search

100 Jewish clergy urge UK to take in more Syrian refugees

In letter to Cameron, signatories cite Britain’s Kindertransport rescue operation that saved children from the Nazis

The Children of the Kindertransport sculpture, outside Liverpool Street Station in London (John Chase, 2006)
The Children of the Kindertransport sculpture, outside Liverpool Street Station in London (John Chase, 2006)

More than 100 British Jewish clergy signed a letter urging the United Kingdom to take in more Syrian refugees.

In a letter to British Prime Minister David Cameron, the rabbis and cantors referenced the 10,000 Jewish children that the United Kingdom rescued from the Nazis between 1938 and 1940.

Two of the people delivering the letter Monday were themselves members of the Kindertransport rescue operation that brought Jewish children to the UK, the British newspaper The Guardian reported.

Many of those who signed identified themselves as the children of Holocaust refugees.

More than 100 rabbis and cantors made a plea for Syrian refugees to British Prime Minister David Cameron, shown at a 2013 summit in Russia. (Sergei Karpukhin, Pool/AP Images)
More than 100 rabbis and cantors made a plea for Syrian refugees to British Prime Minister David Cameron, shown at a 2013 summit in Russia. (Sergei Karpukhin, Pool/AP Images)

“(W)e know that now it is our turn to open our gates to refugees who are fleeing from tyranny and evil, often with only the clothes on their backs, and their children in their arms,” the letter stated.

“We were heartened to hear that 20,000 refugees will be welcomed into the UK over the next five years. Yet we look again to World War II, where we find that immediate action could have saved many more children’s lives. Let the Kindertransport be our inspiration; 10,000 legitimate refugees, at the very minimum, should be offered asylum in Great Britain in the next 6 months.”

The letter, which also urged the government to allow refugees to work in the UK, said the British Jewish community is willing to find homes for refugees and raise money to feed, clothe and educate them. It was organized by Tzelem UK, an activist group that organizes Jewish clergy on social and economic justice issues.

The letter also referenced the Exodus from Egypt.

“As Rabbis and Cantors we regularly read the story of a band of refugees who escaped from a tyrant with only the clothes on their backs and a bit of flat bread,” it said. “They crossed a sea, and they dreamed of a promised land. We call this the exodus, and it is our founding beacon for hope, and our constant reminder in every generation to open our hearts and our doors to the stranger at our gates.”

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed
image
Register for free
and continue reading
Registering also lets you comment on articles and helps us improve your experience. It takes just a few seconds.
Already registered? Enter your email to sign in.
Please use the following structure: example@domain.com
Or Continue with
By registering you agree to the terms and conditions. Once registered, you’ll receive our Daily Edition email for free.
Register to continue
Or Continue with
Log in to continue
Sign in or Register
Or Continue with
check your email
Check your email
We sent an email to you at .
It has a link that will sign you in.