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But so far, Jewish communal organizations are working within coalitions only to support international aid to Syria. Syrian activists in the United States are still hopeful that they’ll see their Jewish involvement step up.
“The Jewish American community here has always supported humanitarian causes and has always stood by the right thing, and I hope they’ll continue to do so,” said Mouaz Moustafa, political director of the Washington-based Syrian Emergency Task Force.
In the meantime, individual activists like Kahana are trying to fill the gap. Kahana intends to head back to the region later in May to promote a new project of his that is focused on micro-financing opportunities for Syrian women refugees, a project that is funded by Jewish American donors.
He need not fear that his efforts are going unnoticed. Recent reports about his work, posted on an Israeli news website, have earned Kahana an unflattering mention on Assad’s Facebook page. Under a photo of him in a Syrian opposition scarf is a caption describing Kahana as the “Jewish Israeli” who is helping the rebels. The attention from Assad proved, however, to be valuable in raising money and attention, as Kahana received invitations from several Gulf countries to visit and discuss ways of helping Syrian refugees.
Contact Nathan Guttman at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter,@nathanguttman