Jews are compelled to treat immigrants with justice, kindness and warmth, according to Rabbi Asher Lopatin, speaking at Shabbat morning services as part of the national DREAM Sabbath event.
In addition to Rabbi Lopatin, a member of the JCUA board of directors, Shabbat worshippers at Anshe Sholom B’Nai Israel Congregation also heard from Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and a high school senior deeply affected by the DREAM Act.
The event (Oct. 15) at Anshe Sholom, a Modern Orthodox congregation in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, was only one of hundreds of Dream Sabbath events happening around the country. The DREAM Sabbath was a nationally coordinated faith initiative inspired by Durbin and organized by the Interfaith Immigration Coalition. The goal of the DREAM Sabbath was to raise the issue in diverse faith communities and build support for the passage of the DREAM Act.
Durbin and Lopatin were joined by high school senior, a DREAM student who was brought to the US by her parents at the age of 8. She faces an uncertain future as she prepares to graduate from high school and seek a career.
Lopatin gave a powerful reminder of the Jewish values that command us to welcome those among us into our homes, to share our space and food and goodwill with those who seek it in good faith. Not very many years ago, he said, many Jewish families were themselves seeking legal entry into the country after fleeing persecution abroad.
“The history of the Jewish people and the religious heritage of the Jewish people both compel us to make sure we are treating immigrants with justice, kindness and warmth,” said Lopatin. “Anything less would be showing ingratitude to who we are as Jews and Americans.”
“I have been working to pass the DREAM Act for 10 years, and throughout the last decade there has been one constant: strong support from the faith community,” Durbin has said. “The DREAM Act is based on a fundamental moral principle shared by all of our nation’s faith traditions – that it is wrong to punish children for the actions of their parents. The DREAM Sabbath saw hundreds of congregations across the country turn faith into action by putting a human face on the plight of undocumented students. Their sincere efforts have helped mobilize support to resolve this injustice, and I will continue working in Congress to pass the DREAM Act.”
Learn more about the DREAM Act on Durbin’s website.