Reform Jewish Leader Strongly Opposes Latest Attempt at a Discriminatory Ban on Entry to the United States

For Immediate Release
March 6, 2017

Contact: Max Rosenblum
202.387.2800 |

Press Release from the Religious Action Center

WASHINGTON – In response to President Trump’s new executive order further halting the refugee resettlement program and maintaining efforts to ban or limit entry to the United States for individuals from several majority-Muslim countries, Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement on behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism, the Central Conference of American Rabbis and the wider Reform Movement:

The Trump administration has doubled down on its discriminatory and unjust refugee and immigration ban, defying the American traditions of welcome and religious liberty. This new executive order continues to target people from Muslim-majority countries for restricted entry, and also penalizes the victims of terrorism, war and violence by furthering halting the refugee resettlement program. The notion that refugees who have already waited so long for safety and security could possibly wait any longer for resettlement is deeply misguided and ignores the dire circumstances faced by so many. This 120-day freeze of the U.S. refugee resettlement program will likely have tragic consequences for those who have already endured a lengthy vetting process.

The Jewish community – like all Americans whose ancestors arrived as refugees and immigrants – was given opportunities to access education, join the workforce, and contribute to their communities and their country. Let us not now allow fear to overwhelm our nation’s capacity for compassion. We call on President Trump to rescind this executive order, and in doing so to embrace the longstanding American tradition of welcoming those seeking a safe haven and a new life for themselves and their families. Additionally, every Member of Congress must denounce this deeply unjust executive order and actively support efforts to expand refugee resettlement. The United States cannot renege on its legacy as a nation of immigrants and refugees.


The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose nearly 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 2,000 Reform rabbis. Visit for more.