Resolution on Refugees

Posted on: Friday March 8, 2019

The strangers who reside with you shall be to you as your citizens; you shall love each one as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I Adonai am your God. - Leviticus 19:34

Whereas:

There are more than 25 million refugees worldwide, over half under the age of eighteen; and

Whereas:

The Torah commands us in numerous passages to love and care for the stranger and refugee as an indication of our own humanity before God; and

Whereas:

The Jewish People has over and again known the experience of the refugee, from being ‘strangers in Egypt’ until recent times, including the Holocaust; and

Whereas:

We have repeatedly experienced persecution, prejudice, contempt and exile on religious, racial and political grounds and it therefore behooves us especially to open our hearts to others undergoing related experiences; and

Whereas:

Many of us are ourselves the children or grandchildren of refugees; and

Whereas:

The State of Israel was created as a haven for Jewish refugees and also for others fleeing persecution irrespective of race or religion; and

Whereas:

Both Israel and the countries across the Diaspora in which virtually all Jews live are signatories to the International Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees; and

Whereas:

The moral reputation of Judaism is at stake, particularly in the actions of the State of Israel, but also in the leadership shown by Jewish communities across the globe; and

Whereas:

Children are dying on journeys across dangerous deserts and oceans, and in inhumane conditions in detention centres in various countries, sometimes including our own;

Whereas:

The RA has accepted many resolutions on refugees, including Resolution on the Rohingya in 2018, Resolution on Immigration to the United States in 2017, Resolution on Support for Syrian Refugees and, Resolution on African Asylum Seekers in Israel in 2016, Immigration to the United States, and Immigration to Canada, in 2003.

Now therefore be it resolved:

That the Rabbinical Assembly support those fleeing war and persecution as defined by the International Convention and

  • Demand our respective governments to honour their obligations as signatories;
  • Partner with respected agencies and other faith bodies working to aid refugees;
  • Support colleagues and projects assisting asylum seekers in Israel;
  • Teach and preach from the manifold relevant sources within Judaism;
  • Organize collective communal actions to help refugees survive and succeed in their new lands;
  • Encourage individuals in our communities to create and maintain projects to assist asylum seekers and refugees; and
  • Promote international best practices and successful projects in a dedicated section of the Rabbinical Assembly website.