Stories from Reform Immigrant Justice Sukkot Celebrations

October 23, 2019Arno Rosenfeld

During Sukkot this year, the Religious Action Center worked with Reform congregations across North America to host immigrant justice events in the sukkah. Congregations from coast-to-coast welcomed immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees to be guests in their sukkahs and share their stories. Here are a few reports from congregations that held these moving events.

"I had the extraordinary opportunity to introduce the delightful asylum-seeking Guatemalan family I've been working with through Casey Revkin Ryan and Immigrant Families Together to our warm and welcoming Congregation Kol Ami for Shabbat Sukkot services. We welcome L., a Guatemalan father, and Y., his twelve-year-old daughter, who were cruelly separated at the border but reunited thanks to Immigrant Families Together. We were joined by Casey, Rabbi Denise Eger, and Mila Schwartz Marvizon, our amazing translator, who helped L. share his heartbreaking story with the congregation. Nebin, the eighteen-year-old asylee Mila is sponsoring, also came to the sukkot event. Never forget that those horrible stories you hear are happening to real human beings." â€” Jess Winfield, Congregation Kol Ami, West Hollywood, California


“As the sun set, members, guests, representatives of area agencies and refugees gathered in our Temple Shalom sukkah to share migration stories, share a meal together, and share the hope that those who need refuge and safety will find Shalom, welcome home. Friendships were made, connections, stories and experiences shared about long journeys, great obstacles, and loss. Strangers became neighbors, and added a symbol of their story to our sukkah.” — Debra Levy, Temple Shalom, Dallas

Temple Shalom worked with Refugee Services of Texas, Catholic Charities and the Office of Welcoming Communities & Immigrant Affairs for the City of Dallas, and saw members of the community bring donations to the sukkah for Refugee Services.

New York
Temple Tikvah in New Hyde Park, New York welcomed immigrant neighbors from its community, including a Pakistani family, a recently-settled Guatemalan family, and others from India for their immigrant justice Sukkot event at the temple.

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