In North America, there are many acronyms for Jewish organizations. Chances are you know that a JCC is a Jewish Community Center and JFS stands for Jewish Family Service. However, most likely you are not familiar with the JCPA, which is the Jewish Council for Public Affairs.
This national organization represents a broad band of Jewish life including the major denominational branches of Judaism; Jewish defense organizations like the ADL and AJC; and B’nai B’rith International.
This week, 26 constituent agencies in the JCPA sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions expressing strong opposition to the Administration’s recently expanded “zero-tolerance” policy that includes separating children from their migrant parents when they cross the border.
The letter states, “Taking children away from their families is unconscionable. Such practices inflict unnecessary trauma on parents and children, many of whom have already suffered traumatic experiences. . .Separating families is a cruel punishment for children and families simply seeking a better life and exacerbates existing challenges in our immigration system.”
The letter further expresses the conviction that as Jews, “we understand the plight of being an immigrant fleeing violence and oppression. . .Our Jewish faith demands of us concern for the stranger in our midst. Our own people’s history as ‘strangers’ reminds us of the many struggles faced by immigrants today and compels our commitment to an immigration system in this country that is compassionate and just.”
You can read the full text of the letter here. I am proud that our American Jewish community is speaking so clearly and passionately against this Administration’s policy that violates our Jewish heritage as well as the ideals upon which this country is founded.