Today is March 6, 2021 /

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Chizuk Amuno Congregation

Velcro Sneakers

Like many of you, my waking and sleeping dreams have been haunted by the image of a small boy in a red t-shirt, blue shorts and velcro sneakers. The three year old boy Aylan Kurdi who was trying to escape Syria and drowned near a Turkish beach is younger than my own children. Also like many of you, I sought out ways to help and was directed to HIAS, the American Jewish organization that works on global refugee issues and is familiar to many Jewish families who themselves were assisted by HIAS when escaping religious persecution.

As a community, we know what it is like to be strangers fleeing a homeland in search of a better, safer life for us and for our children. Let us not stand idly by.

For those who are driven to act, and hopefully that is all of us, here is a set of actions being promoted by HIAS:

HIAS has hundreds of staff on the ground in 12 countries across the globe

working to provide legal assistance, trauma counseling, and training in

sustainable livelihoods to refugees around the world. We also work with

partners to resettle thousands of refugees in the United States every year

in 22 communities around the country.

As an international refugee relief agency and a domestic resettlement

agency, HIAS is also advocating on behalf of the protection of refugees

worldwide. The single largest refugee population in the world right now is

Syrians, and HIAS is working together with a coalition of other refugee

organizations to demand leadership and action from the international

community. We are also advocating to raise the cap on the number of

refugees our government will commit to resettle here in the U.S. so that

the world’s most vulnerable people have a safe place to call home. This is

just a snapshot. To learn more about HIAS’ work go to

Here’s how you can help:

*1) **Sign our petition*


calling on the President to take bold action to resettle 100,000 Syrian

refugees into the United States this year, to provide considerable

humanitarian assistance to aid to refugees abroad, and to address the root

causes of the crisis.

*2) **Join our national briefing call on the Syrian refugee*

<>* crisis *on

Thursday. The call will give a comprehensive overview of what the Syrian

refugee crisis looks like, and what must be done to alleviate it.

*3) **Volunteer* <> with refugees and

asylum seekers in your own city. Complete this form and HIAS will contact

you with more information.

*4) **Donate*


to HIAS. Your donations help us to assist refugees around the world. Right

now, during the High Holiday season, your contribution will be matched and


*5) **Stay informed* on the latest developments in the global refugee

crisis by visiting to learn more and by receiving HIAS’ action

alerts and updates, which you can sign up for in the light blue “Sign Up”

box on the top right hand side of the HIAS homepage. Also check out the FAQs

<> about the