Our Work for Immigrant Justice

The Greater Boston Jewish community stands firmly with our immigrant neighbors.

We catalyze local action with significant impact on immigrants we’ve gotten to know right here in Boston.
Drawing on the passion and commitment of our community, we’ve organized 18 synagogues and over 400+ volunteers in Sanctuary clusters that are actively supporting families in crisis by providing shelter, food, and other needed services.

Click here for the JCRC Immigrant Justice Onepager

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We worked with our other faith-based partners to create a new interfaith grassroots collaboration – the Boston Immigration Justice Accompaniment Network (BIJAN) – which has mobilized over 1,000 volunteers who have:

  • Accompanied immigrants to over 650 court hearings
  • Provided legal support to over 100 people
  • Raised 550k to bond out 100 people
  • Housed 50 individuals/families coming out of/reuniting after detention

Join us as we:

OFFER SANCTUARY
For families who have run out of options to stay together, some congregations are taking the courageous step of opening their doors as a refuge, supported by additional, nearby congregations. This requires two volunteers to stay with the family 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, until the family is able to safely leave Sanctuary.

STAND UP FOR THE UNJUSTLY DETAINED
Our clusters are raising money for bond and connecting individuals to legal resources (undocumented people are not entitled to lawyers). So far, we have helped to bond out over 100 people, and we continue to work to see their cases fully resolved.

PROVIDE ACCOMPANIMENT AT ICE HEARINGS
We are organizing people to attend hearings at immigration court, to stand with these individuals in their efforts to prevent deportation.

ADVOCATE FOR THE SAFETY AND DIGNITY OF OUR  IMMIGRANT NEIGHBORS
Our clusters, as well as many other local Jewish organizations (including ADL, AJC, JALSA, JVS, and JFS), support the inclusion of basic protections for immigrants in the 2019 budget.

In 2019, we joined the Driving Families Forward coalition to pass legislation increasing access to drivers licenses. This bill would allow anyone to apply for a drivers license, regardless of immigration status, ensuring immigrants can safely drive themselves and their families to work and school, pass driving tests, and get insurance - making the roads safer for everyone.

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“In seeing this work, I felt strengthened, I felt the power and love of our Jewish community and our commitment to showing up when it matters.” — Ida Assefa, BIJAN Organizer

TO LEARN MORE OR GET INVOLVED in Sanctuary, Accompaniment or Providing Legal Services, contact Rachel Lewis, JCRC Senior Synagogue Organizer,at 617-457-8653 or by email.