The General Assembly of the PCUSA this week in St. Louis condemns the separation of families at the border, as does our neighbor, Congregation Shaare Emeth. Called to love our neighbors, this is a real opportunity to “Challenge the Present, Change the Future, and to Make Christ Known.”,
The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love the stranger as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Eternal your God.
- Lev. 19:34
Yesterday, President Trump signed an executive order ending the policy of separating children from their parents while continuing to adopt a zero-tolerance policy for unauthorized border crossings. The zero-tolerance policy means the administration will still aggressively pursue prosecution of parents, so parents and children will now be imprisoned together in detention facilities for an indefinite period of time. The executive order does not allow for families to apply for asylum and does not include a plan to reunite families who have already been separated. While we are relieved to see that children will no longer be taken from their parents at the border, this policy is still inhumane. It does not reflect our values as Americans; nor does it reflect our Jewish values.
Many of you have reached out, asking what you can do. Below, please find a list of current actions that we can take as individuals and as a community. We cannot remain silent in the face of such immoral and destructive policies. We must continue to use our voices to speak out on behalf of families who are suffering and who cannot speak for themselves.
Now is the time to act. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to be in touch.
Rabbi Jim Bennett Rabbi Jonah Zinn
Rabbi Andrea Goldstein Rabbi Jeff Stiffman
Cantor Seth Warner
1. Contact our members of Congress.
Phone numbers and a sample script are listed at the bottom of this email.
2. Provide tangible support.
Support detainees and separated families by sending care packages listed below to a Reform congregation in Texas who will get the items to the detainees. You can drop these supplies off at Congregation Shaare Emeth or send them directly to: Michael Blum Social Action Chair, Temple Emanuel, 4300 Chai Street (North C Street) McAllen, Texas 78504. Please note: we will only accept items from the list below.
Pedialyte; Blankets; Women's underwear in sizes 5-6 – new;
Women's bras and sports bras in 32-36 – new; Maternity pants;
Children's shoes in all sizes, particularly athletic shoes – new;
Shampoo, body wash, soap, razors,
men and women’s deodorant (must be new);
Children's toys – small and new
3. Make a donation.
Consider a donation to an organization that advocates for the rights and best interests of unaccompanied immigrant children. To read more and make a donation visit: RAICES.org or The Youth Center
4. Attend a rally.
Register here to join the Families Belong Together mobilization on June 30, 2018. There will be a delegation from Shaare Emeth attending this rally. If you would like to share a ride, contact Debbie Bram at firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-569-0010.
5. Stay Informed.
The news regarding our nation’s immigration policies is ever-changing. Stay informed with these organizations who are taking action and who represent our Jewish values.
• The Religious Action Center
• The Jewish Community Relations Council
• The MICA Project
Information for Contacting Our President, Senators and Representatives
Call the offices below.
State your name and tell the person answering the phone that you are a constituent and an active member of Congregation Shaare Emeth.
Sample script: While I appreciate the executive order signed by President Trump on Wednesday, June 20, I am still deeply concerned about our nation’s immigration policies. At best, this executive order will result in parents and children being imprisoned together. I believe these families should have the right to apply for asylum and I would like to be informed of a plan for reuniting the families who have already been separated. My religion teaches us that we are to welcome the stranger and the oppressed and I believe our country can do better.
• President Trump: (202) 456-1111
• Senator Claire McCaskill: (202) 224-6154
• Senator Roy Blunt: (202) 224-5721
• Representative Lacy Clay Jr.: (202) 225-2406
• Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer: (202) 225-2956
• Representative Ann Wagner: (202) 225-1621