The Social Action Committee is looking for members to engage with the community-at-large in the Greater Merrimack Valley and Southern New Hampshire area. Actions might include broader involvement in interfaith community concerns, support for diversity groups across the spectrum of age, faith, gender, and income, involvement with local environmental issues, assisting neighbors who struggle with food insecurity, or support for immigrants living and working in the region.
While there is much that we could do, as a new committee, our first steps will be to establish focus and proceed.
If you wish to be active in Social Action, we ask that you register to receive emails on this website http://bit.ly/2tmlMRM . Once registered, you will receive a welcome note from David Belsky.
Temple Emanu-El Statement of Support for Immigrants and the Merrimack Valley Sanctuary Network
America has always been a nation of immigrants—immigrants escaping tyranny and oppression, immigrants in search of education, immigrants seeking the satisfaction and reward of a hard day’s work, and immigrants praying to raise their children in a better place. Jewish immigrants have, throughout our history, aspired to these same goals and made these same journeys. As Americans, we serve as a beacon to the world, gathering in those who share our commitment to freedom and justice. On occasion, however, we stray from our values and must reaffirm our great purpose. This is one of those times. Certainly, our nation has the right to secure its borders and bar from entering those who would do us ill, but we must remind ourselves that, like our own families, the vast majority of immigrants come to these shores simply to make a better life. For this reason, Temple Emanu-El in Haverhill offers its support to the immigrant community of the Merrimack Valley.
We have the utmost respect for the law enforcement officers of our immigration services. We are grateful for their efforts to safeguard us from real and serious threats to our nation. We believe, however, that the current policy of aggressive enforcement is in conflict with our Jewish and American values. We believe that separating families and disrupting the lives of immigrants who have committed no other crime than their mere presence here is unjust and misguided. This policy weakens the fabric of our nation and diminishes our leadership in the world. We urge our government to moderate it and focus enforcement more carefully on those who legitimately threaten our well-being. Hardworking immigrants who pay taxes and contribute to society do not threaten us—they enrich us. Young students pursuing their dreams do not threaten us—they honor us. We cannot, and will not, turn our backs on them.
Circumstances do not permit us to offer refuge directly to those in need, but we stand with the institutions in our community who can do so. We pledge our support to help feed, clothe, educate, and comfort immigrants in their care. We will support their legal defense and we will bear witness when necessary so their plights will not go unnoticed.
Our tradition commands and compels us to heal the world in whatever ways we can. We have been taught that God defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing. We have been taught that we too are to love those who are strangers, for we were strangers in Egypt. As a sacred community, we embrace these responsibilities anew.
The Board of Directors of Temple Emanu-El, Haverhill, Massachusetts, June 21, 2017