Jewish Immigration Campaign Underway

Check out excerpt this from Zeek.com, originally posted by Erica Brody, highlighting Jewish advocacy for comprehensive immigration reform and in particular the work of the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable which JOIN is supporting through training, coaching, and strategy consultation.

“…Despite different priorities, Jewish groups are demonstrating broad support for President Obama’s call for a pathway to citizenship, including a letter to the president and Congress signed by 100 local and national Jewish organizations and faith leaders, and drafted and circulated by HIAS.

What can we expect in the days ahead, beyond the rhetoric? Liza Lieberman, HIAS’s associate director of US Policy and Advocacy, translated the timeline for those outside the beltway: the hope, she said, is that after the bipartisan Senate bill is introduced, the legislation will make its way to a House committee in June. “Ideally,” she said, “something will happen like a floor vote before the August recess.” These next few months will be crucial, and already Jewish groups are meeting with legislators in district offices around the country. Online, individuals can add their names to the We Were Strangers, Too, petition.

Behind the scenes, the 33-year-old Abby Levine of the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable is forging new ground bringing different Jewish groups together. “I want my people to stand up for the issues I care about,” she says.

Ten years ago, while Levine was on the 2003 Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride, she met Emilio, who “shared his immigration story of coming to this country in the trunk of a car to find a better life for his children,” she says. “I shared with him my grandfather’s story, who left Lithuania for Ellis Island for a better life for his family. It was then that I began to believe that we as a Jewish community cannot shut the door behind us for the immigrants coming to this country today.” That ride marked a “push for equal rights, improved work conditions and … a path toward legal residency and citizenship…”

Read the whole article including an interview with Abby Levine at Zeek.com.

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