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The Avodah Blog

Standing With Refugees in 5780

Avodah stands with refugees

During the High Holidays – the Days of Awe – we take a moment to reflect on both ourselves and the shared history of the Jewish people. Through T’shuvah – deep prayer and returning – we have the chance to renew and recommit ourselves to Tzedek – justice, and the many ways we can build deeper relationships with the vulnerable communities we serve and our partners addressing their needs.

In 5780, Avodah will strengthen our work to support the rights of refugees and asylum seekers. Right now, thereare more refugees fleeing violence and persecution than at any other time in recorded history. As white nationalism, antisemitism, and climate change intensify around the globe, more and more people will flee for their safety and freedom. And yet, despite our country’s history as a safe haven for people escaping persecution, increasingly restrictive refugee and asylum policies are being enacted.

image of alumna Jessica Shaffer speaking at podium with text quote. Avodah alumna Jessica Schaffer is the daughter and granddaughter of Jewish refugees. She spent more than a decade working with refugees and immigrants since she completed Avodah. Above, she speaks at Avodah Chicago's 2019 Partners in Justice event.
Avodah alumna Jessica Schaffer is the daughter and granddaughter of Jewish refugees. She spent more than a decade working with refugees and immigrants since she completed Avodah. Above, she speaks at Avodah Chicago’s 2019 Partners in Justice event.

Amidst the largest global refugee crisis in recorded history, the President announced on Thursday, September 26th, his intention to resettle a shamefully low number of refugees in 2020 ⁠— only 18,000.

As Jews, we know all too well that when the world turns its back on refugees, tragedy follows. The time to act is now.

HIAS, Avodah’s partner and Service Corps placement organization, has issued an urgent action alert to ensure that we do not close our doors to refugees this Rosh Hashanah.

So we’re turning to you – our community – for help.

Sign the pledge to support refugees asylum seekers or contact your representatives directly, here.

We encourage you to learn more about the Presidential Determination in this video and connect with your representatives to pressure the Administration to set the Presidential Determination on refugees and honor our shared American and Jewish values.

L’shanah tovah tikatevu. Wishing you a sweet new year — and may you be inscribed in the book of life.

Sincerely,
Cheryl Cook
Executive Director, Avodah

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