by Eliad Eliyahu Ben Shushan, Community Shaliach
More than a million migrants and refugees crossed into Europe in 2015. The majority arrived by sea, but some of them made their way over land. Most of the immigrants traveled from Syria, but others fled from countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq, both of which are experiencing increased violence.
The international awareness of these refugee crises occurred primarily after a three-year-old Syrian boy of Kurdish ethnicity drowned in the Mediterranean Sea. A victim of the Syrian refugee crisis, international attention immediately rose dramatically. Photographs of his body were taken by Turkish journalist Nilüfer Demir and quickly spread around the world, prompting an outpouring of responses.
In previous Eye on Israel sessions, the beneficial treatment Syrian refugees received at the Galilee Medical Center was highlighted, in addition to talking about social, economic and ways in which Israel assists Syrian refugees – refugees from a state which has been an enemy to the State of Israel from the moment Israel was established.
In the April 12 session of Eye on Israel I will focus on the refugee question and its influence on the world, especially on Israel and the USA. We will hear from a representative from the Ghetto Fighter’s Kibbutz in the Western Galilee, sharing how and why we, as Jews, need to be involved and have a significant part in solving the refugees crises. We will also hear from IsraAID, the Israeli non-profit and non-governmental organization which is committed to providing life-saving disaster relief and long-term support. We will hear special stories about their great and beneficial help during the last year in the Syrian refugees’ crises.
We will also learn from Mark Kirchhoff, the former Director for Refugee Resettlement for Southern Sudan Community Association (now the Refugee Empowerment Center) in Omaha about the process in the United States for resettling refugees. He will also present information on the numbers and ethnic groups who have recently resettled in Omaha.
As always, the session will start with a short Israel update, comparing different media sources from Israel and the world that are related to the refugee topic. We will also look at the latest news in Israel. The session will take place on Tuesday, April 12 at noon in the Kripke Jewish Federation Library.
Eye on Israel is sponsored by the Henry and Dorothy Riekes Donor-Advised Fund of the Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation and is administered by the Center for Jewish Life, an agency of the Jewish Federation of Omaha, whose mission is to maximize involvement of Omaha’s Jewish community in imaginative, compelling and meaningful Jewish experiences.