World Refugee Day 2023

June 20, 2023Rachel Klein

The world is currently facing history’s worst refugee crisis. More than 89 million people have left their homes to escape conflict and persecution, surpassing the previous record of displaced persons after World War II. Refugees—those forced to flee their country for fear of persecution, war, or violence—account for about 27.1 million of displaced people. Fifty two percent of refugees came from three countries currently facing extreme violence and unrest: Syria, Ukraine, and Afghanistan.  

This World Refugee Day, RAC Director and URJ Senior Vice President Rabbi Jonah Pesner is joined by Dr. Georgette Bennett, an award-winning sociologist, widely published author, popular lecturer, former broadcast journalist, and founder of Multifaith Alliance (formerly Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees). The two discuss Bennett’s book “Religicide: Confronting the Roots of Anti-Religious Violence,” how Jewish history and her own family’s lived experiences inspire her work, and how you can stand up for refugees on World Refugee Day and throughout the year. 


The best way to honor and celebrate refugees and their contributions to our communities is by taking action to make the United States a more welcoming place. Here are two ways you can act for refugees and asylum seekers: 

  • Help resettle refugees in your community by joining or starting a HIAS Welcome Circle! 
  • Urge Congress to support Afghan refugees by passing an Afghan Adjustment Act (AAA). The AAA would allow certain Afghan evacuees to apply for permanent status after one year of being in the U.S.

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World Refugee Day 2022

Every year on June 20, we honor the resilience and courage of refugees and celebrate their contributions to our communities and to our entire nation. The best way to honor and celebrate refugees is by taking action to make the U.S. a more welcoming place for those seeking safety.