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Israel – A Safe Haven For Whom?

Saturday, February 24 | Following Shabbat Morning Services | BJ Community House

Learn more about the African asylum seeker crisis in Israel with Tamara Newman, Director of International Relations at the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants.

In 1951, Israel was among the first countries to sign the UN Refugee Convention that protects the rights of persecuted people to cross borders in search of asylum. It was unimaginable at the time that non-Jewish Africans fleeing persecution would one day seek asylum in Israel. But just as unlikely as most of Israeli history is, this is exactly what happened. Who are these people? Where did they come from? And how has the Jewish state responded to their presence?

The Hotline for Refugees and Migrants is Israel’s leading organization protecting the rights of refugees, migrants workers, and victims of human trafficking. For almost 20 years, Hotline staff and volunteers have been visiting Israel’s immigration detention centers to monitor conditions, meet with detainees, and provide paralegal intervention and legal representation. They represent some of the most vulnerable people in Israel and advocate for government policies consistent with a just, equal, and democratic Israel.

    This program is in collaboration with HIAS 

Nearly 38,000 asylum seekers from Eritrea, Darfur and South Sudan are currently facing deportation from Israel. As American Jews, you have the ability to make an impact on the current government’s policy. Here are some ways you can make a difference! 

As friends and allies of Israel, we call upon Israel NOT to deport Sudanese and Eritrean asylum seekers, survivors of genocide and persecution, but rather to LET US HELP to work together in sharing in the challenges and opportunities of the global refugee crisis. Sign onto the pledge. 
Starting on Jan 25, Spread the love! Let the Refugees and Asylum Seekers know that they have your support in finding a humanitarian solution! Tell your Israeli friends and family, your consulate and Israel that you stand against deportation.

  • Take a photo of yourself with our symbol (make a heart with your hands) or just use our frame (coming soon).
  • Share on social media with this text: “Israel: Please #DontDeport Refugees! #LetUsHelp! Friends: Join the campaign at
  • For bonus points tag “Benjamin Netanyahu” on Facebook or @Netanyahu on Twitter and @RightNowIsrael.

Join the social media storm on January 25th!

There are many ways to contact your local embassy or consulate – call, write or show up! Visit our page to view scripts and suggestions to reaching out to your local Israeli representatives.
Clergy! Rabbis, Cantors and Rabbinical and Cantorial Students, also sign the the letter from the Clergy to Benjamin Netanyahu. 
Organized by our activist friends in Israel, January 22 Twitter Storm,
Recent News Roundup:

This Article talks about Israel’s plan to deport refugees and asylum seekers.  But this has lead to international outcry, both outside of Israel and within Israel. Hundreds of Israeli Academics speak out, saying “We have a Historic Duty“, and Rabbis in Israel have pledged to protect Asylum Seekers facing deportation.  In the US, Jewish groups have called on Netanyahu to stop the deportations, and Rabbi Susan Silverman launches the Anne Frank Institute.  Dozens of Orthodox Rabbis from Torat Chayim also express their solidarity with Asylum Seekers in a Hebrew letter to the Israeli government.