Washington Jewish Week: The Jewish Response to the Global Refugee Crisis

[[{"fid":"1242","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: 55px; width: 400px; float: right; margin: 5px;","class":"media-element file-default"}}]]Washington Jewish Week published an op-ed by HIAS President and CEO Mark Hetfield on October 14, 2014. Hetfield writes, in part:

"The history and experience of American Jews means that the plight of the Syrians, and refugees everywhere, resonates for us. While most certainly a global crisis, assisting refugees is a very Jewish issue, and many significant voices in the Jewish community are stepping up to demand that we not turn our backs on the most vulnerable among us. We know what it means to be strangers in a strange land.

We also know the impact we can have when we come together to speak out for the rights of refugees and asylum seekers.

It was not long ago that the American Jewish community galvanized around the resettlement of Soviet Jewry following the collapse of the Soviet Union, resulting in the resettlement of hundreds of thousands of refugees. Many of us still remember the way congregations and communities came together to show our support and to pressure lawmakers to respond quickly to ensure our European brothers and sisters could find safety. Increasingly, we are seeing a heightened level of recognition from the American Jewish community that our government can do more to alleviate the Syrian crisis.

What makes this case unique, however, is that for the first time in Jewish history, our community is mobilizing in force to help refugees — not because they are Jewish, but because we are. The growing response currently underway in the Jewish community, from rabbis to lay leaders, organizational heads to members of our local congregations, reflects an appreciation for this major moment in our history."

Click here to read the rest on Washington Jewish Week.


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