Statement on Recent Events – February 1, 2017

  • Team Schusterman

February 1, 2017

  • Jewish Community

Today and every day, we stand with those who are speaking out in support of the values that we as Americans and as Jews hold dear: inclusion, tolerance, justice and equality for all.

It was in 1883 when a young Jewish woman named Emma Lazarus sought to give voice to those same values. As a fundraising effort for the Statue of Liberty’s new pedestal, Emma wrote a poem that has since been etched into the American consciousness. She writes in “The New Colossus” that ours is a country that welcomes all those who come in search of a better life.

Jews have long embraced the imperative “to love the stranger.” As newcomers to new lands from the time of the Exodus to World War II to rescue operations in Yemen, Ethiopia and elsewhere, we know what it feels like to seek refuge. We know what it feels like to start over, to preserve our traditions while adapting to the world around us, to rely on the kindness of others and to do our part to contribute to society.

We know, and that is why we must do everything we can to ensure our country and our communities uphold the mantle of justice, draw strength from our diversity, and remain more welcoming and loving than ever.

We are proud that many of our grantees, philanthropic partners and Jewish communal organizations are taking a stand and making their voices heard. We encourage you to learn more about these organizations and others:

Repair the World: Repair the World’s “Turn the Tables on the Refugee Crisis” discussion guide provides a framework for gathering friends, hosting a meal and, together, resolving to create understanding and take action.

HIAS: HIAS works around the world to protect refugees who have been forced to flee their homelands.

Jewish Coalition for Disaster Relief: This umbrella organization is helping to provide humanitarian relief and meet the basic needs of Syrian refugees.

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee: JDC is one of the world's leading Jewish humanitarian assistance organizations.