Jewish call for child refugee help ignored Orthodox rabbis

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Jewish call for child refugee help ignored Orthodox rabbis

Letter from Christian and Jewish clergy urging more immediate help failed to include Orthodox rabbis.

Jenni Frazer is a freelance journalist

IsraAid in Greece helping refugees.
IsraAid in Greece helping refugees.

A letter from Christian and Jewish clergy urging more immediate help for child refugees, failed to carry the signature of any Orthodox rabbi. All 24 Jewish signatories were from the Reform and Liberal movement.

Rabbi Janet Darley, of South London Liberal Synagogue, who helped get the Jewish signatories to the letter published in The Times last week, acknowledged to Jewish News that no Orthodox rabbi had been approached to sign the letter. She said: “We decided that for maximum effect we wanted the letter out [quickly], so quite literally we ended up sending it to our friends Sunday night asking for signatures”.

This week Rabbi Natan Levy, the interfaith and social action rabbi for the Board of Deputies, expressed disappointment.

He told Jewish News: “It’s unfortunate that the letter failed to reflect the many Orthodox Jewish voices that are deeply engaged in this issue. It’s not indicative of the work, the effort, and the depth of feeling I have personally seen among the Orthodox and Charedi rabbis who are passionate about this issue.

“I’ve watched Orthodox rabbis standing outside Liverpool Street Station for hours on end, urging passers-by to support the Dubs amendment, they are telling students about the Calais jungle, in Jewish and non-Jewish schools, and they are working together across boundaries of denominations, because some issues are simply too important to divide us as clergy and community”.

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