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Jewish temple stands with immigrants -- Erica Serlin

August 6, 2018

As the co-chair of Temple Beth El’s Immigrant Rights Team, I recently attended Voces de la Frontera and Dane Sanctuary Coalition’s press conference, highlighting the stories of Maria Portugal and Franco Ferreyra. These two undocumented immigrants in our community have been targeted by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

Maria, a survivor of domestic violence, has been threatened by ICE with detention and separation from her children unless she provides information that will help them locate and detain her estranged husband. Ferreyra has lived in Wisconsin since he was 13. He was detained during a check-in with ICE in Milwaukee in June and separated from his children, which has traumatized his family.

Temple Beth El of Madison has recently joined a national initiative of the Reform Jewish movement to increase engagement in “tikun olam,” or “repair of the world.”

Leviticus teaches, “Do not stand idly by while your neighbor bleeds.” These principles, along with the memory of the Holocaust, impel the Jewish community to stand alongside our vulnerable immigrant brothers and sisters in solidarity, to support organizations assisting those in need, and to hold our elected officials accountable in creating humane and compassionate immigration policies.

Erica Serlin, Madison

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