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This Weekend: 7 Ways to Act Now for Immigrant Justice

This Weekend: 7 Ways to Act Now for Immigrant Justice

A man facing away from the camera holding a megaphone and wearing a shirt that reads DO JUSTICE LOVE MERCY WALK PROUDLY

At the close of this Shabbat, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, will head to El Paso, TX, with his wife and children, where they will participate in a faith-based immigration rights protest at the border.

At this event, organized by Repairers of the Breach, they’ll join hundreds of faith leaders in speaking out against the U.S. government’s unprecedented increase in cruel and inhumane attacks on refugees, immigrants, and asylum-seekers – because what’s happening at the border right now does not align with the values of this country, nor with the Jewish values our Reform Movement holds so dear.

Earlier this month, in the wake of news about planned ICE raids, Rabbi Jacobs wrote in his essay “How and Why We Must Advocate for a Just Immigration System”:

“What is our task, then, amidst our moral outrage? It is our role to advocate tirelessly for a just immigration system and to help bring about real and lasting change.

“Our Reform Jewish community is making deep, strategic organizing and advocacy possible within and across Jewish communities. We are working to end child detention, reunite families, and protect DREAMers, TPS holders, asylum seekers, and others.”

As a follow-up to that piece, we share here seven ways to act for immigrant justice – right now, from wherever you’re sitting, near the border or otherwise. You have the power to make a difference in the lives of the thousands of individuals impacted at our borders.

  1. Contact your elected officials: Tell Congress it’s time to end immigrant detention and ensure all those currently being held are treated with dignity and respect. Visit rac.org/detention to send a letter to your members of Congress today.
  2. Get involved in your community: Reach out to local immigrant justice groups or houses of worship and ask what support they need. You can also find a Lights for Liberty event happening near you.
  3. Join our efforts: Visit the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism's Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus Initiative Immigrant and Refugee Justice Action Center, You can also tell Congress today that it’s time to end immigrant detention and ensure all those currently being held are treated with dignity and respect, by sending your representatives a letter at rac.org/detention.
  4. Write a letter to the editor: Send a letter to your hometown newspaper expressing your outrage about what’s happening at the border and encouraging others to join in this work.
  5. Share your support online: Take to social media to contact your elected officials and to talk about what’s happening at our borders. You can share action items, news stories, and more, to encourage others to join this vital work.
  6. Say a prayer for justice: As a prelude to lighting the Shabbat candles and reciting the blessing, either at home or in the synagogue, consider reading the prayer "Against Detaining Children" by liturgist Alden Solovy.
  7. Support this vital work: Your donation to the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism's Immigration Justice Initiative will allow the Reform community to continue to galvanize action around issues of immigration and refugee justice.

As Reform Jews, we have long been steadfast and active in our commitment to immigrant justice, guided by the Torah’s repeated demand to love the stranger, or immigrant, in our midst. We support immigration policy that is just and compassionate, and we will not stop until families are reunited, asylum seekers are no longer treated as criminals, and our immigration system is reformed.

To follow along with this weekend’s events at the border, be sure to follow @URJPresident and @TheRAC on Twitter, and like the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism on Facebook.

Kate Bigam Kaput is the digital communications manager for the Union for Reform Judaism and, in this role, serves as a content manager and editor for ReformJudaism.org. A prolific essayist and lifestyle blogger, Kate's writing has been featured in The Washington PostEsquire, Woman's Day, Cleveland Magazine, HeyAlma.com, Jewish Women Archive, and more. Kate grew up at Temple Beth Shalom in Hudson, OH, holds a degree in magazine journalism from Kent State University, and currently lives in Cleveland with her husband, Mike.

Kate Bigam Kaput

Published: 7/25/2019

Categories: Social Justice, Advocacy, Civil Rights, Economic Justice
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