WASHINGTON – In response to President Trump’s reported plan to cap the number of refugees allowed into the United States in fiscal year 2018 at 45,000, 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, Central Conference of American Rabbis and wider Reform Movement:
“The President’s decision to cap the number of refugees admitted into the United States at the historically low number of 45,000 is an abdication of moral responsibility and a shirking of America’s global leadership. As the world confronts the greatest refugee crisis in history, with millions of people worldwide displaced and fleeing oppression, torture, and violence, the United States must embrace its role as a beacon of hope and liberty. Experience has shown that we can welcome refugees fleeing oppression while maintaining our national security.
“Throughout our history, from biblical Egypt to the Holocaust, the Jewish people have been forced time and again to flee our homes. We recognize very clearly the necessity of havens for the persecuted. Our experience and tradition demand, “You too must befriend the strangers, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” These formative experiences and sacred texts inform our commitment to supporting those in need of shelter today. Instead of turning our backs, we must commit to fulfilling our aspirations as a country defined by compassion and justice for all.”
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 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 www.rac.org for more.