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Scarsdale Rabbi Discusses Human Rights Abuses In Dominican Republic

Scarsdale Synagogue Temples Tremont and Emanu-El President Ellen Baken poses with Rabbi Jeffrey Brown.
Scarsdale Synagogue Temples Tremont and Emanu-El President Ellen Baken poses with Rabbi Jeffrey Brown. Photo Credit: Contributed

SCARSDALE, N.Y. -- A discussion with Jeffrey C. Brown, Senior Rabbi of Scarsdale Synagogue Temples Tremont and Emanu-El about ongoing human rights abuses in the Dominican Republic is scheduled to appear in the March issue of Westchester Jewish Life.

Rabbi Brown’s interview was prompted by his selection among 10 rabbis from across the United States by the American Jewish World Service to visit the Dominican Republic as part of the Global Justice Fellowship mission.

The delegation traveled across the Caribbean nation, meeting with AJWS grantees working to address some of the most pressing human rights issues in the region.

“Our trip focused heavily on the Dominican government’s policies related to residents of Haitian descent, which is threatening to strip citizenship rights from hundreds of thousands of Dominicans simply because they have ancestors from Haiti," said Brown.

On the mission, he learned more about what has been characterized by AJWS and other human rights organizations as a “cynical, bureaucratic government response” to Dominicans of Haitian descent who wish to retain their citizenship rights, according to a release.

Dominicans or Haitian ancestry have been “marginalized by their government because of their poverty, gender, sexual orientation, skin color, occupation, or ancestry. But I witnessed, with my own eyes that there is the possibility of change, spurred by the community-based activities of the many new friends I was fortunate to make while traveling throughout the Dominican Republic," said Brown.

The American Jewish World Service works to realize human rights and end poverty in the developing world.

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