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FEBRUARY 2017 

Dear <<Title>> <<Last Name>>,

Thank you to all the Welcome Campaign congregations involved with HIAS’ National Day of Jewish Action for Refugees. In New York City, in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, nearly 1,000 people braved the sleet to raise up a powerful call for refugees. In Washington DC, 600 people came together for a Havdalah service and to hear from refugee and community leaders. And in communities across the country - in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Denver, Kenosha, Boston, Chicago and so many more - we rallied together in support of the safety and dignity of refugees. By day’s end, 20 actions had taken place, attended by thousands of Jews and allies making their voices heard.

Read more about the Rally for Refugees in New York, watch our video of the NY rally, and don’t miss our round-up and slide show of the many sister-actions that took place around the country. If there is an action missing from the list, please let me know!

To everyone who participated or supported the National Day of Jewish Action for Refugees, thank you. The day provided us with a visual snapshot of what the Jewish movement for refugees looks like, and it is deeply inspiring. You are an important reminder that our community will not stand idly by while our country turns its back on refugees.  

There are now over 300 Welcome Campaign congregations - do take a look at our new Welcome Campaign page where you can see them all on a map! Let’s build on the momentum of the National Day of Jewish Action for Refugees, and on all of your education, advocacy, service and tzedakah efforts. Some next steps are laid out below.

Yours in partnership,

Isabel Burton

Program Specialist, Community Engagement

P.S Please share this newsletter widely. Other members of your congregation can sign up to receive them here.

TAKE ACTION

  • Attend a town hall: This week, Members of Congress are returning to their home districts to meet with constituents. Attend a town hall and let them know what you think of President Trump's despicable attempts to slam the doors shut on refugees! - Everything you need can be found here.

  • Organize an in-district meeting with your Member of Congress. Use this opportunity to present them with a huge, signed stack of letters, and to demand their commitment to return the United States to its proud tradition of welcoming refugees. Click here to sign up for a training call for organizing in-district meetings on March 1st at 4pm EST.

  • #BeEsther: This Purim, HIAS invites American Jews to #BeEsther and stand up to anti-refugee sentiment, bigotry, and fear by talking to close family and friends about refugees using our new conversational guide. The guide will be a PDF that can be easily shared with your congregation by email or on social media. Consider also distributing it at your congregation's Purim Carnival or celebration. It will be available as a download on March 8th.

  • Take a look at this list of other ways in which you can stand up and take action for refugees.

RESOURCES AND TIPS

New Resources: 

  • There is a brand new home for Welcome Campaign congregations on the HIAS website! Please bookmark this page and visit it often. It will be full of information relevant to congregations about taking action, and will also house past newsletters and other resources that have been shared with the Welcome Campaign Network.

  • HIAS Haggadah Supplement 2017: This Passover, we have developed a new Haggadah supplement. Please help us ensuring that the Jewish community includes refugees in their Passover celebrations. Download it here. Ideas for what that might look like include: 1) Distribute the Haggadah supplement to your member email list 2) Host a congregational refugee Seder using the HIAS Haggadah supplement or including a piece of the Haggadah supplement in your congregational and/or interfaith Seder or 3) Recruit a minyan of congregants who will commit to using the Haggadah supplement at their family Seders.
General Resources:
  • HIAS has many additional resources including FAQs, Myths and Facts about Syrian Refugee Resettlement, Refugee Torah, and How Congregations and Communities Can Respond to the Refugee Crisis. Peruse them here. The HIAS blog is also a great place to find out about our latest work and ways to take action. Click here to take a look.

IN THE NEWS

HIAS, the world's oldest, and only Jewish, refugee organization, works in 11 countries across five continents to ensure that refugees and displaced persons can live in safety and with dignity. Once, we helped refugees because they were Jewish. Today we help refugees because we are Jewish.

HEADQUARTERS: 1300 Spring Street, Suite 500 Silver Spring, MD 20910
NEW YORK OFFICE: 411 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1006 New York, NY 10016


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