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JCRC NEEDS YOU to help us make a difference
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Dear JCRC Friends and Supporters,

Over the past week, we’ve witnessed Executive Orders to build a wall between the United States and Mexico, to cut federal funding to sanctuary cities (including San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda and East Palo Alto), and to temporarily bar immigration of refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries.

These Presidential decrees stand in contrast to our Bay Area Jewish community’s long-held support of a generous and rational immigration policy. Our consensus – that an effective legal immigration system is characterized by the rule of law, national interest and compassion toward refugees and families – is rooted in the Jewish experiences seeking asylum, refuge and immigration in the United States, including at times when this country closed its doors with tragic results.

Furthermore, we do not believe that these Executive Orders effectively address terrorism. According to the Cato Institute, zero American citizens have died from terrorism committed by citizens of the banned countries. Instead, these orders simply reduce even further the number of refugees who can be resettled in America, disallow entry to thousands who have American green cards and who are legally allowed to enter the United States, and disallow entry to thousands of prospective immigrants already well into the lengthy vetting process and pipeline for resettlement.

Even Israelis – those born in Iran, Iraq, and other countries – may be turned back under this new order. The rules are very unclear, and reportedly the Israeli Foreign Ministry is seeking clarity.

Last week JCRC joined our partners at the Islamic Networks Group with a Multifaith Encounters Coalition Statement that reaffirms basic values of respect for diversity, pluralism and religious freedom. And, over the past weekend, we assisted Peninsula Temple Sholom in gathering a group to attend the protest at SFO.

We are working with the Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California to support State legislation to protect the rights of immigrants and maintain the privacy of individuals living in California, including SB 31, which prohibits a state or local agency from providing or disclosing to federal authorities information regarding a person’s religious affiliation when the information is sought for compiling a database of individuals based on religious affiliation, national origin or ethnicity and prohibits state and local law enforcement from collecting information about an individual’s religious beliefs or affiliations except under certain circumstances; SB 54 – The California Values Act – to ensure that police, schools, health facilities and courts remain accessible to Californians and that California’s limited resources are directed to matters of greatest concern to state and local governments; and SB 6, which would create a program supported by state funds to provide access to qualified legal counsel to immigrants in deportation or removal proceedings. To learn more about the legislation, go to leginfo.legislature.ca.gov.

Last month we launched a new ‘Bear A Torch’ campaign to highlight the people and groups in our community who have stood for the consensus positions around pluralism and justice that JCRC upholds. One of those organizations is Muslim Advocates.

On November 15, 2016, JCRC announced in no uncertain terms its opposition to the appointment of Stephen Bannon to the position of White House senior counselor and chief strategist: “Extremist statements that amplify hate and drive divisions in this country put all minority populations, including our Jewish community, at risk of marginalization and violence.”

In the coming days, JCRC is going to be doing outreach to local, state and federal politicians to share our views and ask them to oppose these executive orders and support the immigrant community.

But JCRC NEEDS YOU to help us make a difference. Here are a few ideas:
  • Last Thursday, JCRC began to mobilize the community to voice concern about these Orders. Hundreds of Jews have already participated, and we need you to join in too. Please take just two minutes and a few clicks to write to the President. This issue continues to be critical, so click here to send your letter straight to the White House.
  • Attend the March 19 Forum, hosted by JCRC and the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund. Titled A Jewish Community Forum: Championing Democratic Freedoms, Advancing Justice and Ensuring Security, this community event will bring together scholars, academics, politicians and Jewish leaders to explore these topics and give you skills to deal with many of today’s issues. Learn more and register here.
  • We know that many of you already are attending protests, both small and large. If you plan to attend a rally in your neighborhood/community/area and want to express our Jewish values in public, there is an overview from Tablet magazine of the many Jewish group statements condemning the refugee ban from which to draw inspiration and the J Weekly has a report on Bay Area Jews at the SFO protest.
  • However, we know that for some in our community a protest isn’t a good fit. While all of us are fortunate to live in a region that is ethnically and religiously diverse, our Muslim, Latino and other immigrant groups may feel isolated and concerned. JCRC encourages you to reach out to your neighbors and let them know they’re not alone.
  • Every day, all of us are inundated with news stories from all directions. How do we process all that input and make sense of it and our own beliefs? Join us on February 26 for “The Neuroscience of Decision-Making,” where we will explore how behaviors, attitudes, and practices can be affected by unconscious processes and subtleties. Register today and learn how to understand our implicit biases.
  • Some of the most powerful advocacy happens in coalition with others. Get involved with your local Jewish, interfaith, religious or community organizations and participate in their social action efforts. Check JCRC’s Facebook page or follow us on Twitter for notices of actions taking place around the Bay Area.
Our tradition compels us to act when we see injustices, and JCRC needs you to join us. Please do not hesitate to contact JCRC with ideas, concerns and comments – 415-957-1551 or info@jcrc.org.
 
Sincerely,
Hadara Stanton
President
Abby Porth
Executive Director
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JCRC is a beneficiary agency of the San Francisco-based Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund and of Jewish Federation of the East Bay/The Jewish Community Foundation.
Copyright © 2017 Jewish Community Relations Council, All rights reserved.




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