What’s Going On?
In recent months and weeks huge numbers of migrants have begun making their way to Europe. This phenomenon has culminated in what has been coined the 2015 Migrant Crisis, of which Europe’s refugee crisis is a part. Europe’s refugee crisis has been described as the biggest humanitarian catastrophe of our time. The European Union of Jewish Students and the World Union of Jewish Students want to share the following message: That we have a Jewish responsibility to provide shelter and hope for thousands of refugees who are fleeing war, massacre and social unrest in the Middle East and Africa.
Why Should We Act?
A. As Europeans and Global Citizens:
The European Union was created to ensure that each European member state can hold fellow members responsible once they violate fundamental rights. Europe is designed as a place for human rights to flourish. Different voices are meant to be heard in a multicultural society.
B. Because of Our Jewish History:
Migration is a huge part of Jewish history; from the Babylonian exile to the mixed background of current European Jewry. During the Second World War many of our own grandparents sought asylum and at that time too people argued that it should not have been allowed, since it ‘could provide cover for enemies to enter European countries’. The migration crisis reminds us of a time in which others were seen as different; as intruders. Others were segregated to signal that “they” do not belong to “us”. Even the pictures we see today resemble the dehumanization of people marked with ink on their skin.
C. Due to Our Core Jewish Values:
Our core Jewish values oblige us to stand up for human rights; to protest against injustices done to any other people. “Love therefore the Stranger, for you were Strangers in the Land of Egypt.” Devarim (Deuteronomy) CH 10,19. In our work we express this ideal based on the belief that humanity is created in the image of G-d.
So let’s take action!
This is an opportunity for us to prove our commitment to human rights by standing up for the men, women and children so desperate for a safe haven.
Click here to add your name to the list of signatories
- Host a collectathon to gather items from your members:
Items may include clothes, blankets, tents, shoes or anything else known to be needed.
- Host a fundraising event for a charity supporting the migrants.
- Visit a migrant camp and play games with the children.
- Offer to teach your national European language to anyone who wants to learn.
- Write to a local political authority to express your views on the migrant crisis.
- Encourage your community members who own vacant property to let it out to migrants.
- Gather members together and make sleeping bags to distribute at a migrant camp. How to make a sleeping bag: http://vukaenergysavings.co.za/?page_id=165
- Protest! There is nothing wrong with a good, old fashioned protest.
- Sign up for “Refugees Welcome” on http://www.refugees-welcome.net/
- The Facebook group “Music Against Borders” is looking to gather musical instruments for migrant musicians in Calais. Bring that dusty trumpet which nobody ever uses!
- Set up a mobile soup kitchen and serve migrants a decent meal.
- Reach out to local initiatives and offer your support during their activities.
- Ask customers at a local supermarket to buy one item that you can donate to migrants.
- Run a ‘Challah Bake’ on Thursday, sell the challah to your community members,
and donate the money to a charity supporting migrants.
- Organize a get-together for your members, where the entrance ‘fee’ is one item that could be donated to migrants after the party...
- ...Also, every sold drink equates to the cost of a small food item.
- Host a lecture at your university: Inform students about the severity of the migrant crisis, and (use this to-do list to) offer suggestions for action. You may even invite a speaker from or outside of the university who can share their knowledge on the topic.
- Host a Jewish textual study session to explore Jewish responsibility for social justice.
- Join online & contribute your ideas to the “Global Jewish Student Migrant Crisis Task Force” via https://www.facebook.com/groups/JewishStudentsSupportingMigrants/
- Sign the EUJS/WUJS Call for Action as a symbol of commitment to our cause.