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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, September 30, 1:00 - 3:30 PM
University Congregational Church
Temple Beth Am is co-hosting a repeat of our January 2018 Bystander Training with Krystal Marx. Have you ever wondered how you’d intervene if you see someone being harassed in public because of their skin color or religious identity? Bystanders can speak up when they witness threatening behavior. This training will teach you how to engage in situations of public harassment without escalating the danger. Space is limited; watch eHappenings for registration information.



TAKE Action! Support Families Separated at the Border
Sunday, July 22, 2:00 - 4:00 PM
Queen Anne Community Center
Speakers include State Rep. Lillian Self Ortiz, ACLU attorney emeritus Robert Free, and El Comité organizer Juan Jose Bocanegro. The goals are to have an update about what is happening at the border, take direct action (through letter writing, postcards, and donations), and to raise money for legal aid and support for separated families. 100% of proceeds will be donated to the ACLU, NWIRP, and El Comité. There will be a kids “take action” station (with bouncy house and popcorn). More info here.

Undocu-Ally Training
Friday, September 7, 9:30 AM - 3:30 PM
University of Washington
Cost: $50
Leadership Without Borders at the UW hosts quarterly trainings for allies of undocumented students who wish to develop a better understanding of how they can build more supportive environments for undocumented students. The registration deadline is Friday, August 31. Training is aimed at UW staff and faculty, but community members are also welcome. Register here.

Sign the ACLU Petition
Separating families is inhumane, unnecessary, and unconstitutional. Join over 100,000 people who have signed this petition to demand that Homeland Security stop separating children from their parents in immigration detention.