Dear Friend of Israel:

        We are proud to be co-sponsoring a very important community event next week.

        WHEN: Thursday December 18, 6:30 PM

        WHERE: Peninsula Jewish Community Center, 800 Foster City Blvd, Foster City

        WHAT: "Saving Yezidis from Slavery and Genocide by the Islamic State: A Race Against Time"

        As many of you are aware, the Yezidis are an indigenous community in Iraq who have been explicitly targeted for genocide by ISIS.

        In August of this year ISIS attacked and took over the Kurdish-controlled town of Sinjar, driving over 50,000 Yezidis out of their homes – fleeing for their lives to the Sinjar Mountains.  The United Nations confirms that 5,000 men have been executed and as many as 7,000 women and girls (as young as 11)  have been made sex slaves by ISIS. Stories of beheadings, rape and children dying of starvation and dehydration are common among eyewitnesses. By current estimates, 12,000 Yezidis are living under siege in the Sinjar Mountains without food, water, medical supplies and any means to defend themselves. There's a short video about the Yezidis here

        Stories such as this, of course, bring back memories of what happened to the Jewish people during the Holocaust, when we were faced with genocide and the international community turned its back on us.  Friends in the Hindu-American community have approached us and asked for our help in raising awareness of the light of the Yezidis (Indians are distantly related to Yezidis and their religions share some common features), and they are deeply appreciative of the support and assistance they are receiving from the Jewish community.  Last week, several hundred people turned out at a synagogue in Chicago for a public event, organized by StandWithUs Chicago, to raise awareness and raise funds for humanitarian aid. You can read about that event

         Why are we, as an Israel-focused organization, getting involved in this effort? Not only because it is the right thing to do, but also because we know what ISIS wants to do to the State of Israel and to the Jewish people.  There is high awareness in Israel of the plight of the Yezidis, and the Israeli government has sent relief supplies to them via Kurdistan.

        Next week's event is also being co-sponsored within the Jewish community by American Jewish Committee San Francisco and by JIMENA (Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa).  Further details about the event are here


        ***Join us next Thursday

        ***Circulate the attached flier to your own email lists

        ***Ask your synagogue or church to publicize it. 

        For those of you who are unable to attend but would like to donate to help, donations are being taken by the International Association for Human Values, which is a nonprofit organization providing humanitarian relief efforts. You can donate here:

        Thank you for your support of this very important effort.

        Mike Harris