What is the Jewish community doing on immigration?

Abby Levine, Director of the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable
Wondering what our community is doing on immigration this summer? Here's a round-up of much of the work happening as well as some media articles showcasing our field. 
 
Rabbi Ali Abrams from JCUA and Fred Tsao, Policy Director at ICIRR led a workshop with AVODAHniks on immigration reform. JCUA also organized a phone bank where teens from the Or Tzedek program asked JCUA members to call Rep. Peter Roskam. JCUA is working to mobilize Jewish community leaders in 6 districts in and around Chicago. 

JCA joined immigrant rights partners in congressional meetings with the offices of Reps. Paulsen, Kline and Bachmann.

JALSA submitted testimony and attended a legislative hearing on legislation limiting Massachusetts’ cooperation in enforcing federal immigration laws.

Bend the Arc has 18 in-district visits with members of the House that have already happened or are coming up.

NCJW recruited 6 leaders from Florida, Ohio and Missouri to meet with members of Congress as part of the “We Belong Together” coalition Day of Action in DC. They also organized a training via conference call for over 30 members nationally on taking action on immigration during the August recess. For that training, they created a variety of resources including tips for town halls, lobby visits and writing letters to the editor, all posted here.

HIAS met with House offices, submitted testimony and hosted congressional briefings on legislation targeting refugees and asylum seekers (highlighted in this JTA article), including the Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement (SAFE) Act. HIAS met with the Rabbinic Cabinet of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) to discuss immigration and refugee policy, including the Lautenberg Amendment. On World Refugee Day, HIAS launched the Welcome Initiative, which asks individuals to pledge to help protect the world’s 40 million refugees.

As part of their Immigration Nation campaign, HIAS and JCPA created an August Recess toolkit, available here.

The Religious Action Center supported the J-1 visa category in the Senate bill by organizing a sign on letter for Jewish organizations and circulated talking points within the Reform movement. URJ Kutz camp counselors phone banked their Senators (great video here).

Just Congregations and the RAC organized visits with Senator Kirk and several Chicago-area rabbis. They also organized visits with offices of Senators Portman, Hagan, Chiesa and Menendez. An NCJW leader joined the in-district Portman meeting.

Uri L’Tzedek hosted a Social Justice Beit Midrash with Diane Steinman, co-founder of the Interfaith Network and former American Jewish Committee Director. In partnership with JOIN, their fellows are engaging the Orthodox community to speak up on immigration, particularly with key Representatives in the NY-NJ area.

Press

Waiting for the House, Washington Jewish Week 7/9/13

Collaborating on Immigration Reform, Florida Sun Sentinel, 7/1/13

Jews Unite Behind Push for Immigration Reform, The Forward 6/26/13

Immigration Means Dreams for All, Jewish Exponent 6/26/13

U.S. Senate passes immigration bill with provisions for Jewish camp counselors, religious refugees, Ha’aretz 6/28/13

Rally Sends Immigration Message to Feinstein, The J Weekly, 6/20/13

Indy faith leaders: Ask Congress to pass immigration bill, Indy Star, 6/9/13

Building on History: An Interview on Social Justice and Religious Liberty with Nancy Kaufman, Center for American Progress, 6/28/13

 

Delivering justice, Florida Sun Sentinel, 6/18/13

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