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Jewish Communal Letter on Refugee Admissions

Reconstructing Judaism and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association were among the 36 Jewish organizations that signed onto a letter urging President Trump to change his stated intent to drastically cut the number of refugees admissed to the United States.

The letter is attached above as a PDF. Its text follows:

Dear Mr. President:

We write to you as 36 national Jewish organizations to urge you to set a refugee admissions ceiling of at least 75,000 for fiscal year (FY) 2019. We have joined together to ask you to continue the life-saving United States Refugee Admissions Program.

Our country has long been a leader in providing protection and assistance to those fleeing persecution and violence. In fact, the American Jewish community owes its existence to the times in our nation’s history when the U.S. welcomed refugees from all national and religious backgrounds. It is because of our history as refugees, our biblical commandment to “welcome the stranger,” and our longstanding involvement as a community in resettling and welcoming refugees, that we call on you now to give today’s refugees a chance to rebuild their lives in safety and freedom in the United States.

We are in the midst of the worst refugee crisis in recorded history, with 68.5 million people displaced, 25.4 million of whom are refugees. In this critical moment, the U.S. government must do more—not less—to support refugees, and resettlement is a key component of our international response to this crisis.

Refugees resettled in the U.S. today exemplify what it means to be American. Refugees are twice as likely than those born in this country to invest in and start businesses in their communities, which not only makes them job creators, but has helped to reinvigorate communities across this country. They also contribute billions to the U.S. economy, and millions in tax dollars for state and local governments. These families purchase homes, invest in their children’s education, and become civically engaged, all in pursuit of the same American dream that many of our own families sought.

A Presidential Determination of at least 75,000 will not only save lives and strengthen American communities, it will also demonstrate our strength and leadership to the world. As Jewish organizations from across the country that stand with refugees, we urge you to support a safe and strong U.S. refugee admissions program that represents the best of America.

  • Agudath Israel of America
  • Ameinu
  • American Conference of Cantors
  • American Jewish Committee (AJC)
  • American Jewish World Service
  • Anti-Defamation League
  • Association of Reform Jewish Educators
  • Avodah
  • B’nai B’rith International
  • Central Conference of American Rabbis
  • Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc.
  • HIAS
  • J Street
  • Jewish Council for Public Affairs
  • Jewish Labor Committee
  • Jewish Women International
  • Jewish World Watch
  • Keshet
  • Men of Reform Judaism
  • National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry
  • National Council of Jewish Women
  • Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies
  • NFTY
  • Orthodox Union
  • Rabbinical Assembly
  • Reconstructing Judaism
  • Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association
  • Right Now: Advocates for Asylum Seekers in Israel
  • T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
  • The Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights
  • The Jewish Federations of North America
  • The Workmen’s Circle
  • Union for Reform Judaism
  • United Synagogues of Conservative Judaism
  • Uri L’Tzedek: The Orthodox Social Justice Movement
  • Women of Reform Judaism

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