Celebrating HIAS+JCORE’s first year!

Celebrating HIAS+JCORE’s first year!

We were delighted to celebrate our first anniversary with more than 100 supporters yesterday evening (10th June 2024), at a special event hosted at New North London Synagogue.

The event came just over 12 months on from HIAS+JCORE’s launch in March 2023, and opened with a keynote speech from our Executive Director David Mason, outlining our achievements in that period – and vision and strategy for the future.

“We at HIAS+JCORE want to express the humanity of the individual seeking refuge here… We believe that as a Jewish organisation, our values drive us to help those who are displaced… With our work towards a fairer and more compassionate policy environment for refugees, we will push also for a more welcoming UK. A UK that does not ‘other’ those seeking asylum and refuge here. A UK that is less racist. A UK that is more cohesive and brings communities together. It is within that environment that those who come here needing our help will be able to thrive.”

  • David Mason, Executive Director, HIAS+JCORE

Attendees then heard about the impact of this work in action. We were delighted to be joined by Josh, a volunteer befriender on our JUMP befriending scheme. Speaking in conversation with our Deputy Director, Amos Schonfield, Josh shared with the audience the highlights of his five-year befriending relationship, and the transformative impact that the project has had both on him, and the young person he befriends.

“Five years ago we couldn’t converse that well. Now he speaks all the London-isms! He’s so much more confident… It’s been an amazing experience.”

  • Josh Stein, JUMP befriender

An insightful discussion around current race and asylum policy followed, featuring HIAS+JCORE Chair Judith Flacks-Leigh, and British Future Director Sunder Katwala. In a wide-ranging conversation, Judith and Sunder shared thoughts on identity and intersectionality, public attitudes on race, migration and asylum, and how we navigate the upcoming ‘immigration election’. The section concluded with a rallying cry for optimism from Sunder, who also stressed the importance of having a strong Jewish voice on both anti-racism and refugee issues.

I like to go to the sharp edges, the polarising debates, the difficult debates… and look for common ground with people who aren’t already on-side.”

  • Sunder Katwala, British Future

The event concluded with a deeply moving speech from HIAS+JCORE Honorary President Dr Edie Friedman, who paid tribute to the remarkable work of former JCORE Chair Dr Richard Stone.

Richard Stone (was) a kind, generous, fearless person, who was not afraid to rock the boat… and he would have been deeply touched to receive this award, created in recognition of a fellow social justice campaigner, Alf Dubs.”

  • Dr Edie Friedman, HIAS+JCORE Honorary President

In honour of Richard’s passion and lifelong commitment to fighting racism and injustice, and his work bringing together Jewish and Muslim communities, we were then pleased to posthumously award him with the 2024 ‘Lord Dubs Award’. This annual award recognises outstanding contribution to the causes of race relations and the rights of asylum seekers and refugees, with Richard’s daughter Rebecca, and son, Toby, presented with the award by Edie, the inaugural winner in 2023.

Attendees at the pre-event reception (All photo credits: Jared Arteaga Solano)

HIAS+JCORE’s Executive Director, David Mason, shares his vision for our work

Amos Schonfield, HIAS+JCORE’s Deputy Director, in conversation with Josh Stein

Our event audience, at a packed New North London Synagogue

A fascinating discussion on race, asylum and migration with Sunder Katwala and Judith Flacks-Leigh

Our Honorary President, Dr Edie Friedman, pays tribute to the remarkable Dr Richard Stone

Richard’s son, Toby, and daughter, Rebecca, with the 2024 Lord Dubs Award

Judith, Sunder and David enjoying the post event reception

It was wonderful to be joined by so many HIAS+JCORE supporters!