The revelations of the last few days demonstrate that we are witnessing a state of moral emergency. The federal government has enacted a policy of separating children from their families when crossing the U.S. border. The Reform Movement has joined with 26 national Jewish organizations to send a letter to the Administration condemning their newly imposed policy of family separation. You can read the
here. We too are horrified, heartbroken, and outraged by the intentional choice to tear apart children from the embrace of their parents and families. Their cries enter our broken hearts, and we refuse to "stand idly by," because we know that silence is tantamount to complicity in this unspeakable crime against humankind.
We are united in our commitment to respond, and with urgency. Below are several effective action steps, powerful mitzvot we can perform to immediately respond:
- Contribute to the RAICES Texas Family Reunification and Bond Fund which will support legal services for detained separated parents, including the bonds to get parents released so they can be reunited with their children. This organization addresses one of the primary early obstacles to family reunification - they are responding with urgency and in need of additional funds to potentiate their impact.
We also recognize that this problem extends beyond the border; the crisis is national and local. Our TI Immigration Justice Team has been working tirelessly to identify areas in which we can, by virtue of our location and resources, make a righteous impact on the injustice plaguing undocumented immigrant families in and around Massachusetts. Please consider supporting immigrants in Massachusetts, many of whom have also been detained by ICE for weeks or months and separated from their children and their communities:
- Attend this rally TODAY sponsored by the Pioneer Valley Worker's Center, one of the leading supporters of immigrant rights in Massachusetts.
- Donate to the Boston Immigration Justice Accompaniment Network's (BIJAN) fund for legal services and immigration bonds for people who have been detained by ICE here in Massachusetts. You can do this through the Episcopal City Mission. Choose "Boston Immigrant Justice Accompaniment Bail Fund" as your donation type.
- Join Temple Israel's Immigrant Justice Team working closely with BIJAN, providing support to our immigrant neighbors who have asked us to stand with them as they fight for the right to stay in their communities. We have already had tremendous success in providing support and freedom to many individuals and families, and the more people we have within our network, offering their gifts and talents, the more effective we can be at responding with powerful compassion to this tidal wave of injustice.
We will continue opening doors for community members to engage in opportunities for tikkun (repair), primarily through our weekly Tikkun Central email, JustNews, which you can sign up for by
Finally, we want to remind you all of the importance of nourishing our spirits. Should you arrive at the end of week with a sense of utter demoralization and spiritual pain, overwhelmed by powerlessness, then please do not hesitate to join us for Qabbalat Shabbat. This is our time to create space to sustain our spirits through this dark time, providing us with the strength we need in order to continue our righteous work, emboldened by the knowledge that we are not alone. We are stronger together, and we will not quit until the "mighty stream" of righteousness flows down like nourishing water.
Clergy of Temple Israel of Boston
Gary Pforzheimer, TI President
Sarah Kianovsky & Jackie Gelb, TI Immigrant Justice Co-Chairs