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Rabbi Paula's Letter regarding Family Separation

Dear Friends,

We have heard from many members of our congregation who are outraged by the separation of families at the border. My own grandmother came to this country with her mother when she was just seven years old. Years ago, sitting on a bench at Ellis Island, she told me how scared she was to arrive in this huge hall, as a man approached her and her mother. This man was her father, but she hadn't seen him for three years and didn't recognize him.

As I watch the news and listen to stories about what is happening on our border, I can hear my grandmother sharing her memory of what it was like to enter our country, and she was with her mother.

Although the President has just signed an executive order claiming to end the policy of family separation, there remain significant problems. The executive order directs the government’s lawyers to ask for a modification of an existing 1997 consent decree that currently prohibits the government from keeping children in immigration detention—even if they are with their parents—for more than 20 days.

This could enable the government to keep parents and children in detention indefinitely. And, there are currently more than 2,300 children who have already been separated from their parents with no strategy for reunification.

You can take action to address this issue:

1. Along with the Religious Action Center and other congregations, Temple Beth El has signed on to this letter expressing our response to the cruel separation of families at our border. I invite you to sign on as an individual as well at

2. On June 30, from 10:00-11:00 AM, we are co-sponsoring a gathering called "Families Belong Together" at the downtown Santa Cruz clock tower. I will be speaking and Rose Ashford has agreed to help coordinate our attendance. Please let her know if you can attend at rose

3. If you are interested in going to the border for vigils or direct service, the Catholic Church in Brownsville is coordinating volunteers. There is also a list of items needed on their website:

4. I am in touch with the Rabbi from McAllen, Texas, who is eager for visitors to see this border community first hand. If you are interested in being part of a TBE delegation going to the border, please contact Shelly Nadelman Douglas at Or send care packages of toiletries and toys to: Michael Blum Social Action Chair, Temple Emanuel, 4300 Chai Street (North C Street) McAllen, Texas 78504.

5. The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that is raising money for a bond fund to release parents detained by ICE and reunite families. Check their website at

6. Come to our next Social Action meeting on July 11, at 3:00 PM, to discuss our COPA work on Immigration and other TBE social justice activities.

7. Contact your Senators, Representatives and the White House, as well as House Speaker Ryan and Senate Leader Mitch McConnell:

Main Switchboard at the Capitol: (202) 224-3121

Senate Directory:

House of Representatives Directory:

White House: Phone: (202) 456-1111


As we read in the book of Amos:

But let justice roll down like waters, And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

Rabbi Paula


Rabbi Paula Marcus

Senior Rabbi Temple Beth El

831-479-3444 ext 205

Mon, December 10 2018 2 Tevet 5779