James Libson, JLC Trustee and Chairman of World Jewish Relief, discusses his trip to Idomeni, Greece with Chief Rabbi Mirvis. This article was first published on the World Jewish Relief website at https://www.worldjewishrelief.org/news/my-journey-with-the-chief-rabbi-to-a-refugee-camp/
In November, I travelled to Greece with Chief Rabbi Mirvis. Our delegation visited the transit camp in Idomeni, where up to 10,000 refugees are processed every day, as they journey through Europe.
There I saw a mobile medical unit – funded by World Jewish Relief’s Refugee Crisis Appeal – literally saving people’s lives.
It was a privilege to witness this significant moment with the Chief Rabbi and his colleagues. He eloquently summed up the situation when he said:
“The refugee crisis stands to worsen with the onset of winter. Easing the plight of the hundreds of thousands of people caught up in this immense upheaval is a complicated, ongoing challenge and requires a significant response.
“I am enormously proud of the life-saving contribution made by the British Jewish community through World Jewish Relief, to alleviate the great suffering of refugees within this complex and vast humanitarian crisis.”
Listen to the Chief Rabbi’s thoughts on his trip with World Jewish Relief on Radio 4’s Sunday Programme: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06p4ln7#playt=0h18m38s
One moving encounter during our visit that epitomised the situation for me was with an 18 year old Afghan, travelling alone, fleeing the traumas of a murdered father, the Taliban and now ISIS. His stoicism, ambition and gratitude will never leave me. While it was traumatic to witness this mass movement of humanity, I was and am immensely proud to see World Jewish Relief leading our community’s incredible and heart-warming response to this international crisis.