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Supporting Our Immigrant Neighbors in Madison

Urgency of Now Immigrant Action Team

Jewish teaching is clear and unequivocal regarding our obligations to care for the stranger in our midst. In Leviticus 19:33–34 we are told: “When strangers sojourn with you in your land, you shall not do them wrong. The strangers who sojourn with you shall be to you as the natives among you, and you shall love them as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” This concept is repeated 35 times in the Torah. In this country, to which most of our grandparents and great-grandparents arrived as immigrants or refugees, many of our immigrant neighbors, due to their immigration status, are at great risk. This is true in Wisconsin, and right here in Madison. These neighbors, who are part of the fabric of our community, are living in constant fear of being stigmatized, deported, or separated from their loved ones. This terror affects individuals’ abilities to apply for and hold down jobs, enroll children in school, seek health care, contact the police when they are victims of crime, and access many other critical services the rest of us take for granted. Madison is not exempt from the tragedy of families being ripped apart by our federal government’s immigration policies. This message was recently posted to the Dane Sanctuary Coalition’s Facebook page, with a plea for help:

I have just learned of a young mother who works for us whose husband was detained by the police in Madison last week, who then called ICE who picked him up this morning. If you know anything about how this works, you know

that this means that he is gone. She is alone. They have three children under five years of age. She does not have family in Madison. As Jews, we believe in a world where every person is treated with dignity and respect, where all contributions to our society are valued, and where all can live together in freedom and safety. This vision compels us to stand in unity with our immigrant friends and neighbors, to offer our support and help, and to provide protection and support to those in need.

Now is the time to turn our Jewish values into action. You are invited to join our Urgency of Now Immigrant Action Team, one of the three action teams of the Urgency of Now Initiative at TBE. This group will help decide how we at TBE will advocate for and act to support and protect our vulnerable neighbors. Learn more, share your voice, and work with us to welcome those in need of our support.

For more information about the immigrant action team, contact Erica Serlin (ericar.serl@gmail.com, 608-833-8586) or Sherie Sondel (sherie.sondel@gmail.com, 608-444-3051).

For more information about the crisis facing Immigrants:

  • Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism: https://rac.org/immigration
  • Voces de la Frontera: http://vdlf.org/
  • Sanctuary Not Deportation: http://www.sanctuarynotdeportation.org/
  • United We Dream: https://unitedwedream.org/
  • Church World Service: https://cwsglobal.org/support-the-sanctuary-movement/

For information on the Dane Sanctuary Coalition:

  • https://wisconsinfaithvoicesforjustice.weebly.com/dane-sanctuary-coalition.html
  • https://www.facebook.com/DaneSanctuary/
August 23, 2019 22 Av 5779