National Refugee Shabbat 2018, on October 19-20, 2018, is a moment for congregations, organizations, and individuals around the country to create a Shabbat experience dedicated to refugees. The parsha (Torah portion) for this shabbat is Lech Lecha, which describes the beginning of the experience of wandering in search of freedom for the Jewish people. This makes it a particularly meaningful opportunity to deepen our understanding of today’s global refugee crisis, connect with the Jewish movement for refugees, commit (or recommit) to taking action, and either celebrate your community’s achievements in working with refugees or launch new efforts.
Congregation Rodeph Sholom is joining with other Reform shuls to participate. This Shabbat will focus on the refugee experience.
We are witnesses to one of the largest humanitarian crises in human history. There are now more than 65 million people who have fled their homes due to persecution and violence. And, yet, in this moment of unprecedented need, our government is grinding the U.S. refugee admissions program to a halt and cutting humanitarian aid. This year, the United States is poised to admit tens of thousands fewer refugees than in years past.
The Jewish movement for refugees in the U.S. has grown exponentially since 2015 – with individuals, congregations, and organizations volunteering, raising awareness, and advocating for refugees around the country and the world. The involvement of our community has made a difference.
This is a moment when we must give voice to our values as Jews and as Americans and stand up for the safety and the lives of people around the world.