EJC is partnering with ECJC and HIAS to organise a two-day seminar on how to welcome refugees into new communities, from March 29-31 in Paris.
Over the past three weeks, more than 3 million refugees have crossed the border from Ukraine into a neighboring country. They are now in need of food, shelter and a safe place to lay down new roots for an unknown period of time.
The seminar will bring together about 60 participants from across Europe during the last week of March, and will be hosted by Fonds Social Juif Unifié in Paris.
The Jewish community response to this mass displacement has been overwhelming. In Eastern Europe , Jewish communities quickly developed a humanitarian response that included, in most countries, building up a presence at the border crossings, transportation to urban centers, temporary accommodation, and distribution of food and non-food items.
Communities in Western Europe, have already made available resources, set up coordination mechanisms, and registered members of the community interested in hosting refugees.
Beyond the immediate training objectives, bringing the various European stakeholders together, this is an opportunity to share initial successes and challenges in relation to the hosting of Ukrainian refugees, as well as providing a platform for coordination between Jewish communities in Eastern and Western Europe respectively.
Workshops will therefore be designed in an interactive format, facilitating the sharing of information.
Whilst many European Jewish communities have their own professional social welfare service, they mostly have little or no recent experience working with refugees. In preparation for increased engagement in support of Ukrainian refugees this seminar will introduce European Jewish social welfare services, communities and organizations interested in hosting Ukrainian refugees to HIAS and their expertise in working with Jewish Family Services and congregations around the United States in welcoming refugees.
The primary regional organisers are the European Jewish Congress (EJC), the European Council of Jewish Communities (ECJC) and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS). In addition, other organizations may contribute and provide training expertise and resources.
EJC Director of European Affairs Ariella Woitchik will deliver opening remarks at the seminar. Speakers include Merrill Zack, Vice President for Community Engagement, HIAS and Ilan Cohn, Director of HIAS Europe.
For more information, you can visit refugees.ecjc.info