Forward: Jews Push Washington to Admit More Syrian Refugees, Even as Some Worry About Backlash

[[{"fid":"1219","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"style":"height: 300px; width: 400px; float: right; margin: 5px;","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]"At the end of her Rosh Hashanah sermon, Rabbi Elyse Frishman turned to congregants and asked them to take out their cell phones and start dialing. An unusual scene at the sanctuary, and even more so during a High Holiday service, but Frishman explained that on this day, the cell phone would serve as a shofar and direct the community’s pleadings — not to God but to the White House," Nathan Guttman writes in The Forward

“There has been a tremendous sea change in the Jewish community,” said Rabbi Jennie Rosenn, vice president for community engagement at HIAS.

HIAS, the Jewish community’s largest refugee resettlement organization, has been reaching out to communal leaders for months in an attempt to pique their interest in the Syrian refugees’ plight, Rosenn explained. But she says that now the dynamic has changed: “The Jewish community is reaching out to us and looking for ways to get involved.”

Mark Hetfield, president and CEO of HIAS, said that increasing quotas to include an extra 100,000 Syrian refugees may sound like a big step, but it is clearly a mission America can undertake. The United States resettled more than 200,000 Vietnamese in 1980, and in the mid-1990s it absorbed 140,000 from Indochina, the former Soviet Union and the former Yugoslavia.

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