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December 11, 2015

1,000 American Rabbis Sign Letter Welcoming Syrian Refugees

by Ishaan Tharoor

More than 1,000 rabbis in the United States signed onto a letter urging elected officials in the country to "exercise moral leadership for the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program."

The letter was published on the website of HIAS, a venerable U.S. charity once known as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society that was originally founded in the 19th century to help bring over emigrants from Czarist Russia.

It marks an important intervention in the American conversation at a time when conservative politicians have used the pretext of terrorism — security fears that followed the Paris terror attacks last month — as an excuse to pass legislation that would restrict the flow of Syrian refugees into the U.S. (Never mind that no Paris attacker has yet to be identified as a Syrian refugee or national.)

The rabbis' letter denounces this brand of politics by invoking the historical experience of Jews in the U.S. For the full article, click here.

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