TORONTO, June 21, 2013 /CNW/ - Stephen Lewis and Michele Landsberg have
joined forces with J-RAN, the recently founded Jewish Refugee Action
Network, to advocate against the federal government's decision to
change the refugee determination system and to cut refugee healthcare
J-RAN founder, Rabbi Arthur Bielfeld, recognized a growing concern
within the Jewish community that the federal government's refugee
policies fail to respect Canada's humanitarian tradition and democratic
He decided to bring together concerned individuals to advocate against
the federal government's recent legislation, the Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act and associated regulations.
"This legislation has the effect of a dramatic drop in refugees coming
to Canada, unfairly targets whole groups of refugees, and has a harsh
impact on the health and well-being of those in need," says Rabbi
Stephen Lewis and Michele Landsberg have agreed to act as J-RAN's
Honourary Canadian Chairs to help raise the profile of the group's
"I am proud to be a part of this vital movement with so many concerned
and caring people," Mr. Lewis said. "The Harper government's
legislation puts the most vulnerable at risk, particularly by denying
them access to health care and by violating international human rights.
This tarnishes Canada's international reputation as a compassionate
The organization welcomes multi-faith and multicultural support. Its
board is comprised of doctors, lawyers, rabbis, and prominent media and
social justice personalities, drawn from a broad coalition of
organizations, who are united in their opposition to the federal
government's refugee policy.
Other members of the J-RAN board include Bernie Farber, former CEO of
the Canadian Jewish Congress and Chair of Ve'ahavta; Mary Jo Leddy,
founder of Romero House; and Maureen Silcoff, Toronto-based immigration
and refugee lawyer.
"J-RAN upholds the Jewish maxim of 'Tzedek Tzedek Tirdof Justice,
Justice shall you pursue'", says Bernie Farber. "We seek justice on
behalf of refugees to our land who do not have a voice."
J-RAN encourages the public to spread the word about their organization
and to consider providing financial aid or volunteering with the newly
Although not yet up and running, J-RAN's website can be accessed within
a few weeks at the following address: www.jran.ca.
SOURCE: Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP
For further information:
Rabbi Arthur Bielfeld CM, Founder, Rabbi Emeritus Temple Emanu-El
Maureen Silcoff, immigration and refugee lawyer
Bernie Farber, former CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress and Chair of Ve'ahavta