In the last two years especially, the life-threatening trials facing those seeking asylums have frequently been in the public eye - the hunger, homelessness, emotional and spiritual suffering, loneliness and misery, which is the daily portion of hundreds of thousands of refugees across Europe and millions more throughout the world.
This is one of the great political and moral concerns of our day. It is a universal issue for everyone, from all faiths and backgrounds. It has resonance for Jews whose recent history involves so much persecution as well as for those from other religious and ethnic groups who have endured persecution and discrimination. Jews are commanded by the Torah to be especially compassionate towards the stranger and the refugee.
I am grateful to the Drop in for the constant devotion, knowledge and skill of those who lead it, and for the huge amount work put in by so many to bring food, sort clothes, store equipment, set everything up, welcome and look after clients and keep the project working month after month.
I appreciate how the Drop in brings so many people together, including volunteers of different faiths, communities and ages, from 12+ all the way to over 90.
I am moved that the Drop in leads many members of the Jewish community and other communities to go far beyond their regular first-Sunday-of-the-month commitment, to write reports, raise consciousness, seek funds, offer hospitality in our homes and many other matters.
I am moved, too, by the gratitude with which the support given is so often appreciated by the clients. May the coming year be a year of greater compassion towards all asylum seekers and refugees.