Home june 2021 OC Jewish Community to Celebrate Refugees- June 20 Drive-in Movie to...

OC Jewish Community to Celebrate Refugees- June 20 Drive-in Movie to Support Aid Initiatives

In 1951, the Geneva Convention on Refugees convened as a result of the millions of refugees languishing in Europe following World War II. The United Nations General Assembly named June 20 International World Refugee Day.
    The first World Refugee Day marked the semicentennial of the treaty arising from the Geneva Convention that first established international law defining who is a refugee, and the responsibilities of nationals granting asylum. It is commemorated to honor all refugees, raise awareness and solicit support
    This World Refugee Day, the Orange County Jewish Coalition for Refugees (OCJCR) is hosting a private drive-in movie event at the Frida Cinema at the Mess Hall Market in Tustin. This fun and informative, Covid protocol-compliant event will include a screening of the award-winning movie “The Good Lie,” starring Reese Witherspoon.
    Ticket proceeds will support OCJCR’ s work assisting refugees and asylum seekers in Orange County. Dinner and snacks will be available for purchase. Tickets for the event are available online at tinyurl.com/GoodLieOCJCR and must be purchased in advance.
    In 2018, responding to the largest global refugee crisis in history, local activists and grassroots volunteers launched OCJCR, partnering with the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society to support individuals seeking refuge from war, persecution and torture.
    OCJCR aids newly resettled refugees by securing essential household items, providing career mentoring, assistance with enrolling refugee children in school, English language instruction, and more. Members of the group’s advocacy team met last month with members of Congress and are currently lobbying the California legislature in support of AB 1368 (implementing and funding services to asylum seekers in the state), and SB 452 (establishing a state Immigrant and Refugee Affairs agency).
    In 2020, the Coalition raised and granted funds to local partner organizations, including Home for Refugees, the Haitian Bridge Alliance, World Relief SoCal, and the Minority Humanitarian Foundation. Prior to COVID-19, OCJCR volunteers provided short-term home hospitality to asylum seekers just released from immigration detention—a program planned for reinstatement this summer.
     “Trump’s family separation policy broke me. As Jews, we know the peril of persecution and the proscription to ‘welcome the stranger.’ My grandparents came to America seeking safety and religious freedom. Knowing the lifelong trauma resulting from this kind of torture, realizing that our country was capriciously inflicting this cruel and unnecessary pain: I needed to do something. That something was attending OCJCR’s 2019 Tisha b’Av protest on the steps of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offices in Santa Ana. There, I met others who knew how to put their outrage and concern into action. I joined OCJCR and made a commitment to tikkun olam, working on behalf of asylum seekers and refugees. Before COVID, OCJCR’s Home Hospitality program allowed me to offer safety and a warm welcome to six asylum seekers from Africa, Haiti, and South and Central America. As the pandemic’s grip begins to abate, I look forward to more opportunities to help refugees who, like my grandparents, need acts of lovingkindness along their journey to a new home.”
—Lise Strom, OCJCR Advisory Council

    The OC Jewish Coalition for Refugees holds educational programs highlighting the hardships faced by refugees and asylum seekers, advocacy updates on changes in immigration law, and testimonials of individuals directly affected by harsh immigration policies. This year’s World Refugee Day event kicks off OCJCR’s film series, featuring five films and documentaries, each highlighting different obstacles faced by refugees and asylum seekers in the U.S. and the conditions forcing them to flee their home countries.
    For tickets, visit https://tinyurl.com/OCJCRWRD2021 or email OCJewishCoalitionforRefugees@gmail.com. 

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