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Talia Kaplan

 

On Tisha B’Av, the day when Jewish communities mourn the destruction of the Temple and other tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people, those reading the book of Lamentations cry out, “Renew our days as of old.” For some, this is a more literal plea for the rebuilding of the Temple, and for others, the call serves as a plea for spiritual renewal.

As an American, I can’t help but think of much of the contemporary rhetoric around immigration when I hear a call for a return to days of old. Many Democrats, Republicans, and independents outraged by this Administration’s...

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A line of high school students hold signs supporting the DREAM Act during the 2018 L'Taken seminar in Washington, D.C.

As nearly 700 Reform Jews prepared to visit Capitol Hill during the 2019 Consultation on Conscience, U.S. House leadership was working to advance legislation providing permanent protection from deportation for DREAMers, undocumented immigrant youth, and for holders of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure — programs that offer legal status to immigrants on a humanitarian basis. The situation was changing rapidly and we want to provide an update on where the legislation stands now.

In March 2019, the Dream and Promise Act of 2019 (H.R....

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Handmade sign reading LOVE THY NEIGHBOR

These remarks have been lightly adapted from those presented at the lobby prep session of the 2019 Consultation on Conscience on Monday, May 20, 2019.

At least 36 times, in 36 ways, the Torah commands just treatment of the immigrant. When we read this call to action and think about our own histories of migration, it is hard not to see the connections to today’s America. We have witnessed the separation of children from their parents, the narrowing of legal pathways to immigration, the infringement upon the right to seek asylum, and the stripping away of...

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Black and white image of a persons hands bound with chains

Throughout history, Jews have experienced the bitterness of slavery and the sweetness of freedom. Yet too often, we only think about issues of slavery around Passover. This Shabbat, however, coincides with Human Trafficking Awareness Day (January 11, 2019), a reminder that slavery is sadly alive and well today. In fact, more people are enslaved today than at any other point in history – more than 40 million people worldwide.

Human trafficking is one form of slavery, defined by the UN as the “recruitment, transportation, transfer harboring of receipt of persons” through “threat or...

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Lots of people moving around with focus on two people in center

  Throughout history, Jews have experienced the bitterness of slavery and the sweetness of freedom. Yet too often, we only think about issues of slavery around Passover. This Shabbat, however, coincides with Human Trafficking Awareness Day (January 11, 2019), a reminder that slavery is sadly alive and well today. In fact, more people are enslaved today than at any other point in history – more than 40 million people worldwide.

Human trafficking is one form of slavery, defined by the UN as the “recruitment, transportation, transfer harboring of receipt of persons” through “threat or...

Read More

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