Please vote: Resolution on Immigration 2017

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Background:

The subjects of immigration, the treatment of undocumented residents living within national borders and the absorption of refugees are highly politically charged issues in our time. The developed and economically privileged countries of North America and Europe are questioning how to balance the obligations of social responsibility with national security and economic justice for citizens.

Although the Jewish communities of North America are living in an era of unprecedented success and security, we remain acutely sensitive to our own immigrant and refugee experiences.  Ours is a history of moving from place to place searching for a better future for our children.  At best, we have voluntarily travelled to new lands in hope of opportunity.  At worst, we have fled bigotry, pogroms and genocide.  Often, we have encountered the challenges of integrating into a new society and practicing a minority faith.

As we try to understand the complexities of refugee politics, immigration economics and security from terrorism, we are guided by the immutable values of Torah and Talmud.

Whereas, Judaism requires of us that we not be bystanders in the face of injustice: “Do not stand by your neighbor’s blood.” (Leviticus 19:16)  And further, that we have an obligation of Tikun Olam. (To fix the world)

Whereas, The Torah repeats 36 times the tenet that we must treat the strangers in our land with empathy and love them as we love ourselves.  (Leviticus 19:33-34)

Whereas, We are encouraged to identify with the immigrant experience in that we remember our ancestors who were strangers in the land of Egypt and who went forth into a new land.  (Exodus 13:8; Mishnah Pesachim 10:5)

Whereas, Judaism requires universal respect for human life declaring that humanity is created in God’s image.  (Genesis 1:27)  And the Talmud explains that even a single life is so valued that “he who saves one life saves the entire world.”  (Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5)

Therefore, be it resolved that Women’s League for Conservative Judaism believes: 

Nations have a right to secure borders and an obligation to protect citizens from violence.  This truth, however, should not be used to excuse bigotry.

Our community should support immigration and refugee laws and policies that are consistent with an inclusive and humane vision free from religious, racial and cultural prejudice.

We should advocate for swift responses to the needs of refugees.  And, we should work to provide shelter and security to all people fleeing violence and persecution without regard to religion, race or color.

We should advocate for the empathetic treatment of those undocumented people living within our borders, so that no otherwise law-abiding person should live in fear of the law enforcement or of the disruption of families.

16 thoughts on “Please vote: Resolution on Immigration 2017”

  1. Meryl Balaban says:

    I approve of this resolution. In light of the uneasiness in our country under the current leadership, I am happy to stand behind WL’s stance on immigration and bigotry.

  2. Shellie Barer says:

    I am very happy to see this resolution and I support it 100%.

  3. Kim Memar says:

    I firmly support the empathetic treatment of those undocumented people living within our borders, no otherwise law-abiding person should live in fear of the law enforcement or the disruption of families.

  4. This resolution stands firmly within the guidelines of Torah and Talmud.

  5. Shirley Morrison says:

    I am proud that Women’s League, in creating this resolution, speaks for the majority of Jews who I feel believe in the right of people to live in peace, and not live in fear of being torn away from their loved ones. Thank you for putting together a well thought out resolution, and I am happy tp be a a part of it.

  6. Sheila Gideon says:

    I’d like to see inclusion of determination to help refugees understand the expectations and responsibilities of living in a free society, and to help them integrate with the lifestyle of their new home.

    1. Maribeth Lipscomb says:

      That could be an additional initative or resolution. This issue is far from finished.

  7. I am proud to stand with WLCJ — and I support this resolution 100%.

    Thank you!

  8. Gail Finkelstein says:

    I would like to know what, exactly, WLCJ plans to do with this resolution. Who will it be sent to, and under what circumstances? Are other organizations developing similar resolutions? Which existing actions or statements is it intended to counter? I agree with the content of the resolution, but it strikes me as very general. Perhaps more specifics might be added to make it more effective.

  9. Barbara Walker says:

    I am in full support of this resolution and that we should stand firmly with the teaching of the Torah & Talmud so that people can have a good life.

  10. Lucille M. Safir says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with this resolution. Our forefathers were once refugees. I don’t want to see repeated what happened during WWII, when nobody wanted us.

    Refugees, carefully vetted, have contributed a great deal to this country.

  11. Cathy Swerdlow says:

    I will not be able to join the conversation tonight but I am in favor of this resolution. I believe it is consistent with our Jewish values and our heritage as Americans.

  12. Mindy Steinholz says:

    This resolution fits so well into Jewish history and Jewish ethics. I support it 100%.

  13. Ann L Millman says:

    Many of our Rabbis have not used the opportunity to educate their congregations on Jewish law as it affects immigrants and refugees for fear of upsetting some of their congregants. Thank you to Women’s League for standing up for Jewish values.

  14. I support this resolution and commend those who wrote it.

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