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Supporting refugees and those seeking sanctuary

Menorah Synagogue marked its first Refugee Week with a call to foster more welcoming attitudes toward refugees in Manchester’s Jewish community.

Organised by Eve Davidson of Menorah Synagogue, and Linda Saleh of Yeshurun Synagogue and Greater Manchester Jewish Action for Refugees, the event featured three key speakers.

Tim Naor Hilton, CEO of Refugee Action Manchester, highlighted the broken asylum system, describing the harsh living conditions for refugees and the negative media portrayal leading to hostile government policies. He emphasised the need for a new asylum system based on justice, humanity and effectiveness.

Ben Gilchrist, Chief Executive of Caritas Shrewsbury, shared the community-led work at St Aidan’s Drop-in Centre, including English classes and support for Afghan families. He noted that despite media hostility, the general population is kind and generous toward asylum seekers.

Meiron Avidan, Integration Coordinator for HIAS-JCORE, introduced JUMP, a befriending scheme for unaccompanied refugees, and the Communities for Afghans project, which supports integration through local Welcome Circles.

And Linda Saleh outlined numerous volunteer opportunities to support asylum seekers and refugees in Manchester, encouraging community members to get involved.

The event raised £320 for local refugee projects, showcasing the community’s generosity and commitment to aiding refugees.

For more information or to volunteer, contact Linda Saleh at or Eve Davidson on

Meanwhile, York Liberal Jewish Community marked Refugee Week with a special non-perishable food collection as part of its interfaith and social action work to present to York City of Sanctuary’s project supporting refugees in the city.

In the photo below are YLJC’s Owen Power (also a Liberal Judaism Officer) and Sarah Hubbard (YLJC’s interfaith lead) with Dee Boyle from York City of Sanctuary.

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