Vietnamese "Boat People"

55th General Assembly
December 1979
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The UAHC has frequently expressed its anguish and horror about the plight of the Vietnamese boat people. Because we were the original "boat people," we Jews feel a profound empathy with the hundreds of thousands of refugees who now haunt the conscience of the world.

To implement this concern, the UAHC has launched a massive effort to mobilize the resources of our movement and congregations in the United States and Canada in order to extend a hand of support to these pitiful refugees of this generation.

Under the impetus of the congregations in our Pacific Southwest Council, the Commission on Social Action has organized a national effort with the goal of sponsoring a minimum of l,300 refugees within our congregations and movement.

The UAHC commends the humanitarian initiatives that have already been taken by our movement, working in cooperation with the HIAS and local Jewish Federations, as well as in interreligious settings with Christian religious bodies. We call upon the appropriate commissions and bodies of Reform Judaism to fulfill the most urgent mitzvah of our faith, pekuach nefesh - saving human lives.