Friday, February 10, 2017

No time like the Present: Get out and do something

This Sunday, February 12 @12:15pm  Lakeside Congregation along with Beth Am will be hosting a rally to encourage our current government to welcome Refugees.  I am proud to say that with all of the protests over the past 13  days at airports, in the streets and now at synagogues has made a difference.  The 9th circuit court of Appeals has said this travel ban (or Muslim ban) is not legal.  I am not sure, and don't think that anyone is sure how this will play out in the future.  For now we must stick to our Jewish values and realize what it is to welcome the stranger.

I have heard many "talking heads" speaking about stricter vetting.  I have learned much about the vetting process since Lakeside decided in the fall to host a refugee family.  Most refugee families have been in refugee camps for 17-20 years or longer.  They have been on lists and been vetted many times over.  When the executive order came down banning refugees the heartbreaking stories of family after family who had sold all their possessions as little as they may be  and left the refugee camp, bought winter clothes to come to America and now are even more destitute than before.

This American Life has a recent podcast on exactly what is happening with refugees trying to come to America.  It is heartbreaking to listen to and I can't imagine what it would be like to see pictures of these families devastated by the capriciousness of our government.  I have more hope now that the 9th court of appeals has lifted the ban.  My maternal grandparents came from Manchester, England via Russia and my paternal great grandparents were from Germany and Russia.  What would have happened if they had been denied access? I hope if you can't make our rally you can make another HIAS rally this weekend!