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Refugees Welcome

September 11, 2015

The Rabbinic Call for Social and Economic Action

Refugees Are Welcome 

Ways To Help

This document is an attempt to assemble information about the various ways you can help the Refugee Crisis.  Please note that all the links have not been checked and the list is obviously not exhaustive.  Please let us know if you would like us to add anything.

The larger Jewish communal bodies are working, this week, on a combined response on this issue so watch this space.  Tzelem will be part of this conversation.

World Jewish Relief have just launched an appeal helping those near to the country of origin – please do donate here.

Tzelem has compiled various Jewish texts and sources on these issues.  Please email if you require a copy.

A very helpful article by The Guardian outlines ways to help from donating money or items, volunteering and protesting. The Independent also has an article outlining five ways to help you can help refugees find safety in Europe.

Thank you to New North London Synagogue and West London Synagogue for providing various items for this document.

Taking Action


Citizens UK are leading a resettlement campaign. Details about how to get involved can be found here.

For Those in Barnet

For those in Barnet: Finchley Progressive Synagogue are looking for private landlords for 50 Syrian refugees in the London Borough of Barnet. Rent will be paid directly by the European Union for 2 years.

We need landlords onboard in order to persuade Barnet Council to accept the refugees, so please let me know if you know of anyone, or if you have a property to rent.

We’re interested in flats/houses of any size, as long as they have their own front door.

If you have a flat/house that is currently or will soon be empty, please consider this!! Otherwise, please share this with your friends.

Along the same lines but not Jewish:  the German group Refugees Welcome (Flüchtlinge Willkommen), who match people with rooms/flat/houses to offer with refugees needing a home, are setting up in the UK. They don’t yet have a UK website but it’s worth checking out what they do to see what we might be able to do in future.

Collections in the community 

A link to donation points in the UK can be found here.

Marom (Masorti Young Adults) is planning a trip to Calais over Sukkot. We are collecting resources to support the refugees. Click here for a list of resources that are required in Calais. As the end of the year approaches, winter clothes are particularly important. You can drop off donations at New North London Synagogue – look out for the collection box in the Foyer. Information about Marom’s collection for refugees in Calais is on the synagogue website.

West London Synagogue is also arranging a shipment of donations to refugees on Thursday 1st October. They need sleeping bags, winter jackets, tents, non-perishable food items and money. They have also asked for people to contact them if they have space in their home for a Syrian refugee. Please speak to Nic Schlagman ( to arrange donations and for any other information. 

Social Media

Chris Bryant MP is asking communities to display a banner with  #RefugeesWelcome, take a photo (with a group of people in the photo!) and Tweet, Facebook, Instagram etc. to get the message out that we care.

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Liberal Judaism Board of National Officers

Some Facebook users have been changing their cover photo to a picture of Paddington Bear. Michael Bond’s inspiration for Paddington bear came from the Jewish evacuee children that he remembered seeing in the train stations of London during the Kindertransport of the late 1930s:  “They all had a label round their neck with their name and address on, and a little case or package containing all their treasured possessions. So Paddington, in a sense, was a refugee, and I do think that there’s no sadder sight than refugees.” 


There are various petitions being circulated. You may wish to sign this one.

Donation of items for Calais and Greece

If you want to help some of the refugees in Calais and Greece, you can also donate here.

Write to Your MP

Speak to the people you know who can change hearts and minds: how to write to your MP asking them to act – click here.


Important Websites

Refugee Action:

The Separated Child website: and click here for the Facebook page

Calaid is active in Calais:  They are also on Facebook and Twitter

Jewish Council for Racial Equality:

World Jewish Relief:

The Association of Jewish Refugees

In the News

You may want to read Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg’s piece in The Guardian here and this article about Rabbi Sacks’ response. Rabbi Danny Rich’s statement can be found here


Tzelem: The Rabbinic Call for Social and Economic Justice in the UK is a cross-communal campaigning organisation which provides rabbinic and cantorial voices on matters of social and economic justice in the UK.
It is founded on the Jewish principle that we are all created b’tzelem Elohim – in the image of God.  We believe that every person is equally significant before the divine, all human beings are equal, all human beings are unique and most importantly all human beings are of infinite value.  Tzelem uses Jewish teachings to integrate Judaism into matters of social and economic justice.
The Jewish People and our Teachings have a proud tradition of fighting for social and economic justice.  This is rooted in the Hebrew Prophets’ impassioned advocacy of the rights of the marginal and the powerless.   Their ancient call to actions stirs us today to speak out on issues of social and economic justice.  We seek to continue that tradition by taking action and providing a critique to the problems at the root of our society, our economy and our treatment of the vulnerable.


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