#70million was our ten-day call to the global Jewish community to take action for refugees, asylum seekers, and other displaced people around the world. Around World Refugee Day, from June 17-26, 2020, we called on our community to mobilize and use the resources at our disposal to support Jewish and Israeli organizations working with refugees.
#70million was powered by OLAM and organized in partnership with AJWS, HIAS, IsraAID, JDC Entwine, Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees, Repair the World, and World Jewish Relief. This campaign was possible thanks to the generous support of the Schusterman Fellowship.
In total, 115 organizations partnered with us and shared the campaign with their wider audiences. See the full list here.
Why did this campaign focus on refugees?
The world has an unprecedented number of refugees, asylum seekers, and internally displaced people: well over #70million worldwide. (As of late June 2020, new UN official numbers reveal there are nearly 80 million.) These people face significant challenges: the loss of home and assets, separation from family, food insecurity, loss of human rights, inability to access most basic services, violence, and psychological trauma. On a fundamental level, they cannot go home, make a home, or move to a new one. Even before COVID-19, this was a major issue.
Why is this issue important in 2020?
We launched the #70million campaign during the COVID-19 pandemic. For displaced people, COVID-19 is a compounded crisis. Trapped in overcrowded camps and cities, many lack access to clean water, soap, and clear information about the disease. Without legal status and sustainable livelihoods – or even the basic right to work – they lack protections that can soften COVID-19’s financial blow. The things that most of us take for granted – the ability to social distance, engage in regular hand washing, access basic health services, telecommute, or even receive unemployment benefits – are not options for them.
Why should Jews care?
Jewish history is full of forced migration. We have the unique opportunity to “pay it forward” and channel the knowledge gained helping Jewish refugees to support others facing similar challenges. Jewish tradition calls upon us to act even when an issue is large and seemingly intractable.