Refugee Shabbat

Refugee Shabbat 2023, which will take place on February 3-4, is a moment for congregations, organizations, and individuals in the United States and around the world to dedicate a Shabbat experience to refugees and asylum seekers.

How to Participate

Whether you sign up to participate on behalf of your congregation or as an individual hosting an event in a home, there are many options for your Refugee Shabbat. It could be the culmination of a week of action on refugee issues, a moment to simply focus on learning more about the global refugee crisis in a Jewish context, or an opportunity to convene Jewish (or interfaith) congregations to learn and chart a course of action together. The choice is yours.

Congregations might consider including a liturgical reading on the theme of the refugee crisis in Shabbat services and/or dedicating a sermon or text study to the topic. If you have a relationship with a refugee or refugee professional in your local community, consider inviting that person to speak during services. You might also plan an educational program after Friday evening services or after Saturday morning services.

For individuals and congregations alike, HIAS is pleased to provide programming resources that include a sermon talking points, a text study, and a list of ways that people can take action on their own or as a group. If you are located in Canada, our partners at JIAS Toronto will provide resource materials that apply to the Canadian context, and if you are based in Europe, you will receive resource materials from HIAS’ European headquarters in Brussels.

We encourage you to think through which of these options would be the most appealing to you and/or your community. Congregations and organizations may also want to begin identifying possible community partners (e.g., other synagogues, local organizations, etc.) and finding the right space for the program.

Given the uncertainty around COVID-19, HIAS is preparing resources that will work either online or in-person (in accordance with public health guidelines in place in March 2022).

*If the February 3-4 dates do not work for you or your community, feel free to register your participation below and choose another date in Spring 2023 that works with your calendar.

Please contact Rabbi Megan Doherty with any additional questions.


2022 National and International Co-Sponsors:

Anti-Defamation League (ADL)

American Jewish World Service (AJWS)

CEJI – A Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe

European Council of Jewish Communities (ECJC)

Jewish Council for Racial Equality (JCORE)

Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA)

JIAS Toronto


National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW)

Network of Jewish Human Services Agencies (NJHSA)

Movement for Reform Judaism UK (MRJ)

Paideia - The European Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden

Rabbinical Assembly (RA)

Religious Action Center (RAC)

Reconstructing Judaism

Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association (RRA)

Repair the World

T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights

United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ)

Union for Reform Judaism



2022 Regional Co-Sponsors:



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