It's a time of year to be thinking about these matters, as much as it has ever been possible to push them out of our mind in the last 18 months.
I've been touched to come across so much engagement with Jewish action on this issue in recent days. My colleague Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg is featured in this article over the weekend and Rabbi Julia Neuberger was on Radio 4's Today programme this morning. The spur for this most recent coverage is the setting up of this attempt, founded by Kindertransport survivors and descendants, to provide legal routes to sanctuary in this country.
There are two calls for action that I am sharing with the community.
Volunteer at a drop-in centre for asylum seekers.
We are seeking to develop a cadre of volunteers to staff a drop-in founded through New North London Synagogue. They are full to overflowing and have turned to us to support an over-flow provision in Finchley on the first Sundayof every month. No skills needed, just a warm smile and the willingness to pack, stuff and share. I am hosting an info evening at the Shul on 21st Sept, 8pm at the Shul. If you are interested, please let me know by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are also looking to find funds to give travel cards and shopping credit to those using this provision. If you can support this work financially, again, please let me know.
Raise these issues with our representatives
This Sunday evening at 7:30pm, we are welcoming a local MP and the CEO of the Board of Deputies to New London to talk about tolerance. If you feel our relationship with refugee seekers both within and without our borders need to be part of that conversation, please come and pose those questions. More information on our flagship pre-Rosh Hashanah Adult Education event here.
I'm also delighted to share news of a project started by a New London member, a psychotherapist, who, in association with recognised agencies, has set up a therapy group working with asylum seekers hosted at New London.
Finally it's always an honour to mention the tremendous work done by the Separated Child Foundation - www.separatedchild.org, founded in memory of our member Esther of blessed memory, providing packs, training and support for unaccompanied minors arriving in this country. We will be doing a collection supporting the work of the foundation over Succot. More info to follow.