The Jewish Community is Stepping Up for Refugees—Here's How

By Gabe Cahn,

The Jewish Community is Stepping Up for Refugees—Here's How

Activists hold a banner during a demonstration organized by HIAS, founded as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, outside the U.S. Capitol September 14, 2017 in Washington, D.C.

(Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

Since the earliest days of this administration, the American Jewish community has mobilized in support of protecting and welcoming new Americans.

Fighting each iteration of the Muslim and refugee bans, calling out inhumane practices such as separating asylum-seeking families, and doing everything in their power to create communities of welcome; American Jews are standing against the xenophobic and often cruel policies impacting refugees and asylum seekers like never before.

The direct support and advocacy is taking place each day in cities across the country. The efforts are a testament to the notion that the biblical commandment to “welcome the stranger” is more than just a cautionary tale for future generations to heed. It is a call to action: Show compassion to newcomers because we were once newcomers, too.

In recent weeks, the contrast between the Jewish value of welcome and the administration’s attacks on immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers has never been starker. 

Nearly 350 national, state and local organizations have signed a letter opposing the policy, and dozens of Jewish leaders visited the southern border, protested in front of ICE headquarters in New York City and joined rallies in major cities.

In the coming days, HIAS will be working with Jewish partner organizations to lead several initiatives, including delegations to the border.

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