Thank you to everyone who attended our emergency meeting to discuss a coordinated response to the current crisis. Here are ways in which you can follow up on the discussions we had and find out more information on the featured projects.
More than 20 communal organisations are backing a new website providing information on the complex issues surrounding the crisis and practical ideas on how to help refugees by volunteering, donating and connecting to other campaigns. The Support Refugees website features actions you can take now, more long term projects and projects you can run.
These websites are the best places to find out how you and your community can help in a practical and meaningful way.
There is also a Facebook group, the Support Refugees Forum, which aims to enable people to share opportunities around the country to donate and volunteer to support refugees.
World Jewish Relief’s emergency appeal
World Jewish Relief will begin a humanitarian operation providing food, shelter, medicine and hygiene kits to refugees in Turkey, Bulgaria or Greece who are fleeing war and persecution. The appeal is supported by Reform Judaism and you can find out more here.
Nic Schlagman, Community Projects Co-ordinator at West London Synagogue and Cheryl Brodie and Debbie Rose of Alyth spoke about the work being done in their communities. The community volunteers urged others to assist with their drop-in centres for destitute asylum seekers and refugees.
West London Synagogue welcomes families who have been made destitute while seeking asylum in the UK. They provide a hot meal, grocery vouchers, clothing, companionship and advice for parents and children who have fled life-threatening violence or persecution in the countries they are from.
Alyth’s project provides a safe, welcoming, non-judgemental space, hosted by Alyth volunteers. The Drop-in caters for refugees who, although having received indefinite leave to remain in the UK, still face challenges and welcome assistance and support.
Finding homes for refugees
Elliot Karstadt, a member of Finchley Progressive Synagogue and a Leo Baeck College rabbinic student, described how communities can help house refugees and campaign for local authorities to commit to resettle refugees.
Befriending unaccompanied minors
Ben Wright, Education and Campaigns Assistant at JCORE, the Jewish Council for Racial Equality, introduced his organisation’s befriending project for unaccompanied minors.