Chief Rabbi gives speech in House of Commons to mark Refugee Week. - Refugee Council
June 24, 2005

Chief Rabbi gives speech in House of Commons to mark Refugee Week.

“Often we think, that countries admit refugees for the sake of the refugees, but the truth is that the very act lifts an entire country. A nation that gives is given back more than it gives. Those who lift others are themselves lifted. So when I and others pray, open our doors to refugees it isn’t only for their sake, but also for ours.”

The quote is an extract from a talk given by the Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks on 21st June in the House of Commons to mark Refugee Week 2005. ‘Strangers and Santuaries’ was an event organised by the Refugee Council, the Jewish Museum, and JCORE (the Jewish Council for Racial Equality).

As a child of a refugee, the Chief Rabbi was keen to send a positive message about the contribution refugees make to Britain, he continued “…when you do that research, as the Institute of Public Policy Research has done only recently, you will find that it is refugees and their families that make a disproportionate contribution to Britain: its economy, its arts, it’s sports, its culture. Britain has been enriched by its refugees, and so has every other country that admitted them.”

Other information:

“STRANGERS AND SANCTUARIES” – a talk given by the Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks on 21st June in the House of Commons to mark Refugee Week 2005. The event was organised by the Refugee Council, the Jewish Museum, and JCORE (the Jewish Council for Racial Equality)

Read the Chief Rabbi’s Speech in full.

The Chief Rabbi also spoke on ‘Thought for the day’ this morning on the BBC’s today programme about the need to support refugees and the work of the Refugee Council.
Download ‘Thought for the day‘ to hear what the Chief Rabbi said (available soon).