The Shmooze

How Jennifer's Bat Mitzvah T-Shirt Ended up in Africa

By Adam Soclof

(JTA) — While reporting on the phenomenon of T-shirts originating in the U.S. and winding up in Africa, NPR Planet Money recently turned up a Bat Mitzvah T-Shirt in Nairobi and asked for help tracking down the owner.

What we Know: Jennifer’s Bat Mitzvah was on November 20, 1993. The theme may have been cartoons. And there’s a nametag in the shirt labeled Rachel Williams.

After some Facebook sleuthing — and pinging the wrong Rachel Williams a couple of times — I finally got in touch with Rachel Aaronson, who led me to Jennifer. Interviews with both below.

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Bono Says to Think About Africa This Sukkot

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Getty Images
Children line up for a meal in Mogadishu, where more than 100,000 people have fled to to seek help from a severe drought that has hit Somalia.

Bono would like Sukkot observers enjoying their bountiful meals in the sukkah to take a moment from their celebration to think about famine in Africa. ONE, the grassroots advocacy organization that the U2 musician founded to fight poverty and preventable disease in Africa, has put out a special Sukkot 2011 guide to educate people on the issue and its relevance to the Jewish harvest festival.

The 5-page booklet was written by Marc Friend, who works for American Jewish World Service in its advocacy department and who was recently an Eisendrath Legislative Assistant at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. It provides some basic background on the rituals, traditions and religious texts of Sukkot, as well as useful statistics about the situation on the ground in the Horn of Africa and resources for further learning about food justice.

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