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Sanctuary Movement

"When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall do him no wrong. The stranger who sojourns with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Leviticus 19:33).

Brit OlamThis is the most-repeated commandment in all of Torah. With the Board of Directors' action, Temple Beth Am joins a growing cohort of Reform congregations that have signed on to the Religious Action Center's Brit Olam (Covenant with our World) and who have declared themselves to be Immigrant Justice Congregations. Further, we unite with a host of faith communities of all denominations across our region under the auspices of the Church Council of Greater Seattle (CCGS) who have pledged in various ways to support immigrants at risk of deportation. Go here to read the Board's Sanctuary Resolution.

Contact Susan Schulkin to find out how you can get involved. Here are examples of the range of volunteer activities for Sanctuary Action Team members:

  • Hands-on: Volunteers with expertise and availability may be able to help with a long list of tasks, such as running errands, shopping for food and supplies, translating, tutoring, providing mental health counseling, medical and dental care, legal advice, financial support, and offering companionship and moral support to immigrants hosted by sanctuary congregations.
  • Accompaniment: Volunteers will be needed to accompany undocumented individuals and their families to immigration check-ins and hearings. There is currently a high level of anxiety among non-citizens when they go for periodic ICE check-ins and having the support of compassionate lay people can make a difference. CCGS is preparing training materials and establishing a list of volunteers.
  • Solidarity training: Watch here and in eHappenings for information about Know Your Rights training and Bystander Intervention training.
  • Advocacy: Writing letters and emails, phoning, and attending rallies to support legislation or advocate on behalf of a particular individual may be solicited in partnership with other organizations. For more information on immigration issues and to keep updated on action steps and local opportunities for demonstrating solidarity, here are resources from four organizations we’re partnering with:


Upcoming Events:

Bystander Intervention Training
Sunday, January 21, 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM
TBA Social Hall
Have you ever wondered how to intervene if you see someone being harassed because of their religious identity or for any other reason? Come to Bystander Intervention Training by Krystal Marx, a new member of the Burien City Council. This free event is co-sponsored by TBA with The Islamic Center of Washington and Idriss Mosque. Space is limited to the first 50 who sign up. RSVP by emailing your name to BystanderTBA@gmail.com.

Refugee Resettlment 101
Tuesday, January 23, 6:30 - 8:30 PM
Jewish Family Service

Learn about the resettlement process, common refugee experiences, and how and why JFS supports refugee families in establishing new lives. RSVP for this free program by emailing Talya Gillman or calling at 206-861-8784.

NWIRP's Jorge Baron
Saturday, February 3, 1:15 PM
Congregation Beth Shalom
Jorge Baron, executive director of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP), will be speaking after the Shabbat services at CBS. All are welcome.

Immigrant Rights: Rethinking the Community Narrative
Sunday, March 18, 10:00 - 11:30 AM
TBA Social Hall

Organized with help from the ACLU, our speaker at this forum will be immigration attorney Bob Gibbs.

Advocacy Opportunities:

1st Annual Immigrant and Refugee Lobby Day
Tuesday, January 23, 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Washington State Labor Council (906 Columbia St SW, Olympia, WA 98501)

Join WAISN and hundreds of organizations and individuals in Olympia. Get more info and RSVP online.

Volunteer Opportunities:

Citizenship Mega Workshop
Friday, February 2 and Saturday, February 3
Seattle Center Exhibition Hall

Volunteers are needed at the City of Seattle’s Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (OIRA)’s mega workshop - especially lawyers and interpreters. The workshop is intended to help eligible immigrants become US citizens by providing free citizenship assistance and free immigration legal consultations. Create a Volunteer Profile here, then sign up for a shift as Legal Volunteer, Interpreter, or General Volunteer by clicking here.  For info on becoming an Outreach Ambassador to help share information about the Mega Workshop with immigrant communities, click here.

Bilingual Hotline Volunteers
Besides bilingual English/Spanish volunteers, the Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network (WAISN) is looking for on-call volunteers who can respond to Raid Response Hotline calls in the following languages: Russian, Vietnamese, Somali, Ukrainian, Chinese, Korean, Tagalog, Arabic, Punjabi, Cambodian, Chinese-Cantonese, Marshallese, Samoan, Amharic, Chinese-Mandarin, Japanese, Rumanian, French, Nepali, Mixteco, Lao, and Hindi. If you are fluent in one of those languages, please email gerhard@washingtonjustice.org. The WAISN Raid Response Hotline is a resource for helping community members report ICE activity in their communities and dispatch volunteers to verify and document ICE raids. The hotline also connects family members of detainees to services and dispenses Know Your Rights information.