2015-09-16 / Editorial

Jewish teachings and history instruct us to help Syrian refugees

The haunting image of a child’s lifeless body washed ashore like debris on a Southern European beach has rightly turned the world’s attention to the explosive crisis resulting from Syria’s civil war. Europe, facing the largest flood of refugees since World War II, is poised to take in hundreds of thousands of displaced people in upcoming months. The Obama administration has pledged to resettle more than 10,000.

Jews, with a special sensitivity to the plight of persecuted innocents, cannot stand by idly at the sight of these desperate migrants, about half of whom are children. As we reflect upon our own lives during this period of atonement, we can both pray for peace and security for all peoples and take steps to help make this a reality. Listed here are organizations seeking donations to help refugees:

 The Jewish Coalition for Disaster Relief has raised more than $500,000 for Syrian refugees. The organization is raising awareness about the humanitarian crisis among Jewish groups and providing funds to help refugees.

 The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society has resettled dozens of Syrian refugees. The organization, which started in the 1880s to help Jewish refugees, has broadened its mission,

 IsraAid will be distributing food and other supplies to Europe to assist those who have escaped Syria and other war-torn regions.

 The International Rescue Committee provides health care, infrastructure, learning and economic support to people in 40 countries.

Closer to home, the Jewish Community Relations Council is meeting with members of the local Syrian community to discuss how Jewish Federation can help. More information will be forthcoming.

As Jews, we are obligated to take to heart the lessons of our own history by treating strangers in our midst with justice and compassion. These refugees need our support. .

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