We, members of Beth Hillel Temple, call on our elected officials to keep America’s doors open to refugees.
Faced with the largest refugee crisis in all of human history, the United States must continue to be a safe haven for people fleeing religious persecution, genocide, and terror.
Our Jewish tradition teaches that every individual was created in the image of God. We must not turn our backs to the suffering of those individuals who have fled horrific violence, and who continue to be in extreme peril. Furthermore, Jewish history bears witness to the critical choice facing our country: whether to rescue those in need or to construct barriers to keep them out. Jews have seen America at its best, and we know what it looks like for our country to provide the chance at a new beginning. In generations past, our families were given opportunities to gain education, join the workforce, and become part of building our great nation.
But we also know what it looks like for America to turn its back on refugees. We have seen xenophobia overwhelm our nation’s capacity for compassion, and we have seen the doors slam shut in our greatest hours of need. Severe restrictions kept countless Jewish immigrants in danger, and too many people faced death in Europe after being turned away from these shores.
We appeal to our elected officials to ensure that the refugee program be maintained and strengthened for refugees of all ethnic and religious backgrounds — not halted, paused, or restricted.
As Jews, we take seriously the biblical mandate to “welcome the stranger.” Grounded in our history and values, we will continue to raise our voices in support of refugees and call on our great nation to uphold a legacy of welcome.
The Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants (ICDI) is a Chicago based group that has numerous programs for assisting those caught in the detention and deportation system. They are seeking volunteers to visit detainees in the Kenosha County Detention Center once a month for about two hours. Training is provided. For further information, contact Rabbi Feingold or Susan Remson.
The need for food in our local food banks grows monthly. More and more people find themselves dealing with food insecurity and hunger. Every year more families in Kenosha have trouble putting food on the table and rely on help to meet this basic human need. This is even worse in the summer, when the school lunches may not be available.
Because food banks can’t keep up with the increased need, Beth Hillel Social Action Committee has developed a “Food of the Month” program. Every single month a different staple food will be featured. So, all you have to do when you go grocery shopping is to pick up some of that one food item and bring it to the collection bins in the temple. It’s easy!