Fair trade Judaism

Activism gets things done. 

I’m asked everyday why I only eat fair trade chocolate, and as I explain my companion unwraps and eats their treat anyway. People don’t care about what they can’t see. It’s that simple. Spending two months volunteering in Ghana with former child slaves changed my life. I can’t possibly go back from that. It’s so important that we keep spreading the word, sharing our knowledge of modern day slavery. I have been told by fully educated adults in Israel that I’m making it up, and that slavery doesn’t exist anymore. 

So I was surprised – and ecstatic -- when I heard that, by the end of 2015, Warner Brothers will have every Harry Potter chocolate fair trade certified. I know that my personal chocolate habits have not affected the production of chocolate. But the organization that brought about this change, Walk Free, will!  Young people who believe that we are the generation to end modern slavery joined together in a campaign to get Warner Brothers to make the switch. It was a four year battle with the death eaters, but Harry Potter and his group of do-gooders will always win in the end.

Walk Free used social media to influence teens using the globally loved story, themes and characters of the Harry Potter series. Connecting the values of the Harry Potter gang to ending modern day slavery is brilliant. 

Activism gets things done. As the child of two fierce baby boomers, I live with a scary amount of optimism. Sometimes all things need is the right attitude and it’ll come together. The Harry Potter franchise is a huge win for the Walk Free NGO and for fair trade activists and supporters worldwide. People lucky enough to walk free are coming together to cast a strong patronus to guide us. 

And that patronus is cast via social media, casting light upon world issues and setting up visions of a better world. Word is power – and not just in spells.

Carefully crafted 140 character tweets are intention, action and impact. We have a magical way to instantly publicize anything we want globally. 

As Jews we’re told 4 times to keep kosher, and 36 times to respect they neighbor. But which one do our religious leaders choose to follow and push upon us? I honestly don’t give a crap about Kosher certificates, I care about the fact that we ignore our involvement in the slave industry daily. 

Does the Harry Potter series have more to teach me about social justice than that Orthodox Israeli rabbinate? I hate to think that’s true, but I wonder.