You shall not oppress the stranger, for you know the heart of the stranger...
Dear TBC community,
More than a year ago, a group of us spent a Shabbat morning praying with our feet as we protested the separation of immigrant families. Using our voices and our Jewish values, we publicly called for an end to the inhumane treatment of these vulnerable people.
And yet, the work is not complete, and so, once again, we will dedicate ourselves to the pursuit of justice.
This year, we will mark the holy day of Tisha B'av by educating and mobilizing our community so that we can effectively work to stop the inhumane treatment that immigrants and refugees are facing throughout our country.
I also want to share with all of you that earlier this week, I met with my interfaith colleagues from Wilton, and we drafted a letter that was published this morning. I am including our statement at the end of this message so that you can see how our congregation will be working with our interfaith partners to amplify our voices and our message.
In Pirke Avot, Rabbi Tarfon famously enjoined us, "It is not your duty to finish the work, but neither are you at liberty to neglect it."
I hope that you will join us at one or both of our Tisha B'av programs as we follow Rabbi Tarfon's advice.
Chazak. Chazak. V'nitchazek.
Be strong. Be strong. Let us strengthen one another.
Rabbi Rachel Bearman
From the Wilton Clergy Association:
Love Your Neighbor as Yourself
As members of Wilton's Clergy Association, we feel compelled to speak out against the inhumane treatment that immigrant and refugee families are facing in our country. Our traditions speak with clear and strong voices as they teach that we are meant to welcome the stranger and care for the vulnerable.
Our faiths demand that we condemn the cruel practices that are irreparably harming adults and children who are seeking asylum and new futures in the United States of America. In our eyes, the treatment of immigrants and refugees who are entering our country is not a political issue; it is a moral issue. Therefore, what is happening at our borders and all around our country right now is not a political failing; it is a moral failing.
In order to amplify our message, in the month of August, each of us will preach or teach about this subject. Copies of our remarks and materials will then be shared with our colleagues and their congregations.
We will be speaking in various settings, in multiple languages, and with
one clear voice
as we call for all people to abandon hatred and prejudice and instead to work to remedy the inhumane, immoral, and unjust treatment of human beings who are seeking safety and possibility.
Additionally, we hope that those who are moved to do so will consider donating to one or more of the following organizations who are working to improve the lives of immigrants and refugees.
IRIS: Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services
RAICES: The Refugee and Immigrant Center For Education and Legal Services
238 Jewett Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06606
Aled Arevalo, Director 203-416-1306
The Wilton Clergy Association