Syrian Refugees

Pittsburgh Jews Welcome Syrians As Trump Warns Of Danger

Jewish agency, Reform temple helping resettle refugees as ‘holy work’; GOP frontrunner: ‘Lock your doors’.

04/27/2016 - 08:47
Staff Writer

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump warned Rhode Island voters Monday to “lock your doors” because Syrian refugees resettling in their state could break into their homes.

At the same time, 500 miles west, a Pittsburgh synagogue is reaching out to the Syrian refugees settling in their community.

Leslie Aizenman of Pittsburgh’s Jewish Family & Children’s Service.  Courtesy of Jewish Family & Children’s Service

From Israel, Aiding Syrian Refugees

04/19/2016 - 16:32

Navonel Glick is the chief operating officer of IsraAid, an Israeli-based aid agency that provides disaster-response to major humanitarian crises worldwide and assists in international development. It is now assisting refugees fleeing war-ravaged Syria.

Glick, who has dual Israeli-Canadian citizenship, served for three years as the group’s program director, leading the group’s Israeli Arab and Jewish aid workers on disaster-response missions to such places as the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan, Sierra Leone after the Ebola outbreak, and Northern Iraq after the emergence of Islamic State. We caught up with him by phone last week.

Navonel Glick, center with glasses, has coordinated IsraAid disaster-response projects around the world. Courtesy of IsraAid

Arab Refugees Arrested, Released In Attack On French Jew In Germany

01/11/2016 - 12:10

Berlin — A kippah-wearing French businessman was attacked and robbed in an apparent anti-Semitic attack in Germany.

ferry and train station on the island of Puttgarden. Wikimedia commons

Sacha Baron Cohen, Isla Fisher Donate $1 Million to Help Syrians

12/30/2015 - 11:53

British actor and comedian Sacha Baron Cohen and his wife, actress Isla Fisher, have donated some $1 million to help Syrian children.

Sacha Baron Cohen and Isla Fisher attending day 13 of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at Wimbledon.Karwai Tang/WireImage

An Open Letter To Mayor Bill de Blasio On Syrian Refugees

12/23/2015 - 19:14

Dear Mayor Bill de Blasio:

Guided by our history and values, Jewish organizations from across the political and religious spectrum are rallying in support of refugees, regardless of religion, race, or nationality. On behalf of HIAS, the global Jewish non-profit organization that was established here in New York City in 1881 to protect refugees, we want you to know that we share your commitment to welcoming refugees as part of the core values of both the United States and New York City. The U.S. has offered protection to the world’s most vulnerable people and time and time again, this included protecting Jews. Today, this is more important than ever with unprecedented numbers of refugees unable to go home, in need of protection, and hoping to be resettled.

Mark Hetfield (left), Dale Schwartz

Syrians To Be Housed In Dutch Former Village For Jews Who Fled Nazis

12/21/2015 - 12:25

Amsterdam — The Dutch owner of land that was once a village for Jews fleeing the Nazis offered to use it to house refugees from Syria and Iraq.

Slootdorp. Wikimedia Commons

Our Commitment To Syrian Immigrants Comes From Our Roots

11/22/2015 - 19:00

More than any other people, the Jewish people know precisely when and where the Syrian refugee crisis first began.  Every year, every Jew, at every Passover Seder table recites the words “Arami Oved Avi.”  Sometimes translated as “My father was a wandering Aramean,” sometimes translated as “An Aramean sought to destroy my father,” we recall the plight of our forefather Jacob who fled the hostile conditions of his Aramean surroundings.  Aram, as many may know, is the Biblical name for the land that up until recently we all called Syria.  “Come and learn,” we call out to each other at the seder table, “what Laban the Aramean sought to do to our father Jacob.”   Jacob was a refugee twice over, first having taken flight from the murderous intentions his brother Esau, and now in this past week’s Torah reading, seeking refuge from the hostile pursuit of his father-in-law Laban.  “My father was a wandering Aramean.”  Year after year we come back to the core text of the core ritual that lies at the very heart of who are as a people.   The very first Syrian refugee was a Jew – not just any Jew, but the very patriarch who would go on to become Israel, the namesake for our entire people.

Bigotry In The Name Of National Security

Crises have a way of bringing out the best and the worst in people.  The Syrian refugee crisis is a classic example as politics seems to overwhelm principle – not unique but no less appalling, especially considering the lives at stake – as so many politicians succumb to xenophobia and religious bigotry and try to justify it in terms of national security.

Americans Have A Long History Of Negative Policies Toward Refugees, Immigrants (COMMENTARY)

11/18/2015 - 19:00

After Friday’s murderous attacks in Paris, more than half of America’s governors are voicing opposition to admitting 10,000 Syrian refugees to this country. In response, federal security officials have assured an uneasy public that all refugees will be fully vetted to prevent terrorists or criminals from entering the United States.

A Syrian refugee holds a baby at the port of Mytilene, on the Greek island of Lesbos, on Nov. 5, 2015. RNS

11 Jewish Groups Join Call For Congress To Accept Syrian Refugees Into U.S.

11/17/2015 - 19:00

Washington — Eleven Jewish groups are among 81 that sent a letter to Congress members urging them not to roll back plans to accept Syrian refugees into the United States.

Mark Hetfield, HIAS CEO
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