Over 1400 Jewish Clergy as part of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society deliver letter to Congress demanding right to asylum for refugees
"The Jewish people know what it means to be turned away and to be denied protection. As Jews we understand the heart of the refugee, and the current actions of our government echo some of the darkest moments of our own history."
The right to request asylum is a human right available to oppressed people around the world, yet the current presidental administration has been committed to demonizing, abusing, and denying people making a legal claim for asylum. People have been arrested, separated from their families, and put into crowded and unsanitary detention facilities. It's a horrifying human rights abuse and will be a point of shame in American history.
On July 18th, more than 1400 Jewish clergy as part of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society delivered a letter to the United States Congress demanding that the rights to asylum for refugees. The subject has a special meaning to the community, which has faced persecution for generations. Remember, Anne Frank was a refugee who was denied asylum.
"At this moment when the United States is abandoning its legacy as a nation of immigrants and refugees by rescinding its commitment to provide asylum to those fleeing violence and persecution, more than 1,400 Jewish clergy around the country heeded the urgent call to raise our voices to say that this is a moral disgrace for all Americans and, in particular, for Jewish Americans who know well the danger of turning away those in need of a safe place to call home," said Meyer.
"We pray that our elected officials will take seriously the tens of thousands of American Jews we represent and step up to ensure that our country continues to have a fair, humane, and expeditious asylum process," said HIAS Rabbi-in-residence Rachel Grant Meyer.
"In Jewish tradition, there is no higher obligation than to save the life of another," the petition reads. "As Jewish clergy, we will not stay silent as our country turns its back on individuals fleeing danger."
From an article on the Times of Israel by by Rabbi Susan Falk
"As an American, I am guided by our values of freedom and equality. As a Jew, I am guided by our belief in the ultimate redemption of our world. These are our goals, our aspirations. As we have counted each day of the Omer, we move one step further away from the dehumanization of slavery and one step closer to tzelem Elohim, what it really means to be fully human. Jewish history is replete with stories of flights from danger and persecution. May we use this time of the Omer, as we remember our journeys, to help other people who are still on theirs. "