News items on assistance to Syrian refugees by Jewish organizations and individuals in the United Kingdom.

British-Jewish Peer & Kindertransport survivor calls on government to help child refugees

British Peer Lord Alf Dubs

British Peer Lord Alf Dubs

British Lord Alf Dubs, a Labour Peer and who as a child was one of the hundreds of Jewish children saved by the Kindertransport rescue efforts, has called on the government of the United Kingdom to take in the approximately 3,000 unaccompanied child refugees currently in continental Europe, in addition to the government’s already stated intentions of resettlement child refugees from camps in the Middle East.

Lord Dubs was born in Prague, and was among the more than nine hundred Jewish children saved from Nazi occupation through the efforts of the British humanitarian, the late Sir Nicholas Winton.

Commenting on the humanitarian catastrophe created by the wars in the Levant, the Jewish Chronicle quotes Lord Bubs;

“They are mainly from Syria and face a cold winter without adequate food or warmth and are vulnerable to child traffickers and the danger of being forced into prostitution.

“This is a humanitarian challenge which we must not shirk.

Reports have been circulating in the media on fears that as many as 10,000 child refugees may be missing in Europe, with Europol warning that some European gangs could very well have targeted vulnerable minors for sex work and slavery.

Many prominent Jewish organizations and individuals in the United Kingdom have come out strongly and publicly in support of the resettlement of child refugees to the UK, a charitable attitude that stands in stark contrast to the unforgiving and unsympathetic view across the Atlantic among some American politicians, with one presidential candidate voicing his objection to allowing even “five year old Syrian orphans” asylum in the USA.

To read the original article from the Jewish Chronicle, click here.

2016-02-05T20:10:35+00:00 February 5th, 2016|

Morning Star article;assistance by British Jewish communities to Syrian refugees

The UK based Morning Star ran an article highlighting the numerous initiatives by Britain’s Jewish communities to help Syrian refugees, both in Europe and the UK itself. The piece noted that while political opinions vary widely among Britain’s Jewish communities, by and large they have been very supportive and involved in efforts to help and assist refugees coming to the UK.

Some have suggested that the Jewish community is only concerned about crime and terrorism, that Jews are more in line with Ukip policy in opposing migration, especially from Muslim countries.

But this could not be further from the truth. For many of us it is heartbreaking that in 2016 there are still people living in refugee camps who are struggling to survive.

This feeling is not confined to Jews on the left, such as myself. It is shared by others who are non-political or even right-wing

The piece goes on to mention in detail the numerous Jewish congregations, celebrities and political activists who have come out in favor of assistance to refugees, and the efforts they have undertaken to alleviate the hardships experienced by those fleeing the Middle East to Europe and the UK.

To read the entire article click here.

2016-02-04T19:07:52+00:00 February 4th, 2016|

World Jewish Relief provides training to Syrian refugees in the UK

LRJlfH_web_UK based Jewish News has a report on an initiative by the World Jewish Relief to provide language and employment training to Syrian refugees in the United Kingdom, utilizing its experience from providing similar services in Eastern Europe.

The program will focus on cities earmarked by the UK government for refugee resettlement, and will offer “personalized services” to around 1000 refugees.

This would not be the World Jewish Relief’s first program in assisting Syrian refugees. Previously, the organization had raised an incredible £820,000 in donations to assist refugees in Turkey and Greece. The organization also has long standing aid efforts focused on helping Syrian refugees in Jordan.

After shelter, the first priority for any refugee is to become self sufficient. That means finding employment and learning the language of their new homes. By focusing on these areas, the World Jewish relief has demonstrated that they know exactly where and how assistance to refugees can be best focused and would provide the most benefit.

To read the Jewish News article, click here.

2016-02-03T20:41:27+00:00 February 3rd, 2016|

UK based JCORE support for resettlement of refugee minors

JCORE_logo_to_use_inhouseThe UK-based Jewish Council for Racial Equality (JCORE) released a statement welcoming the UK government’s decision to resettle unaccompanied refugee minors from the Middle East to the United Kingdom.

While welcoming the move, JCORE also appealed to the government to expand the plan to include minors currently living in camps all over continental Europe, citing the precedent of the Kindertransport rescue efforts which saved over 10,000 Jewish children just before the outbreak of the Second World War.

Unlike in the Kindertransport, when the UK was alone in its offer of sanctuary, today we need to see the UK work with the rest of the world in finding realistic resettlement solutions to protect these vulnerable children. For those that are resettled here, it is crucial that proper resources are made available to local authorities to cater for their needs.

JCORE have a long history of supporting refugees in the UK. Their past initiatives have included a program to help mentor refugee doctors to assist them in becoming qualified to practice medicine in the UK, and petitioning the government to implement a resettlement plan for Syrian refugees, in addition to initiatives on providing free legal aid and health care to asylum seekers.

2016-01-29T21:29:56+00:00 January 29th, 2016|

Actor Baron Cohen and wife give $1m for Syrian refugees

Actor Sacha Baron Cohen (photo credit Joella Marano)

Actor Sacha Baron Cohen (photo credit Joella Marano)

Israeli news outlet i24 News reported on 27th December 2015 that British actor Sacha Baron Cohen and his wife Isla Fisher had donated USD $1 million in medical aid to help Syrian refugees in northern Syria and neighboring countries.

Half a million dollars was donated to Save the Children to pay for vaccinations, and another half a million dollars was donated to the International Rescue Committee to assist Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan.

David Miliband, currently the head of of the IRC, was quoted as  calling their gift a “great expression of humanity.”

Read the entire article here.

2016-01-06T05:33:34+00:00 January 6th, 2016|