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Haunting, Horrific, Uncomfortable: Why this Sculpture Sits Outside My Office

“Rabbi, this scuplture is so haunting! It is a downer – definately NOT Or Ami.” Many have commented on how uncomfortable the “Sudanese Mother and Child” sculpture makes them feel. That’s exactly why it sits in our foyer, outside the Rabbi’s office.

The horrors of the Darfurian genocide should make us all uncomfortable. We, who grew up in the shadow of the Holocaust, should be reminded daily of our responsibility to help victims and to push for an end to this conflict.

Sculptor John McManus has done two tours in Vietnam, coming home with a Purple Heart. He found inspiration for his work from starving black children in Biafra, from his personal experiences in Vietnam, and from his six year old little Jewish charge who died of lupus. As a catalyst for freedom from memories of the painful emotions he carries, his gifted hands spell out the haunting expression of war and suffering, culminating in “gentleness and love.”

This sculpture adorns the Jewish World Watch tzedakah can, our websites, and has been present at every Jewish World Watch lecture. It serves as a constant reminder of the work that we need to do. To find out how you can help, contact our Jewish World Watch liaison Laurie Tragen-Boykoff or visit the Jewish World Watch website.

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