fbpx Let My People Stay: Jews Demand a Dream Act Now | Page 2 | Reconstructing Judaism

Let My People Stay: Jews Demand a Dream Act Now

News

Jewish leaders protesting DACA deportations in the Senate rotunda in January 2018

Eighty-six Jewish activists, including six Reconstructionist rabbis, were arrested in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 17 in a bold act of civil disobedience. Protesters occupied the central rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building and refused to move, demonstrating solidarity with the more than 800,000 Dreamers and DACA holders whose immigration protections were hanging in the balance as Congress debated the renewal of the DREAM Act.

Rabbi Elyse Wechterman, executive director of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, and Rabbi Mordechai Liebling, RRC faculty member, were arrested, along with fellow Reconstructionists Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb, Rabbi Barbara Penzner, Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, Rabbi Shira Stutman and others.

Liebling shared a personal story as his motivation for joining the protest: “I am an anchor baby; my parents were Holocaust refugees, and the only way they could stay in the U.S. was by having a child born here. I know in my bones that Jews must fight for the right of people to have a safe refuge.”

Wechterman spoke with passionate clarity, asking: “How can we stand idly by while immigrants who have lived among us—built homes, families and careers—are carted off as if they were not part of our human family?”

At the Senate office building, protesters were surrounded by hundreds of supporters from immigrant advocacy coalitions, including members of United We Dream (https://unitedwedream.org/about/), the largest immigrant youth-led movement in the country, many of whom were visibly moved by the public demonstration of solidarity. As of Jan. 19, more than 750,000 people had viewed Bend the Arc’s video of the action. Live coverage of the protest was featured on MSNBC, and articles have appeared in the Huffington Post and the Israeli-based Haaretz.

Former Assistant Director of Affiliate Support and Tikkun Olam Specialist, Reconstructing Judaism

Related Resources

News and Blogs

Reconstructionist Communities Make Disability Inclusion a Top Priority

With a welcoming ethos and a drive to break down barriers, Reconstructionist congregations and havurot have been part of a revolution that’s taken place in the public awareness of the importance of disability inclusion and related services.

News
News and Blogs

Does The Torah Require Us To Publicize Names Of Sexual Abusers?

What does Judaism teach us about how to respond to accusations of harassment or assault?

News
News and Blogs

Keeping Judaism Alive Behind Prison Walls

Serving Jewish prisoners in state prison, rabbinic students find new perspectives on freedom and responsibility.

News
News and Blogs

Striving Towards Racial Justice in our Jewish Communities

Reflections on the recent Jewish Social Justice roundtable meeting on racial justice and equity.

News

Strange Thoughts: A New Take on Loving the Stranger

To truly live justly, we need to move out of our comfort zones and embrace unfamiliar ideas and habits of mind. 

Article

Shofar Kavannah for Refugees

This ritual invokes the blast of the shofar to articulate the plight of refugees. It was created for use at High Holidays in response to the presidential travel ban.

Article

Desperate Immigrants: An Ancient Jewish Story

Abraham and Sarah’s desperate journey to Egypt as refugees reminds us that remembering the heart of the stranger is at the core of Jewish experience.

Article

Addressing Race as a Jewish Community

As a time to take responsibility for communal wrongs, Yom Kippur calls us to learn about and grapple with issues of race in America.

Sermon

I Want You to Know I Am Human: Listening to the Stranger Behind Bars

Freedom from bondage frames the Jewish story. How, then, can we fail to listen to those who are now behind bars? 

Article

Hagar: The Immigrant Worker

This provocative Rosh Hashanah sermon draws parallels between Hagar, Sarah’s mistreated servant, and today’s immigrant workers.

Sermon
News and Blogs

Let's Journey Together

In an essay that appeared in Philadelphia’s Jewish Exponent, Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D., makes the case that Reconstructionist Judaism matters now more than ever.

News
News and Blogs

The Cornerstone of a Better World

A powerful Reconstructionist message responding to recent acts of anti-Semitism, as well as inspiring examples of the best of humanity.

News
News and Blogs

Light Through The Cracks

Rabbi Deborah Waxman reflects on finding spiritual equilibrium in a time of shifting sands.

News
News and Blogs

Just For A Time Like This

On January 29, 2017, Reconstructionist rabbis and thinkers gathered for a day of learning and study on “Moving Forward in Changing Times.” The gathering offered a range of Jewish approaches to finding spiritual strength as an activist, how to have difficult conversations with those with opposing viewpoints and how to stay sane and grounded in what feels like an avalanche of political change. 

News
News and Blogs

Op-Ed on Trump Refugee Ban and Holocaust Remembrance Statement

In an op-ed published in Ha’aretz, President Trump’s failure to acknowledge Jewish Holocaust victims while banning entry of refugees spurs criticism. 

News