Responding to the Refugee Crisis
In September, Tzelem, the cross-communal rabbinic call for social and economic justice in the UK, sent a letter to David Cameron. The letter called for more refugees to be admitted to the UK in the short term and for asylum seekers to be given the right to work. Read about the letter here.
In September, leaders of the Charedim community wrote to David Cameron urging him to do more for Syrian refugees. The letter stated that “As we watch another people from another part of world facing displacement and death, we as Jews have a duty to speak out.” Read about the letter here.
Over 435,000 people signed a petition calling for government action regarding the refugee crisis. The UK’s response to the ongoing crisis was debated for three consecutive days in the House of Commons at the beginning of September. See the petition here.
Following the announcement that 20,000 Syrian refugees would be resettled in the UK over five years, Citizens UK launched a campaign urging the government to ensure the first 1,000 refugees would be resettled before Christmas 2015. The government successfully resettled 1,000 Syrian refugees in the UK before Christmas. Read about some of the people resettled in the UK in 2015 here.
Refugees Welcome March
On Saturday 12th September, tens of thousands of people marched throughout the UK to declare that refugees are welcome here. The largest march took place through central London and featured a substantial Jewish contingent, some of whom walked all the way from north-west London to attend. Read about the march here and see some photos from the event here.
In August, the Jewish Council for Racial Equality wrote to David Cameron regarding Calais. Signed by over 200 members of the Jewish community, including 25 rabbis, the letter said the UK’s response “must be better than putting up fences.” Read about the letter here.
Over Sukkot, 20 members of Marom, the Masorti student and young adult movement, will spend three days volunteering in Calais. After driving over with vans full of donations, the volunteers will help build shelters and coordinate aid distribution, as well as celebrating Shabbat and Sukkot in the camp. Read more about the trip here.