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Strangers in a Strange Land: Jews and Refugees, Past and Present

Hosted By: Haberman Institute

At the Seder each year, Jews around the world fulfill the commandment to see themselves “as if you yourselves came out of Egypt.” And in a post-Holocaust world, Jews everywhere have been inclined to identify with refugees of all nations and religions and with “the stranger in our midst.” But what happens when refugee policy becomes a matter of hot political debate right here and now? How are Jewish communities here and in Israel dealing with the rise in refugee issues, and what is our position as Jews?

Amy E. Schwartz traveled to Germany to report on that country’s social and political struggles after a decision to accept 1.3 million refugees from the Syrian civil war and the Afghan war, among other global crises–a decision that inspired and galvanized the country’s volunteer sector but also fueled the rise of right-wing backlash. As Moment Magazine’s Book and Opinion editor, she has overseen coverage of Israel’s own internal struggle over how to manage 40,000 migrants from Eritrea as well as the debate in the American Jewish community over whether to welcome Syrian refugees.

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Amy E. Schwartz

Amy E. Schwartz is Book & Opinion Editor, Moment Magazine. Amy received a degree in literature from Harvard University. She worked at Harper’s Magazine and The New Republic before joining the Washington Post, where she was an editorial writer and op-ed columnist on cultural issues from 1985 to 2002. Schwartz has also lived in and reported from France, Germany and Turkey. Her articles can be found at https://momentmag.com/author/aschwartz/.
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Haberman Institute

The Haberman Institute provides adult learning opportunties in Jewish thought, history, and culture.
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