the practice that students are almost always plenum observers.
"We are training the next generation of Jewish leaders," said Dr. David Luchins, chair of Touro's Department of Political Science. "The proud involvement of these students reflects Touro College's commitment to help forge a generation of Jewish leaders comfortable in the Jewish tradition and committed to helping the world around them."
"The Darfur issue has a special claim on me not only because it touches on the issue of humanity's responsibility to prevent genocide, but also because of my own early involvement in the campaign for civil rights in this country," added Dr. Lander.
Dr. Lander was one of three associate directors of the Mayor's Committee on Unity, established in 1944 by former New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, which became the city's first Commission on Human Rights. The Commission prepared the first civil rights legislation for New York state.
The announcement in January of the opening of the new Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine (TOUROCOM) in Harlem, New York, is the most recent example of Touro's dedication to improving the general community. TOUROCOM is New York's first new medical school in nearly 30 years and the first college of osteopathic medicine with a special emphasis on training minority doctors. TOUROCOM aims to improve the quality of medical care in the Harlem community.