As we celebrate together and rejoice in our many blessings, we pause to remember those across the world whose lives are blighted by the curses of poverty and persecution.

Our thoughts turn, in particular, to the people of Syria – to the tens of thousands of people killed, the over seven and a half million people displaced within the country, and more than four and half million refugees – aware that half of all those displaced and in flight are children.

We also think of the many millions across the globe, driven from their homes by tyranny, persecution, violence and poverty, risking their lives as they make their escape in the hope of finding refuge and security elsewhere.

As the children and grandchildren and descendants of refugees, aware of our sacred obligations towards the stranger, let us be among those who open our hearts and our hands and our communities to welcome those in need of refuge, and resolve to do what we can to contribute to the alleviation of their suffering.

And let us say: Amen.

Rabbi Elli Tikvah Sarah