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Jewish Letter on Family Separation

Reconstructing Judaism and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association stand with other national Jewish organizations to protest the Trump administration’s immigration policies that separate children from their parents.

Our press release follows:

Alarmed by the U.S. government’s “zero tolerance” policy of separating children from their migrant parents when they cross the border, 26 national Jewish organizations sent a letter to the Administration expressing strong opposition to the cruel practice. The groups, including the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), the Reform Movement, and HIAS, are urging the Administration to immediately rescind the “zero tolerance” policy and uphold the values of family unity and justice on which our nation was built.

Reports indicate that over 1,000 children have already been separated from their parents since the policy was implemented. Mounting evidence suggests that many children have been threatened, treated poorly, and held in dangerous conditions. In response to such cruel policy, the signers joined together to voice our Jewish values of caring for the stranger in our midst, which requires that we immediately end family separation. ‘How we treat the stranger reflects on the moral values and ideals of this nation. As the letter states:

“Our own people’s history as ‘strangers’ reminds us of the many struggles faced by immigrants today and compels our commitment to an immigration system in this country that is compassionate and just. […] Separating families is a cruel punishment for children and families simply seeking a better life and exacerbates existing challenges in our immigration system. It adds to the backlog of deportation cases and legal challenges in federal courts, places thousands more immigrants in detention facilities and shelters, endangers the lives of more children, and instills additional fear in people seeking safety in our country.”

The letter was signed by the following 26 organizations:

  • American Conference of Cantors
  • American Jewish Committee (AJC)
  • American Jewish World Service
  • Anti-Defamation League
  • B’nai B’rith International
  • Bend the Arc Jewish Action
  • Central Conference of American Rabbis
  • Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc.
  • HIAS
  • Jewish Council for Public Affairs
  • Jewish Labor Committee
  • Jewish Women International
  • Men of Reform Judaism
  • National Association of Jewish Legislators
  • National Council of Jewish Women
  • Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies
  • NFTY – The Reform Jewish Youth Movement
  • Rabbinical Assembly
  • Reconstructing Judaism 
  • Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association
  • The Workmen’s Circle
  • T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
  • Union for Reform Judaism
  • United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
  • Uri L’Tzedek, The Orthodox Social Justice Movement
  • Women of Reform Judaism

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