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Fair Trade Purim
Feb. 28, 2008
Fill your mishloach manot baskets with Fair Trade products and create a more just and sustainable world while enjoying tasty treats.

Community Contact Information:

Equal Exchange Interfaith Webstore

 

 

Goals:

  • To engage the entire congregation in promoting Fair Trade based on the Jewish value: “You shall not abuse a needy and destitute laborer.” (Deuteronomy 21:12).
  • To help farmers in the developing world make a living for themselves and their families
  • Create a communal social action project as part of the Purim celebration.

Overview:

According to Maimonides, the highest level of tzedakah is to help a person become economically self-sufficient. Synagogues that use Fair Trade products as part of their Purim celebrations help provide self-sufficiency to farmers in the developing world and raise community awareness about Fair Trade. This activity will also allow temple members to see a familiar holiday in a new light.

 

Equal Exchange is a 21 year old 100% Fair Trade organization, which builds relationships with farmers in 38 co-operatives in 20 countries. Its mission is to foster direct, long-term, relationships with farmers that are economically just and environmentally sound.

 

Preparation:

Equal Exchange can provide goodies for your mishloach manot baskets through its interfaith program, which has partnered with faith-based communities in the U.S. for over a decade, including the Union for Reform Judaism at the last three URJ Biennials. Products available for your Purim baskets can be found at the Equal Exchange Interfaith webstore.

 

Project Implementation:

Encourage your youth group, Sisterhood, Brotherhood or Religious School to spearhead a congregation-wide “Fair Trade Purim” by selling mischloach manot. These baskets of goodies are available prior to Purim for purchase for families, fellow synagogue members, friends and family. Advertise in Temple Bulletins, through the Religious School and online.

 

After placing you order, gather individuals to package and deliver these Purim baskets of high quality organic coffees, teas, chocolate, almonds, pecans, and dried cranberries. Some synagogues are placing their 2.25 oz. coffee pillow packs in baskets along with several of their 4.5 gram Dark Chocolate Mini bars. In the basket, be sure to include the story of Purim as well as information about the Fair Trade movement and the importance of treating workers and farmers with dignity. This information can be found by visiting: http://rac.org/advocacy/issues/fairtrade/index.cfm?#jewish

 

Results:

This project allows congregations to not only fulfill the mitzvah of sending Purim mishloach manot but to also bring to light our obligation to creating a more just and sustainable world.

 

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