The Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ) has launched a new resource, For Refugees, With Refugees: Advancing Interfaith Responses. The resource is part of a campaign for Christians and Jews to work together to support refugees in their communities. It provides religious reflections, ideas for grassroots projects, and practical advice for interfaith activists. Jewish and Christian communal organisations including René Cassin, USPG, JCORE, and Near Neighbours came together to contribute to the resource and the campaign.
The number of displaced people worldwide is at its highest since the Second World War, and is predicted to only rise over the coming years. CCJ has campaigned for refugees since 1942, when its founders came together to help Jews fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Now Jews and Christians are marking that history by working together to help people who find themselves in this position today.
Writing in the resource, CCJ President Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said:
‘As Jews, many of us have family members who were once refugees. We have recognised the echoes of our own long and often painful journey as a people.
This desire to act is also born of the fact that we are a community with a burning sense of social responsibility. We understand that we must look beyond our immediate circle of concern in fulfilling our defining moral responsibilities.’
CCJ President Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster said:
‘We should never lose sight of the fundamental and natural vocation of offering a welcome to the refugee, the needy, the oppressed and to those who are thereby rendered homeless. If we have the will there is a way forward that will allow us to build a society in which the stranger is welcomed and respected.’
CCJ Programme Manager Jessica Spencer said:
‘Our communities have tremendous power to welcome in the stranger, and to be a force for good in the public debate around refugees. By working side-by-side, we project the image of the UK that we would like new arrivals to see: as a diverse and tolerant country that celebrates difference.’
- The Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ) is a charitable organisation founded in 1942 to promote Christian-Jewish engagement throughout the UK. CCJ’s work is focused primarily upon three areas: education, dialogue, and social action.
- The CCJ For Refugees resource is available at http://www.ccj.org.uk/for-refugees-with-refugees-advancing-interfaith-responses/