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Behaalotecha and World Refugee Day

On Monday’s World Refugee Day 37 refugees became citizens at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC. They fled to this country from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Laos, Liberia, Mauritania, Nepal, the Philippines, Russia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, and Vietnam. There, in our nation’s capital, in the Holocaust Museum, they stood and pledged their allegiance to the US.

It was a remarkable testimony to what it means to be a nation of immigrants. It was especially fitting that the ceremony took place at the Holocaust Museum. We know too well that the nations of the world, including the US, were silent in the face of the Nazi genocide and by and large turned their back on fleeing Jewish refugees.

These new citizens were embraced and welcomed by Holocaust survivors....