South London refugee flat plan hits the headlines

24 January 2017

South London Liberal Synagogue’s plan to turn part of the shul into a flat to house a refugee family has made headlines across the UK and Israel.

The Observer ran a lengthy article in this Sunday’s newspaper, which is also available on the website.

South London Chair Alice Alphandary told the paper: “This is a very personal issue for a lot of our members. There is a sense that we as Jews have benefited from sanctuary in the past. For example, my father was a refugee in the 1950s. Now we want to repay that welcome to a new generation.”

The community needs to raise £50,000 to refurbish a disused caretaker’s flat in the synagogue building, which is a former school.

Danny Rich, the senior rabbi of Liberal Judaism and co-chair of the National Refugee Welcome Board, was also quoted in the article.

Danny said: “Liberal Judaism has been a leading partner in the campaign to bring Syrian refugees to Britain. We have done so not only because our own history reminds us of the fate of families whom the world abandons, but because the single most repeated ethical injunction in the Hebrew Bible is: ‘You shall love the stranger because you know the experience of being a stranger in the land of Egypt’.”

Other publications to run the story include The Evening Standard (pictured), Haaretz and The Times of Israel. Articles in The Independent and Huffington Post are due to run this week.

To find out more about the refugee project – or to donate money or time to making it happen – please contact the synagogue via

Share this Post