Susan Brooks (not our past local mayor!) lives in Torrance and has been active in the Solar Cooker Project.  She discussed what this has to do with genocide.
Jewish World Watch was founded in 2004 by Rabbi Harold Schulweis of Valley Beth Shalom, a Conservative congregation in Encino, out of concern for ongoing areas of genocide in the world today.  After the end of the Nazi era in 1945, many people pledged, “Never again!”  How can we then stand idly by today when millions of (non-Jewish) people are being threatened with genocide because of their ethnicity?
Of the many areas of genocide in today’s world is the conflict in Darfur province in western Sudan and the eastern part of the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo.  Land-hungry Arabic Muslim herdsmen in Sudan, supported by the country’s government and leaders in Khartoum, have been driving African Muslim farmers out of their villages in Darfur province.  The invaders arrive on horseback and surround the village, then a government plane bombs the middle of it, and the villagers are then massacred as they try to run out to safety.  The women are raped, the village is burned to the ground, livestock and other valuables are confiscated, and dead bodies are dumped into the wells to poison them against the possibility of future use.  (The country’s top leader has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, but remains in power.)
So far, 300,000 have been killed and 3 million more have fled to crowded refugee camps across the border.  Even there they are not safe.  Many of the men are dead, and the women and girls who leave the camps to gather firewood are often attacked and raped.  Jewish World Watch is assisting these camps by providing solar cookers made from cardboard and aluminum foil reflectors, with a black pot to absorb the solar radiation for heating food, to minimize danger from having to gather firewood (also helping the environment).
JWW is also helping to set up micro-businesses in the camps, and assisting people with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder by providing radio programs to help them ventilate their stresses (no psychotherapists are available).  Refugees have no legal ID or passport documents, are not allowed to return to their homeland, and their huge numbers are not welcome by the people in their country of refuge.  JWW workers document first-hand accounts in conflict areas, partner with other organizations to develop high-impact projects to improve the lives of survivors, promote a safer world, and inspire our communities to support constructive political change.  JWW has raised $11 million for relief and development projects in Sudan and Congo, with participation by about 40 synagogues in Southern California and other areas.
For annual fundraising activities, fundraising Walks to End Genocide have been scheduled in many cities in 2014, including one in Los Angeles on Sunday, April 27.  Participants can attend in person as team captains or individuals, attend virtually to raise money from wherever they are, or support JWW with an online donation (  The Holocaust will not really be over until these atrocities have been ended and the victims comforted and healed.  Until then, we cannot stand idly by.