NEW YORK, Feb. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC is supporting a major initiative, led by the Israeli humanitarian relief group IsraAID, to assist Yazidi refugees, as well as other migrants from the Middle East who have been coming in large numbers to Germany.
"Our Jewish tradition beckons us to help," said AJC Berlin Director Deidre Berger. "As Germany opened its doors to Yazidis – and Kurds, Christians and Muslims – seeking safety and security in Europe, our interaction with some of them can, we hope, assist in the difficult process of healing and acculturation to a new land."
The IsraAID project aims to provide long-term sustainable support for ten shelters in Berlin and Hannover that currently serve nearly 10,000 migrants. In the shelters, counselors and therapists fluent in Arabic will assist vulnerable families and children, as well as unaccompanied minors, in dealing with the trauma they have experienced in fleeing their countries and seeking to adapt to life in Germany. Importantly, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim volunteers will be an integral part of this project.
A vital aspect of the initiative, called "Bridges of Healing," will involve Jewish volunteers from Germany, Israel and the United States working in the shelters on education and culture programs.
AJC joins with ZWST, the Jewish welfare committee in Germany, in supporting the initial six months of this IsraAID project. AJC's contribution comes from our Heilbrunn Humanitarian Fund and Arthur and Rochelle Belfer Refugee Assistance Fund.
AJC has partnered over the years with IsraAID in responding to a number of humanitarian crises around the world. In December 2015, for example, AJC supported IsraAID in delivering humanitarian aid to Yazidi and other refugees in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
In September 2014, an AJC grant to IsraAID provided humanitarian aid to beleaguered Christians and Yazidis who had fled to Iraq's Kurdish region to escape from ISIS. Syrian refugees in Jordan and migrants arriving on the Greek island of Lesbos also have benefited from the AJC-IsraAID partnership, which has included AJC staff members working on the island.
SOURCE American Jewish Committee