Social Justice Action Center
This page will guide you to non-partisan ways to get involved through our congregation as well as how to connect with our partners. By standing up for our Reform Jewish Values- both in advocacy and direct service – we can together make a world that reflects justice, provides support for those in need and connects to our Jewish heritage.
How You Can Take Action
We at Congregation Emanu-El are very concerned about the continuing crisis on the border and urge all members to take action on this moral issue that hits at the heart of Jewish values. HIAS, a national Jewish organization focused on refugees, has identified a number of concrete ways that you can be involved through advocacy, volunteering, or donations: https://www.hias.org/how-take-action-asylum-seekers
We strongly encourage everyone to look at this list and find the way to contribute that works best for you – whether that is serving as a pro-bono lawyer, signing a petition to Congress, calling your local representatives, or any other initiative – no action is too small and we as a Jewish community have a moral obligation to not stand idly by as others suffer.
“Asylum” is all over the place yet is widely misunderstood and has been misappropriated. Check out this video (Asylum, An Essential Lifeline) to help clarify: 1) what is asylum 2) why this important protection exists and 3) why HIAS works on this issue.
August 15, 2018
Over the summer, many of us have followed the tragic stories of the 2300 children separated at our border due to our country’s zero tolerance policy. It is positive that our government has reunited more than 1800 children with their families. Unfortunately, children are still separated from their parents because they have been deported or their status is unclear. Those families who have been reunited now struggle with the repercussions of the trauma of separation, in addition to meeting basic needs of food and shelter. So many Jewish families in our community are descendants of refugees and immigrants, and it is humbling and inspiring to now be in a position to help.
We have been inspired by the work of people within our community who have stepped forward. Our rabbis spoke out from our bima and at public rallies and vigils in protest of the family separations. Rabbi Mintz and board member Ellen Kaye Fleishhacker traveled to the border in San Diego, and our board member and JCRC director Abby Porth traveled to the border in Texas to witness and protest this atrocity, and the JCRC has continued to offer ways for our community to help impacted families.
Now, trusted colleagues at sister Reform congregations have helped mobilize a partnership of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), HIAS, the Union for Reform Judaism and Auburn Theological Seminary to continue our support for these families. This initiative is called “Faith Communities Reuniting Families.”
The IRC is well positioned to help these reunified families with their physical and emotional needs, but it comes at a cost of $2500 per family. Congregation Emanu-El has a goal of helping 6 families. Our clergy team has covered the donation for the first of these families through our Rabbis Fund. Will you join us in helping us reach our goal? If you would like to contribute to this effort, you can donate here. Please don’t forget to put “Congregation Emanu-El SF” in the field that asks for your community’s name.
This issue cuts to the core of how we Jews want to treat the stranger and our children. We hope we can help make a small tikkun, a small repair, in this time of continued need.
Check back soon!
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