Chief Rabbi Mirvis witnesses trauma of refugees on secret visit to camp in Greece

By Rosa Doherty, November 12, 2015

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has led a delegation to Greece to visit one of the country’s largest refugee camps and to see the aid effort being carried out by World Jewish Relief.

He and four other United Synagogue rabbis spent Thursday at the camp on Greece’s northern border, where up to 10,000 refugees a day make the crossing into Macedonia.


Petition calls on Rivlin to back Aleppo rescue

By Sandy Rashty, November 12, 2015

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin has thanked the JC for highlighting the story of Syrian refugees who fled their home in Aleppo earlier this year.

Last week, this newspaper revealed how the last Jews of Aleppo escaped an area of the city controlled by Bashar Al-Assad in a high-risk mission orchestrated by Israeli businessman Moti Kahana.


Businessman who rescued the last Jews of Aleppo was inspired by Yad Vashem

By Sandy Rashty, November 5, 2015

Moti Kahana is not your average businessman.

He has considered turning the story of his life — from Jerusalem foster home to multi-million pound fortune in New York — into a book, but for the moment the 47-year-old is focusing his attention on the Middle East.

His mission to extract the last Jews of Aleppo began with a trip to Yad Vashem five years ago.


New hope for refugees as fund breaks record

By Rosa Doherty, October 29, 2015

Their plight moved British Jews to donate hundreds of thousands of pounds - and now Syrian refugee children have explained their joy at receiving the resulting aid.

More than £626,700 has been raised through World Jewish Relief's crisis effort, the second highest total for an appeal in the charity's history.


Schoolgirl’s silence raises £1,150 for World Jewish Relief Syria appeal

By Rosa Doherty, October 27, 2015

A British schoolgirl has raised more than £1,150 to support Syrian refugees through World Jewish Relief’s special appeal.

Kayla Sussman, a Year 5 pupil at Akiva School in north London, raised the money through a sponsored silence.

After staying silent for more than 24 hours, Kayla said: “I did my sponsored silence from bedtime on Friday until I woke up on Sunday morning.


Syria aid appeal makes history

By Rosa Doherty, October 15, 2015

World Jewish Relief has said its appeal for Syrian refugees is attracting the highest ever average sums given by individual donors.

The appeal, which was launched last month, has so far raised more than £533,000.


More Israel-Russia talks on Syria

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 8, 2015

High-level military talks began on Tuesday in Tel Aviv between a Russian delegation and a team led by IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Major-General Yair Golan.


Joy for rabbi and campaigners as council agrees to take in 50 Syrians

By Rosa Doherty, October 1, 2015

A London council has agreed to resettle Syrian refugees after a campaign led by a local rabbi.

Rebecca Qassim Birk, rabbi at Finchley Progressive Synagogue, headed a Citizens UK effort to get Barnet Council to take in the refugees.

Council leader Richard Cornelius announced that the local authority would accept 50 Syrians at a meeting at the synagogue on Sunday, attended by 200 people.


Deep fears over Russia's Syria push

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 17, 2015

Russia's decision to deploy warplanes and military units to Syria could have far-reaching implications beyond the ongoing civil war. It is already driving a wedge between Jerusalem and Moscow.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said he would fly to Russia to voice Israel's concerns over the deployment.


Benjamin Netanyahu rejects call for Israel to take in Syrian refugees

By JC Reporter, September 6, 2015

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected a call to allow Syrian refugees into the country.

Mr Netanyahu told cabinet colleagues that Israel was not indifferent to the plight facing the refugees.

But, according to Israeli media, he warned: “Israel is a small country, and we do not have the geographic and demographic depths [to absorb them].