Natalie Portman Aids Israeli Groups that Help Syrian Refugees
JNS.org – Israeli-American actress Natalie Portman is donating money and clothes to help Syrian refugees through an initiative called Operation Human Warmth, which is working to “aid noncombatant women and children in Syria.”
Portman, her husband Benjamin Millipied, and their son Aleph are currently in Israel while she is filming “A Tale of Love and Darkness.”
“When I heard about Operation Human Warmth I felt deeply moved and compelled to get involved,” Portman said in a statement, according to the Jerusalem Post.
The effort is led by Israeli organizations including the youth group Hanoar Haoved Vehalomed, educational group Dror Israel, and humanitarian group Israeli Flying Aid.
Gilad Perry, Dror Israel’s director of international partnerships and collaborations, said the project has donated more than 20,000 items to Syrian refugees thus far.
“When we see the situation in Syria right now, we feel compelled to act. We feel that this operation is an expression of the Israeli public’s willingness to help those who need it most,” he said.
In addition to Operation Human Warmth, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is continuing its efforts to aid Syrian refugees as a leading member of the Jewish Coalition for Syrian Refugees in Jordan, a sub-coalition of 16 groups within the Jewish Coalition for Disaster Relief.
Dr. Georgette Bennett, a global philanthropist and leading supporter of the Jewish Coalition for Syrian Refugees in Jordan, and the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding have convened the MultiFaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees in Jordan, a 31-member body raising funds for Syrian refugees whose participants include Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and Sikh groups.
“As the Syrian refugee crisis continues to grow, JDC remains dedicated to ensuring a Jewish response to their harrowing plight. Driven by our shared ideal of arevut—responsibility to all those who suffer—we are a proud member of the Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees in Jordan under Dr. Georgette Bennett’s leadership, whose cross-cutting inter-religious call to action on this issue is more resonant now than ever before,” Alan H. Gill, CEO of JDC, told JNS.org.