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O God, Creator and Redeemer of all mankind, we pray for the safety and humane care of all undocumented immigrants caught up in the unfounded fears and political posturing that have clouded our national conscience.

Give us -  as a people pledged to “liberty and justice for all”  - the wisdom and compassion to love each of our neighbors as we love ourselves.  

We ask forgiveness for the vile treatment of undocumented persons in our floundering immigration system, especially those abused while held in detention facilities, and we pray for their well-being.

Give to us as a people, and to our elected leaders, the wisdom and courage to formulate public policies that put people over politics and embody the primary principles upon which our country is founded. Help us to transcend the political pettiness and power struggles that have deadened our sense of purpose as a nation and debilitated our policy making processes.

Forgive our shortsighted and provincial outlook and help us to rediscover that unity in diversity that is our strength.

Help us to realize that “greatness” is an outgrowth and not an end in itself.  Help us to be humble seekers of your grace and truth more than vain pursuers of personal and national greatness.  Help us to discern that it is as true for organizations and for nations as it is for individuals that “Those who seek to exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who seek to humble themselves will be exalted.”

All of this we pray for the sake of our own personal souls and the soul of our nation – Amen.

​(Gary Fredrick)

In the name of God, the most merciful, we call upon you to watch over us in these difficult times.  

As my community is in the middle of celebrating Ramdan – we are required to fast from sunup to sundown as a way to purify ourselves. And in those hours of purification, we are called to reflect on how we can better serve God Almighty.

And taking care of the most vulnerable among us is considered holy work.  Our immigrant friends and neighbors need to know that we are with them in their time of need.  As they struggle, so we struggle. Let us work to build a community where my immigrant friends and neighbors are not demonized or terrorized.  Let us – instead - act with compassion and love.

All too often, we politicize our immigrant friends and neighbors, but we need to take moments like this, and step away from politics – and remember that we are all human.  And we all have holy potential. I am on the board of Justice for Our Neighbors because I want to help my friends and neighbors know peace and security. That is my holy task.  

In the name of Allah, the beneficent, the merciful.

Praise be to the Lord of the Universe who has created us and made us into tribes and nations, that we may know each other, not that we may despise each other. If the enemy incline towards peace, you should also incline towards peace, and trust in God, for the Lord is the one that hears and knows all things. And the servants of God, Most Gracious are those who walk on the Earth in humility - and when we address them, we say SALAAM - “PEACE.”

​(Anwar Khalifa)

June 1st, 2018

God, in whose image all humanity was fashioned, may You bless all of humanity with peace and kindness.

I am sorry I cannot be with you tonight, but I thank you for taking this moment to call attention to the treatment to the immigrants who have come to our country.

The Jewish tradition has a clear teaching about treating immigrants with kindness. In Leviticus we are commanded:

When strangers sojourn with you in your land, you shall not do them wrong. The strangers who sojourn with you shall be to you as the natives among you, and you shall love them as yourself.

From biblical mandate to rabbinic teachings – and from our great philosophers to the historical narrative of the Jewish people – we are taught over and over to care for everyone in our midst – native and immigrant.  We take that commandment to heart - and recognize that we have a divine task before us:

to give voice to the voiceless,
to remember the forgotten,
and to love those in suffering.

There is not easy fix to our broken immigration system, but let us begin with recognizing the humanity in one another.  From there, may we create policies of love and strength and uplift.

May God watch over us,
May God give strength unto God’s people,

(Rabbi Katz)