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August 24, 2021 5:27 pm
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British Jewry Mobilizes Humanitarian Aid, Donations for Afghan Refugees Through Synagogues, Businesses

avatar by Sharon Wrobel

A child waits with her family to board a U.S. Air Force Boeing C-17 Globemaster III during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Afghanistan, August 22, 2021. U.S. Marine Corps/Sgt. Samuel Ruiz/Handout via REUTERS

British Jews are continuing the humanitarian aid effort for Afghan refugees by stepping up the collection of thousands of donations of goods, money and other assistance.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews has launched a new resource across synagogues, businesses, and charities to collect physical donations and raise funds to support refugees from the ongoing crisis.

On Tuesday, Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl said, “In the wake of the crisis caused by the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, there are thousands of refugees in dire need. Many Jewish communities in the UK have already stepped up and are doing all they can to help. I am proud that people are spending so much time and effort are providing this urgent humanitarian aid.”

The group shared community efforts in South Manchester, where the Yeshurun synagogue hosted an event for the collection of goods to those displaced by the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. In the eastern English town of Bushey, a local synagogue was recently inundated with thousands of bags containing everything from clothes to toys and books.

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Griggs Home, a development and construction company in Radlett is collecting donations of toiletries, clothes, books, and toys. And the Jewish Council of Racial Equality (JCORE) has initiated the Afghan Emergency Appeal to raise funds for refugees in the UK with basic necessities — from outerwear and underwear to toothpaste and towels — as well as practical, social and psychological support.

“Following our call to the UK Government to expand on its plans for the resettlement of Afghan refugees, many in the Jewish community are looking for ways to support those are fleeing the conflict, including those who have recently arrived in the UK,” the Board of Deputies said.

The UK Jewish organization is also facilitating the recruitment of volunteers who want to contribute and help charities and other organizations, including JCORE and Paiwand, an Edgware-based charity dedicated to assisting refugees and asylum seekers.

Jewish community members who are looking to support those who had to flee Afghanistan were encouraged to volunteer at a number of British synagogues — including Hendon United Synagogue, the Liberal Jewish Synagogue, and West London Synagogue — that have drop-in centers for refugees.

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