Liberal rabbis lobby Government on refugees and LGBTQI+ inclusion

12 August 2019 – 11 Av 5779
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12 August 2019

Liberal Judaism’s rabbis have called on the UK Government to take action on offering sanctuary to more refugees and the promotion of LGBTQI+ inclusion.

An open letter on refugees, organised by Safe Passage and covered in The Guardian, was signed by 100 faith leaders including Liberal Judaism’s Rabbis Rebecca Birk, Janet Darley, Richard Jacobi, Margaret Jacobi, Sandra Kviat, Monique Mayer, René Pfertzel, Danny Rich, Jackie Tabick, Elli Tikvah Sarah and Alex Wright.

It reads: “We believe that the UK can and must resettle more refugees. The Refugee Council, British Red Cross and others recently called for resettlement to be expanded to at least 10,000 refugees each year. Meanwhile Safe Passage International have been campaigning for the UK to welcome at least 1,000 children annually from Europe and conflict zones, and have already secured pledges from local authorities amounting to nearly 1,300 places if the government makes a commitment to child refugees.

“As one of the world’s richest countries, seeking to build and demonstrate global cooperation and goodwill, this is a small ask of the UK.”

The letter continues: “Today, there are families living in refugee camps who may be there for generations. There are people in conflict zones whose lives are in constant danger. There are children surviving in car parks and on the side of motorways in Europe; preyed on by traffickers and others who seek to do them harm. These are people who deserve a chance to rebuild their lives and to become part of British society, like so many refugees have before them.

“The success of existing UK resettlement programmes, community sponsorship and the pledges by local authorities to take more children demonstrates that communities up and down the country are open to welcoming refugees. We urge you to celebrate these achievements and establish a truly world-leading resettlement commitment.”

You can read the letter in full here.

Rabbi Dr Margaret Jacobi, of Birmingham Progressive Synagogue, was also a signatory to a letter in The Independent expressing anger the lack of Government support for schools undertaking their legal duties under the Equality Act to promote equality and acceptance between people of different protected characteristics.

Signed by religious, political and civic leaders of all faiths and none, the letter calls for more support for schools and teachers are currently experiencing problems regarding the promotion of LGBTQI+ inclusion.

It says: “The requirement for schools to promote inclusivity between people of different characteristics is a vital part of our society’s equality and human rights framework, and helps us to forge a better society in which all may fully contribute. An attack on this framework is ultimately an attack on us all. The government must therefore give schools greater moral and regulatory support in advancing these important duties.”

You can the letter in full here.

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