Since May, more than 2,340 children have been separated from their parents under new federal immigration procedures. The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) believes that separating young children from their parents is contrary to our values as Americans and as Jews. We know that many members of our community believe likewise and have asked how they can support the effort to end family separation. We are providing this information so that members of our community can become engaged in a meaningful and personal way with the effort to support immigrant children and end family separation.
The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) identified immigration as a priority issue a year ago, issuing a policy statement on immigration that recognizes the need for comprehensive immigration reform, equitable immigration enforcement, and a humane refugee policy. In furtherance of this policy position, JCRC has engaged in advocacy and community education about the DREAM Act, held a community-wide forum on immigration policy, and joined more than 350 other organizations, including those representing all four major Jewish denominations, in a statement condemning family separation.
Not that long ago, we were immigrants to this country, drawn to the United States by its promise of tolerance, religious freedom, and economic opportunity. So we, as Jews, identify with many immigrants of today, who come seeking safer, more prosperous lives for their families.
While an administration-issued executive order might cease the current process of separating families in favor of family incarceration, the fact remains that right now, in our country, thousands of children and parents are being kept from each other. Parents do not know where their children are. They need our help with basic necessities. And they need our help with legal assistance to navigate the system.
The Torah calls us to welcome the stranger, for we were once strangers, too.
Please join the effort to end family separation and to support immigrant families in Cincinnati, thereby demonstrating our Jewish values of working tirelessly to support the most vulnerable in society. To do so, please consider the following ways that you can help.
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ADVOCATE – Contact your congressional representatives about supporting legislation to keep families together and get information about ongoing advocacy efforts.
VOLUNTEER – Whether you can offer volunteer legal assistance as an immigration or family law attorney, or you'd like to lend your time in another way, we will connect you with Refugee Connect, an organization that can match you with the direct service provider that could most use your help.
BECOME A FAMILY PARTNER – Be paired with a local immigrant family, and whether it’s assistance with transportation, language, or serving as a friendly face, help them build a stronger sense of community.
DONATE ITEMS – Drop off basic needs, including clothing for children from infant through teen, adult clothing, Kroger gift cards, kitchen supplies, infant supplies, toys and games for infants through teenagers, and sporting goods. Collection points include Adath Israel Congregation, Congregation Beth Adam, Isaac M. Wise Temple, Northern Hills Synagogue, Rockdale Temple, the Mayerson JCC, and Temple Sholom.
GIVE – Make a donation through the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, which will forward 100% of the funds to two organizations that are assisting immigrant families in our region who have been separated.
The Immigrant and Refugee Law Center needs more legal staff to support the case load they have. Right now, they have 44 open cases, including asylum seekers, unaccompanied minors, and immigrant victims of crime. They are seeing an increase in the number of families arriving in the area, including families who faced recent separations at the border.
Su Casa Hispanic Center of Catholic Charities Southwest Ohio is working to support the guardians of children who have been separated from their parents by providing home visits, mental health and wellness counseling, and funds for rent, utilities, and food. Donations will go directly to their Su Casa Emergency Assistance Fund.
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH: Adath Israel Congregation, AJC Cincinnati, Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio, Congregation Beth Adam, Congregation Etz Chaim, Immigrant and Refugee Law Center, Isaac M. Wise Temple, Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, JustLove, Mayerson JCC, Northern Hills Synagogue, Refugee Connect, Rockdale Temple, Temple Sholom