This week, with heated debate surrounding the Dream Act, immigration reform is center stage in the public forum as the eight days of Sukkot are about to begin.
These topics — immigration and Sukkot — are not as dissimilar as you may think. If you are looking to educate yourself about immigration reform or you are feeling motivated to explore the upcoming holiday of Sukkot, consider downloading the We Were Strangers Too Sukkot Guide, created by JCUA’s Irene Lehrer Sandalow.
Sukkot is known as the Jewish harvest holiday, a time to connect to the natural world by building and living in temporary outdoor huts. The holiday commemorates the long years of Jews wandering in the desert after leaving Egypt and is deeply connected to issues of migration. After the solitary introspection of the Days of Awe, Sukkot is a time to reemerge into the physical world by literally grounding ourselves in nature and community. The center piece of Sukkot is the mitzvah of hakhnasat orekhim – hospitality to guests, including travelers and strangers.
The We Were Stangers Too Sukkot Guide contains readings for each night of Sukkot with true immigration stories and Jewish commentary, exploring the harsh realities of America’s broken immigration system and the Jewish impetus to act.