‘We must act’: WJR launches emergency appeal for victims of refugee crisis


Aid agency World Jewish Relief has launched an emergency appeal for the victims of the refugee crisis.

The charity called on the Jewish community to help alleviate the plight of refugees in Europe.

On its website, WJR said: “Europe is facing the greatest refugee crisis since the Second World War. Fleeing conflict and persecution, hundreds of thousands are taking extraordinary risks to find safety.

“We are the British Jewish community's response to international disasters. This Yom Kippur we will read from the Book of Isaiah which teaches ‘Share your bread with the hungry, provide shelter for the destitute, and clothe the naked’.

“We must act now.”

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The charity said that after it assisted tens of thousands of Jewish refugees fleeing horrific persecution in Nazi-occupied Europe, including through the Kindertransport, it was “important to build on that history today.”

World Jewish Relief’s chief executive, Paul Anticoni, said: “We are proud to build on our incredible history and continue to lead our community’s response to international disasters with the endorsement of the entire community.

“Many Jews wouldn’t be here today without our ancestors finding shelter as refugees. Just as the Jewish community did not stand idly by in the 1930s, our community must once again come together to take action to support those fleeing violence, war and persecution.”

The charity promised to provide food, shelter and emergency materials to refugees in Turkey, Bulgaria and Greece who are fleeing war and persecution.

Labour MP Luciana Berger said she was pleased communities had responded positively to calls to aid refugees fleeing the terror in Syria.

Britain’s youngest Jewish MP criticised the slow response of the government and said “it has done too little and taken too long to respond to this crisis”.

Ms Berger said: “It has failed to live up to Britain’s historic role as a country that offers asylum to those fleeing persecution and death.

“It has also failed to provide the leadership needed to help co-ordinate our response with other European nations.”

The WJR Refugee Crisis Appeal is separate from its Rosh Hashanah appeal for the Jews of Ukraine.

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