Meeting with Pope Benedict XVI at Vatican City

European Union of Jewish Students and Italian Union of Jewish Students Delegates Meet with Pope Benedict XVI at Vatican City, Call for Increased Action on Darfur

Today a delegation of 30 Jewish student activists, representing 30 national Jewish Unions from across Europe, met with Pope Benedict XVI in Vatican City. The delegation, organized by the European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS) and the Italian Union of Jewish Students (UGEI), handed the Pope a personal letter signed by all 30 delegates calling upon him to use his great moral and political influence to call for an end to the human rights atrocities taking place in Darfur. In the letter the delegates mentioned the shared religious beliefs of both Judaism and Christianity in the inherent value of each human being as being created in the `Image of G’d.’ The letter urged the Pope to “Make your views known on the abuse of women and children. Use your unparalleled moral voice to advocate for the human dignity of the victims of this conflict. Finally, and most importantly, please use your political influence to urge strong and immediate international intervention in order to end the conflict and let the Darfuri people live in peace and prosperity.”

This letter followed a day of activism for Darfur at Summer University, the largest annual gathering of Jewish youth in Europe, which brought more than 450 Jewish student and youth from 40 countries across the continent to Rome. During the Day for Darfur participants heard from refuges from Darfur, as well as from Lotte Leicht, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch in Europe, and James Smith, Founder of Aegis Trust. At the end of the day the participants released 450 green balloons into the air symbolizing the hope of the Darfuri people to live in peace and prosperity