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Message from Rabbi Kathleen

Thursday, March 3

We are all following with horror the terrible events in Ukraine, aware that one of our courageous colleagues, chose to stay with his congregation in Kyiv, and we’re also following the updates of colleagues who have fled the country. We’re shocked by the horrific symbolism of the bombing by the Russians of Babyn Yar which memorialises the mass murder of 34,000 residents of Kyiv during the Holocaust.

As Rabbis, we are asking the Government  to do more to provide safe passage to the refugees but are aware that, as yet, refugees are not allowed to come to Britain.  However, with other Reform and Liberal synagogues, we are collecting names of possible hosts to offer temporary accommodation to a Jewish (or non-Jewish) family or individual, if visas are suddenly granted.

There would have to be due process – such as safeguarding and to check your premises are suitable – while you would need to be assured that the guests would stay only for the time you stipulate is possible for you to host them.  We will then work with whatever major Jewish organisation and Government department that is taking the lead in dealing with temporary re-rehousing. We often refer to the kindertransport and what a wonderful effort that was.  Now may be the time that our generation is called to respond in a similar way. Please let the office know if you would like to be part of this effort.

If you seek other means to help Ukrainian communities, we suggest you get in touch with the World Union for Progressive Judaism and or World Jewish Relief in their efforts to provide aid.

World Union for Progressive Judaismhttps://wupj.org/give/ukraine/

World Jewish Relief: https://www.worldjewishrelief.org/ways-to-donate/appeals/1267-ukraine-crisis-appeal

We pray for peace and an end to Russian aggression.

March 3, 2022