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Humanitarianism at the Southwest Border

Humanitarianism at the Southwest Border

Rabbi Ben Zeidman is the rabbi at Temple Mount Sinai in El Paso, Texas. The congregation is located in proximity to the temporary shelter for unaccompanied migrant children established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Tornillo, TX. He shares his insight into the humanitarian crisis facing the area and how Reform Jews can help:

"We are learning that here in El Paso over the next few weeks ICE is releasing far more people from their custody than usual. Normally, after processing and entering someone into the immigration/refugee system(s) an individual is released to a “sponsor.” At that point, a local coalition of charity organizations, including Annunciation House, takes the folks who are released. They give them a shower, a bed, food, and help them arrange transportation to their sponsor (who could be located anywhere in the United States). Hypothetically, when more people are released by ICE than local charities can handle, they would end up hungry and living on the streets unable to get to the people who agreed to look after them while their case is being processed. Those in the area can help out by communicating with Annunciation House to prepare and serve a meal to those who are waiting to be united with loved ones.

Wherever you are around the world, donated items can be mailed directly to Annunciation House (1003 E San Antonio Ave, El Paso, TX 79901), which provides refuge and transportation needs to migrants. Necessary items are hygiene products, new underwear, winter coats, cases of water, lots of tote bags (those durable grocery bags), and thick winter blankets.

Funds to support the work are much appreciated and can be made to Temple Mount Sinai’s Tikkun Olam Fund. Scroll down to “special funds” and make sure you include 'migrant surge' as your tribute.

Other organizations in need of financial donations are Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services which provides legal services to immigrant children separated from their families and Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center which provides legal services to migrants and parents separated from their families.

In coming together, we rise above the moment to remind the world that we stand for justice, compassion and peace."

Published: 11/01/2018