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Those Who Cross Over: a Reflection on Rallying for DREAMers

Those Who Cross Over: a Reflection on Rallying for DREAMers

Rabbi Sarah Bassin speaks at a rally outside Senator Feinstein's office in support of Dreamers

On Tuesday, February 6th, Rabbi Sarah Bassin participated in a rally outside of Senator Dianne Feinstein's Los Angeles office alongside a diverse group of Jewish clergy, lay leaders, and activists from across the Los Angeles Jewish community, to urge the Senator to continue her steadfast support for a clean Dream Act. The rally was part of the nationwide Let My People Stay campaign, a grassroots movement of Jews across the country inspired by our history, traditions, and sacred teachings to act in solidarity with immigrants and demand protection for the 800,000 DREAMers who could face deportation without a legislative fix. 

I am an ivri.   

Before my people were known as Jews, we were known as ivrim. We translate this to  “Hebrews.”  But ivrim iterally means "those who cross over."  My people have been defined by moving from one place to another, in search of a safe place to call home.  We are ivrim, border crossers, imprinted with the memory of fleeing persecution.  We are ivrim, hated because our neighbors did not see us as one of them, no matter how long we lived side by side. We are ivrim, ready to rebuild our lives and our communities whenever we must.   

When you are an ivri, when your people have been defined by crossing boundaries, you cannot turn away from the plight of those who are ivrim today.  

When you are an ivri, you cannot pretend that DREAMers are not your neighbors and your friends, and yes -- even your fellow Jews.

When you are an ivri it is impossible to remain deaf to the cries that are all too familiar to our own.

I am an ivri.  I am a Jew, a Hebrew, a boundary crosser.  And to all of the DREAMers, I say: You too are an ivri.  We are all ivrim

And we stand with the DREAMers– as ivrim and as Americans.     

We call on Congress and this President to pass a clean Dream Act and provide protection from deportation to the DREAMers - to let the DREAMers stay.

Let the ivrim stay.  Let my people stay. 

Rabbi Sarah Bassin is the Associate Rabbi at Temple Emanuel Beverly Hills and a leader with Reform California, a project of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. 

Published: 2/07/2018