We remember the pain. We know the pain.

During today’s activities in Washington for immigration reform, key Jewish leaders attended a bagel brunch, in advance of the march on the National Mall. Jane Ramsey, JCUA’s executive director, spoke to other leaders at the brunch, held at the Hillel international offices in DC.

Today is the culmination of years of our organizing for justice for all, justice by reforming our broken immigration system.

We have organized and educated members of the Jewish community, we have met with elected officials, we have prayed at interfaith vigils, we have marched with our allies, we have called and written to our president urging reform now.

We have done that because:

We remember the pain.

We remember that we were once strangers, too, in the land of Egypt.

We experienced the journey of slavery to freedom.

We know the pain.

We once too came to this country looking for opportunity, looking for a better life for our families.

We are witnesses today of injustice, and abuse of our broken immigration system.

We say no to immigrants living in fear.

We say no to xenophobia.

We say no to fearing the “other.”

We say no to exploitation.

We remember that we were once too strangers.

We heard the pain, we witness the injustice, we are speaking up.

We say yes to immigration reform.

We say yes to keeping families together.

We say yes to growing our economy.

We say yes to America’s security.

We say yes to protecting our workers.

We say yes to human rights for all, including our immigrants.

We say yes to upholding our principles and values of tzedek tzedek tirdof (justice, justice, shalt thou pursue).

Today we will be pursing justice by marching alongside our immigrant partners, Latino, Irish, Asian-American, African American and more.

Today our legs will be praying, we will be enacting what Isaiah wrote:

“Learn to do good, seek justice, aid the oppressed.”

Im  lo achshav ematai? If not now, when?

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