National Day for Dignity and Respect – Immigration Rallies on October 5
On October 5, 2013, immigrant communities and faith, labor, and civil rights groups will join in marches and rallies in 99 cities across the United States. Thousands of people will come together to call for immigration reform that is common-sense, compassionate, and reflective of America’s history as a nation of immigrants. (Find out whether there’s an event in your community here.)
Rabbis Organizing Rabbis, a project of the Reform Movement’s social justice initiatives – the Justice and Peace Committee of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Religious Action Center, and Just Congregations – is working to support rabbinic participation in this effort. Because these events are happening on Shabbat, we are not formally endorsing them, but rather we are working to support those rabbis and congregants who choose to participate.
We know that there are enough votes in the House to pass the Senate bill on immigration reform. But first, the House leadership needs to bring a bill to the floor. While the debates on the government shutdown, Affordable Care Act, and conflict in Syria have taken center stage in Congress, opponents of immigration reform are counting on these and other issues to keep immigration out of the spotlight. For the House to act, they need to understand that the whole country is still paying attention, and that the faith community is still united in support of immigration reform.
In order to return immigration reform to the spotlight, this Shabbat, October 5, tens of thousands of immigrants and allies will come together to say that the time for action is now! It’s considered so important that Rep. Nancy Pelosi will introduce a new immigration bill in the House timed to coincide with the events of October 5.
What about the fact that October 5 is Shabbat?
There are several great ways to participate in the events of October 5!
- If your Shabbat observance allows you to participate in a march or rally, you can find out details of local events here. If you feel comfortable inviting your congregants to attend, here are some sample flyers from our partners that you can adapt for your community. Some rallies are during services, but many are in the afternoon. Some colleagues attending rallies suggest asking congregants to come early and participate in a truncated Shabbat morning service.
- Please consider raising the topic and its connection to Jewish and American values during services in some way – whether through a sermon, through a moment in the liturgy (such as Rabbi Adam Spilker’s mi sheberach for all immigrants), or as an announcement.
- See a full list of participating organizations at the bottom of this page (including the American Jewish Committee and the National Council of Jewish Women)
- Sample talking points for rabbis participating in rallies or other immigration events
- Sample rally D’var Torah (from Rabbi Shoshana Conover of Chicago’s Temple Sholom)
- Mi Sheberach for all immigrants
- Sample sermons on immigration
- Sample shortened Shabbat service (for congregations participating in the rallies)
Lila Foldes is the Co-Director of the Union for Reform Judaism’s Just Congregations. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org