Over the past two nights at the Passover seders you attended, did the conversation amongst your family and friends lead to a discussion of the plight of thousands of Syrian refugees and how they are strangers in many new lands?

To get us thinking about the stranger that was literally or perhaps just figuratively at our seder tables, the Social Justice Committee would like to share what Rabbi Dan Moskovitz of Temple Sholom in Vancouver, British Columbia had to say about refugees during this unique time of Passover…

“This past year, the world was awakened and shattered by the images of a little boy whose body lay lifeless amidst the gentle surf of a Turkish beach this past summer. Another nameless victim amongst thousands in the Syrian Refugee Crisis, the greatest refugee crisis since WWII. But this little boy, like every little boy, had a name. His name was Aylan Kurdi (age 3), he drowned along with his older brother, Galip (age 5), and their mother, Rihan, on their own exodus to freedom’s distant shore.

Aylan and Galip’s father, Abdullah, survived the harrowing journey – though how does a parent survive the death of their children? In teaching the world about his sons, he shared that they both loved bananas, a luxury in their native war-torn Syria. Every day after work, Abdullah, like mothers and fathers everywhere, would bring home a banana for his sons to share, a sweet little treat, a sign of his enduring love for them.


Tonight we place a banana on our seder table and tell this story to remind us of Aylan, Galip and children everywhere who are caught up in this modern day exodus. May they be guarded and protected along their journey to safety, shielded by the love of their parents, watched over by God full of mercy and compassion.”

For more information on the refugee crisis, visit and for additional resources from the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, see

You can also read about HIAS, a Jewish organization that protects refugees of all faiths and ethnicities; and find out how you can participate in their campaign by adding their graphic to your Facebook and Twitter accounts: My people were refugees. This Passover, I #StandWithRefugees. Join me!

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