Rabbis, refugee agency deny report of Louisville synagogue resettling Syrian Jews


(JTA) — A report of a Conservative synagogue in Louisville resettling Jewish refugees from Syria is false, say a local refugee resettlement agency and the rabbis of the Kentucky city’s two Conservative synagogues.

On Friday, JTA received an anonymous report that an unnamed Conservative synagogue in the city had welcomed three Syrian Jewish families. The report provided the names and some personal details of the families, but did not name the synagogue. Other publications have since published the report.

But the rabbis at the two Conservative synagogues and a representative of a local refugee resettlement agency refuted the report.  While the city’s Jewish community of about 8,500 helped a Syrian Muslim family settle in the city, the rabbis said, their synagogues have not brought in any Jewish families.

“It’s a rumor. It’s not true,” Rabbi Robert Slosberg of Congregation Adath Jeshurun. told JTA. “There’s no Syrian refugee family that came to the Jewish community that anyone in the Jewish community that I’ve spoken to of authority knows about.”

Rabbi Michael Wolk of Keneseth Israel Congregation also told JTA the report “is not true at all.”

Rebecca Jordan, Kentucky state refugee coordinator for the Catholic Charities of Louisville, wrote in an email to JTA that the city’s refugee resettlement agencies “have neither resettled these families, [n]or have them as a families [sic] that they expect to arrive.”

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