Rabbi Limmer: "On Wednesday's Advocacy Day, I saw firsthand the impact that mobilizing in support of social justice can have both on the world and on the Rabbinate."
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Washington, D.C., May 29, 2013 – Last week, the Reform Movement from coast to coast mobilized on behalf of comprehensive immigration reform. As part of a Jewish call-in day on Tuesday supporting the Senate bill, hundreds of Jews across America made their voices heard in offices throughout Capitol Hill. On Wednesday, rabbis participating in a D.C. Advocacy Day met with offices of key Senators and encouraged them to pass S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act. On Thursday, Jewish activists from across California came to Sacramento to meet with public officials and urge them to vote for the TRUST Act, which would help address the shortcomings in our current immigration system by permitting deportation holds on undocumented immigrants only if they have a serious or violent felony.
Rabbi Seth Limmer, Chair of the Justice, Peace & Civil Liberties of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, who attended Wednesday’s meetings on Capitol Hill noted, “Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel once claimed that we must ‘pray with our feet.’ On Wednesday’s Advocacy Day, I saw firsthand the impact that mobilizing in support of social justice can have both on the world and on the Rabbinate. As rabbis, we strive to encourage our whole community to ‘pray with its feet’ in support of issues it cares about such as immigration reform, and we were proud to model such behavior this week.”
Rabbi Stephanie Kolin, lead organizer of “Reform CA” (a joint campaign of the Reform Jewish Movement, including the Justice, Peace & Civil Liberties Committee of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, and the Union for Reform Judaism’s Just Congregations), echoed this sentiment. She explained, “Thursday’s Sacramento Lobby Day demonstrated for me the power that our Jewish values can have on shaping the world for the better. We read in the Prophet Micah, ‘They shall sit, each person under his vine and fig tree, and there shall be no one to make him afraid’ (Micah 4:4). Eliminating fear and restoring humanity to the 3 million California immigrants living in the shadows are essential Jewish values that our rabbis and congregants embodied in their visits today.”