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 our Immigrant Justice flyer (PDF).

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 550 court hearings
  • Provided legal support to over 100 people
  • Raised 450k to bond out 90 people
  • Housed 50 individuals/families coming out of/reuniting after detention

We are helping by:

OFFERING 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.

STANDING 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 90 people, and we continue to work to see their cases fully resolved.

PROVIDING ACCOMPANIMENT AT ICE CHECK-INS AND HEARINGS

We are organizing people to attend check-ins with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), to which undocumented people are terrified to show up. In the last few months, many undocumented individuals have been unexpectedly served with notices of deportation. We work with these individuals and families on strategies to fight deportation and show that they are not alone in their fight.

ADVOCATING 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.

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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
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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.