young man with a world globe in his handsPlease join the Orange County Jewish Coalition for Refugees on Sunday, June 30th, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Temple Bat Yahm for an engaging and meaningful afternoon in recognition of International World Refugee Day. The Coalition is hosting a community-wide World Refugee Day program which aims to please your senses with music, food and art while raising public awareness of the challenges facing refugees and asylum seekers.

World Refugee Day, designated by the United Nations, is celebrated every year in June. It commemorates the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees. In the context of international tensions surrounding the ever- increasing number of displaced persons, it is important to draw attention to the difficulties refugees are facing. The United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) counts over 65 million internally displaced persons worldwide—the highest number ever recorded! New displacement remains very high. One person becomes displaced every two seconds—less than the time it takes to read this sentence. That’s 30 people who are newly displaced every minute. World Refugee Day is identified as a “key moment for the public to show support for families forced to flee”.
The local celebration of World Refugee Day will include speakers, both refugees and experts addressing the refugee crisis. Attendees can hear from national organizations providing aid across the globe and also meet with representatives of local and national agencies who provide direct services to and advocacy on behalf of refugees locally. Together we will identify ways we can take action locally to be part of the solution to this worldwide problem.
In addition to being an educational event, there will also be music performed by local refugees, artists and food catered by Flavors from Afar, a group of refugees who have formed a social enterprise catering company. Art and jewelry will be showcased as well from countries such as Afghanistan, Tibet and Nepal
In 2018, the Orange County Jewish Coalition for Refugees launched, inspired by the HIAS Welcome Campaign and the deeply rooted moral obligation in Judaism to help the “other”, amplified by our historical experience as “strangers in the land of Egypt” and as refugees ourselves. HIAS is one of nine U.S. refugee resettlement agencies, established originally to assist Jewish refugees. The Coalition, comprised of twelve Orange County Jewish synagogues and local Jewish groups, is working to support refugees by increasing awareness of the global refugee crisis, help other agencies providing direct support to refugees, advocate pro-refugee legislation and develop relationships with law makers and fundraise to address refugee needs.
To join us on June 30th, free tickets can be reserved on EventBrite at tinyurl.com/OCJCRWRD or by emailing OCJewishCoalitionforRefugees@gmail.com.

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