Alarmed by the U.S. government’s “zero tolerance” policy of separating children from their migrant parents when they cross the border, 32 Minnesota based Jewish organizations, as well as one synagogue in North Dakota, joined 55 national Jewish organizations, as well as hundreds of state and local Jewish organizations, in sending a letter to the Trump Administration expressing strong opposition to this cruel practice.
Though there is some relief that through yesterday’s executive order by President Trump this policy of separating children from their families will end, we remain gravely disturbed about the prospect of prolonged detention for these children with their migrant families as they await resolution of their immigration cases. Additionally, we call upon the Administration to reunite separated children with their families immediately.
Moreover, we are deeply saddened by the racially charged rhetoric being used to describe these migrants. Rabbi Jonathan Sachs, the former Chief Rabbi of Great Britain, teaches: “I used to think that the most important line in the Bible was ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Then I realized that it is easy to love your neighbor because he or she is usually quite like yourself. What is hard is to love the stranger, one whose color, culture or creed is different from yours. That is why the command, ‘Love the stranger because you were once strangers,’ resonates so often throughout the Bible.” We agree.
Notably, only New York had more state and local Jewish organizations sign onto the letter. The Minnesota Jewish organizations signing onto the letter represent the full spectrum of the Jewish community, including advocacy organizations, clergy and congregations from the Reform, Reconstructionist, Conservative and Orthodox movements, social service, and housing providers, arts, education, and summer camps. We are also aware of additional Minnesota based Jewish organizations which are supportive but were not listed on the hard copy before our national partners closed the letter.
Our Jewish community will continue to stand together with our interfaith partners and elected officials on both sides of the aisle to ensure that America’s immigration policies keep faith with the promise and ideals that are in the best traditions of our great country and not our worst impulses.
The full text of the letter is available here. The letter was supported by the following 33 Minnesota and North Dakota based organizations:
Adath Jeshurun Congregation
Bet Shalom Congregation
Beth El Synagogue
Beth Jacob Congregation
Congregation Darchei Noam
Hadassah Upper Midwest
Hesed Committee (Adath Jeshurun Congregation)
Jewish Community Action
Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas
Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis
Jewish Family Service of St. Paul
Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest
Jewish Housing and Programming (J-HAP)
Mayim Rabim Congregation
Minneapolis Jewish Federation
Minnesota Rabbinical Association
Mount Zion Temple, St. Paul
National Council of Jewish Women, Minnesota Section
National Council of Jewish Women, Minnesota State Policy Advocate
Rimon: The Minnesota Jewish Arts Council
Sabes Jewish Community Center
Shir Tikvah Congregation
St. Paul Jewish Community Center
St. Paul Jewish Federation
Talmud Torah of Saint Paul
Temple of Aaron
Women of Adath
Temple Beth El