A Streatham shul is asking for £50,000 to help house a family of Syrian refugees in the only example of its kind across the capital.
South London Liberal Synagogue launched its ‘Abraham’s Tent’ campaign this weekend, with senior figures from Reform and Liberal Judaism alongside Christian leaders and the chief executive of the Board of Deputies.
The shul has already raised almost £10,000 to convert the former caretaker’s flat attached to the building into a home for a family fleeing war in the Middle East, describing it as “the community’s most ambitious ever fundraising drive”.
Alice Alphandary, chair of the synagogue said: “This project is so important to us as Jews. My dad was a refugee from Egypt. Many people in our community were refugees from Germany and Eastern Europe. We want to give refugees the same welcome and hospitality we received when we came to this country.”
Rabbi Janet Darley said: “It was wonderful to see so many congregants, neighbours and friends coming together to support this project. Every house or flat made available means rescue and resettlement for another family.”
Lambeth Council said it was actively working with the synagogue to help a refugee family make a new home in Streatham, and that it would pay the shul rent capped at the Local Authority Housing allowance. But because this is significantly below market rate, the number of private landlords offering accommodation to refugee families has been extremely limited, and councils have struggled to place refugee families.