A Liberal rabbi from South London has won a major human rights award for her role in helping to increase the number of Syrian refugees the UK government re-homes.
Rabbi Janet Darley of South London Liberal Synagogue was part of a Citizens UK team honoured for its campaigning at a UN Refugee Agency awards ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall on Friday.
Darley invoked the teachings of the Torah as she accepted the Champions of the Year prize at the Women on the Move Awards.
“On 36, some say 46, occasions, the Torah warns us against the wronging of a stranger,” she said, collecting the trophy from BBC broadcaster Samira Ahmed. “For us, this is core teaching and not an optional extra.”
As part of her work, Darley helped find appropriate homes for refugee families, created the National Refugee Welcome Board and coordinated the ‘refugees welcome’ movement in 85 towns and cities.
She said: “Since 2014, we have been campaigning for our local councils to publicly commit to take at least 50 Syrian refugees from the camps in Jordan and Lebanon, to put the pressure on our government to accept more people, and to ensure that Britain does its fair share in this humanitarian crisis.”
Others honoured on the night included Mariam Ibrahim Yusuf, who fled war and gender-based violence in Somalia, leaving behind her two children, convinced that they would soon join her, and Seada Fekadu, who fled Eritrea at the age of 16.
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