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            [From The Hebrew Watchman, Memphis, TN, Feb 10, 2005, p. 13.]

Ordmans traveling to Cambodia on special trip for AJWS

     World travelers Edward and Eunice Ordman left this week on a trip with the American Jewish World Service (AJWS) and will return to the city on February 27.

     AJWS is an independent not-for-profit organization founded in 1985 to help alleviate poverty, hunger and disease among the people of the world regardless of race, religion or nationality. It breathes life into Judaism's imperative to pursue justice and helps American Jews act upon a deeply felt obligation to improve the chances for survival, economic independence and human dignity for all people.

     During their 18-day trip the couple will visit several AJWS projects, including Banteay Srei—a Cambodian organization producing radio dramas to encourage women's health and oppose violence against women; Angkor Participatory Development Organization, which attempts to find economic opportunities for local residents that will not destroy the environment or historic sites around Angkor Wat; Thai AIDS Treatment Action Group; Earth Rights International, a group concerned with environmental and human rights of tribal people along the border between Burma and Thailand, especially ethnic minorities who have fled from Burma into Northern Thailand.

     Mr. and Mrs. Ordman are members of Temple Israel and are both retired from teaching Computer Science at the University of Memphis. Mr. Ordman started in math; she started in physics. She was one of the few women teaching college level physics in the United States in 1946.

      Even while teaching at U of M the couple did a great deal of traveling. Since Mr. Ordman retired in 2001, they have done more.
      In the last few years Mr. Ordman has written close to three dozen essays for the Christian  Science Monitor. According to Mr.Ordman, Rabbi Micah Greenstein, senior rabbi of Temple Israel, sometimes calls him "the Jewish essayist" for the Monitor, although not all of the essays are on Jewish subjects.

      The inspiration for AJWS' work is drawn from the demand for social justice expressed in  traditional Jewish sources. AJWS is a Jewish response to the needs of communities throughout the globe, regardless of race, religion or nationality. The Torah makes it clear that it is a Jewish mandate to respond to the needs of the poor and.needy, Jews and non-Jews, and even enemies who are in need. Doing tzedakah, righteous deeds, is part of the Jewish obligation to participate in tikkun olam, helping to repair the world.
    AJWS  supports almost 200 grassroots organizations in the developing world and Russia and Ukraine through grant making, technical assistance, emergency relief and advocacy. It also provides unique international service opportunities for the Jewish community, enabling Jews to  play an active role in the process of meaningful social change. Last year AJWS sent over 300 volunteers to the developing world.

     Mr. and Mrs. Ordman are joining a group of a dozen or so traveling to Cambodia and Northern Thailand. The AJWS supports a number of projects in Cambodia and Thailand, particularly projects devoted to providing education and economic opportunities for women. A particular concern is with refugees and displaced persons. These are particular problems in this part of the world because Burma and Cambodia have at times had particularly bad government, causing substantial numbers of people to flee their homes, and because extensive warfare in Cambodia has destroyed much of the prior economic structure.

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