Meir Simcha Rubashkin and his friends are behind a national campaign raising funds and awareness for his father’s ordeal with injustice.
Advocates for Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin, imprisoned former manager of Agriprocessors meat packing plant in Iowa, will be ramping up their efforts this week.
Harnessing the grassroots support for the father of ten, organizers will be unrolling the “Sholom Across America” campaign, beginning this week.
The campaign to raise awareness will start in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights and aims to eventually visit 16 major Jewish communities across the United States and Canada.
On June 15, lawyers for Rubashkin will present oral arguments in front of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Rubashkin has been jailed for the last year and a half while awaiting appeal.
The unusual circumstance – those convicted of white-collar crimes are not commonly imprisoned while awaiting appeal – has been called into question by numerous members of Congress. Most recently, Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee questioned US Attorney General Eric Holder at a hearing on Capitol Hill.
The need for funding has grown immensely.
Beginning this week, organizers hope to solicit small donations from across the spectrum of the community.
“If 2,500 families in Crown Heights can contribute an average of $36, some $90,000 will be raised from that neighborhood alone,” they said.
Volunteers will be knocking on doors and distributing educational CDs explaining the details of the case, and asking people to get involved.
Community members will also have the opportunity to follow the campaign on SholomAcrossAmerica.com, as it winds its way through Crown Heights, viewing pictures and videos posted by the volunteers.
The Crown Heights community campaign is particularly important, as it will serve as an example and test model for other Jewish communities, they said.
Meir Simcha Rubashkin, who is organizing the campaign for his father together with many friends and classmates, stressed the power of any donation, however large or small.
‘The response until now has been amazing,” he said. “Volunteers will be knocking on your door, and we are really hoping that you continue to open your hearts and wallets generously, and make Sholom Across America a huge success.”