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August 25, 2021

World Jewish Relief Launches Crisis Appeal for Afghan Refugees


Afghan family of 8 walking with belongings looking distressed

World Jewish Relief Launches Crisis Appeal for Afghan Refugees

This week World Jewish Relief launched an emergency appeal to help people being forced to flee Afghanistan. Following the Taliban’s insurgency many, including women, girls and ethnic minorities, are facing acute threats to their safety and security and have no choice but to try and escape.

Up to 4 million Afghans are now in neighbouring countries. They have lost their families, livelihoods and homes and have nothing but the clothes on their backs. They urgently need humanitarian assistance, and there is immense pressure on host countries to accommodate and protect them.

The Jewish community’s response to this crisis has been incredible, going above and beyond to show empathy and extend support to Afghan refugees arriving in the UK. As the Jewish community’s humanitarian agency, and the UK’s leading provider of employment support for resettled refugees, World Jewish Relief will be there for Afghans in the coming months and years as they rebuild their lives in the UK.

However, Afghans urgently need our support right now. We will be responding in the UK, which is taking in thousands of Afghans. We are in contact with Local Authorities about providing basic assistance to those arriving, for example supermarket vouchers to ensure they do not go without food and necessities.

In Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries, where millions of Afghan refugees currently reside and more will follow, we are determining the most effective way to deliver emergency food, shelter and hygiene assistance to those most in need. In the UK and overseas we will work with our local trusted partners, focusing our response on the needs of women, children and older people.

Judaism teaches us not to stand idly in the face of suffering and injustice, and our community’s history reminds us why this is so important. World Jewish Relief was founded to help refugees in the 1930s and 40s because they were Jewish; we help refugees today because we are Jewish.

World Jewish Relief’s Chair Maurice Helfgott says:

Almost 90 years of purposeful experience means that World Jewish Relief is very well placed to provide the Jewish Community with exactly what it clearly wants and needs now – the ability to contribute to a trusted, effective and professional response to the urgent needs of Afghan refugees, both at home in the UK and in the affected region.

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, says:

The stories and images of people fleeing Afghanistan are distressing and hard to process. I am proud of the empathy being shown by so many in our community in response to the suffering of the millions caught up in this painful humanitarian crisis.  I urge all who are able, to show their support by donating to World Jewish Relief’s Afghan Refugee Crisis Appeal.

Marie van der Zyl, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, says:

As we watch the awful scenes coming out of Afghanistan, many British Jews are understandably asking what we can all do to help. I applaud World Jewish Relief for stepping up to offer their support for Afghans, and I commend their appeal to our community for vital funds.

The appeal is supported by the Office of the Chief Rabbi, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Jewish Leadership Council, JW3, the United Synagogue, Masorti Judaism, Liberal Judaism, Reform Judaism, S&P Sephardi Community, the Union of Jewish Students, the London Jewish Forum, the Zionist Youth Council and the Jewish News.