On July 21, Rabbi Hachen will travel with other members of the delegation to Lucknow in northern India on a 10-day trip, during which she will join with other national Jewish leaders and volunteers to reflect on connections between traditional Jewish teachings and human rights today.
While in India, the rabbinic delegation will learn about human rights and international development issues through site visits, meetings with local experts, and by working side by side with local community members on improving the infrastructure of the local school. The delegation will also have the opportunity to meet members of Nirantar, a women’s empowerment organization supported by American Jewish World Service. Based in New Delhi, Nirantar provides learning opportunities for rural women on issues related to gender, sexuality, gender-based violence, caste, and education. Rabbi Hachen has long been active on issues of human rights and believes that God is present in the relationships that people built with each other. Some of her work for social justice has included work around domestic violence, economic justice, hunger, homelessness, and the environment.
“Holiness is all around us and Judaism gives us the texts and rituals to activate the best that is in us so that we can be God’s partners for good,” said Hachen, who became the head rabbi at Temple Beth-El in 2011.
This trip to India marks the fourth overseas delegation organized by the American Jewish World Service. Since 2004, the organization has sent more than 300 rabbis, rabbinical students, and graduate students in Jewish communal leadership programs from all denominations to work and learn alongside its grassroots partners in the developing world.