Our Work for Immigrant Justice

The Greater Boston Jewish community stands firmly with our immigrant neighbors, catalyizing ocal action with significant impact on immigrants we’ve gotten to know right here in Boston.

Sanctuary Clusters
Drawing on the passion and commitment of our community, JCRC has 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.

Boston Immigration Justice Accompaniment Network
We created BIJAN with our interfaith partners.
Together, we've mobilized over 1,000 volunteers who have:

  • Accompanied immigrants to over 650 court hearings
  • Provided legal support to over 100 people
  • Raised 600k to bond out 127 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
    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.
“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 this work, contact Director of Synagogue Organizing Rachel Lewis at 617-457-8653 or by email.