Liberal rabbis take lead on refugees

Citizens UK deliver letter at Home Office

6 September 2016

Liberal rabbis have been at the forefront of a campaign to speed up the arrival of lone refugee children to the UK – visiting Calais, holding a memorial event at the Home Office and delivering a letter to the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd.

Liberal Judaism’s senior rabbi, Rabbi Danny Rich, was part of the 20-person Citizens UK delegation of clergy to Calais last week, which also included Liberal Rabbis Pete Tobias, Janet Darley and Aaron Goldstein, as well as Reform and Masorti rabbis and Christian and Muslim clergy.

The group travelled primarily to present lists of unaccompanied refugee children who are eligible, under the Dublin III Regulation and Dubs Amendment, for resettlement in the United Kingdom.

Danny, Janet and Rabbi Richard Jacobi then joined more than 100 faith leaders, council chiefs and celebrities for a memorial event for Aylan Kurdi – the young Syrian refugee boy whose death shook the world’s conscience – outside the Home Office on Friday.

They urged the government to speed up the arrival of 178 refugee children, who have the right to come to the UK because of their close family links in the country, and a further 209 children eligible under the terms of the Dubs Amendment. All of these children are currently stuck in Calais.

The group, led by Danny (pictured above), then delivered a letter to the Home Secretary with the full list of the 387 children eligible to come to Britain and a request that Ms Rudd take immediate action.

The memorial event also included prayers, readings and speeches, and the laying of wreaths to remember all the refugee children who have died in the last 12 months.

Danny said: “Not a single child has yet entered the UK under the Dubs Amendment criteria.

“Liberal Judaism, working with Citizens UK, is therefore calling on the Home Office to immediately accept the children, now languishing in Calais, who are eligible to enter the UK.

“Judaism teaches that saving a human life is like saving the entire world. The Government must now immediately act accordingly.”


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