Yom Chamishi, 18 Iyyar 5779
Lag B Omer Thursday, 23 May 2019
Rabbi Danny Rich joins National Refugee Welcome Board

21st September 2015

Liberal Judaism’s senior rabbi, Rabbi Danny Rich, has joined the National Refugee Welcome Board.

The crowd-funded project aims to make sure refugees get a welcome that Britain can be proud of, and to show that Britain is ready and willing to house more refugees now.

It has been set up by Citizens UK and 38 Degrees. In the last week, 38 Degrees members have raised over £180,000 to help the new Board welcome refugees to Britain.

The Board will work with local authorities, encouraging them to resettle refugees and to find accommodation for tens of thousands of people in need of protection. It will help members of the public to connect with foster agencies, make housing available to those seeking sanctuary, and give to help tackle the crisis. It will also seek mobilise the country’s major civic and faith communities in support of government and contracted providers to make sure all refugees receive a warm welcome.

Those joining Danny on the board will include Bishop Paul Butler, representing the Church of England, Carol Homden CEO of Coram the Children’s Charity, Ayham Al-Halabi, a young Syrian resettled to the UK through the government’s VPR programme, Rev Lynn Green, the Secretary General of the Baptist Union of Great Britain and Bishop Pat Lynch on behalf of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference. Zrinka Bralo, representing the Migrant and Refugee Communities Forum and herself a Bosnian refugee, will chair the Board.

Zrinka said: “This is a global crisis and we need to make sure as a country we live up to our tradition of offering support to those in need of protection.

“Children fleeing Nazi Germany, Polish pilots who fought alongside us in the Battle of Britain, Asian Ugandans fleeing Idi Amin, Vietnamese Boat People and those who fled Bosnia like me - at each time people have come to the UK and found welcome. At each time civil society has played a major role in welcoming and supporting those arriving.

"People are stepping forward in their tens and hundreds of thousands to help. This Board will help coordinate and mobilise the country to help government and charities respond to this historic crisis. We will stand together and continue to make the case for our country to lead international efforts to rise to this historic crisis."