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1000+ Rabbis Sign National Letter in Support of Welcoming Refugees

WASHINGTON — As Congress seeks to halt the United States’ proud tradition of resettling the world’s most vulnerable refugees, and to create hostile local environments for refugees already resettled in America, members of the Jewish community are making their voices heard. Today, HIAS released a national rabbinic letter in support of welcoming refugees, which was signed by more than 1000 rabbis from around the country. 46 states as well as the District of Columbia are represented among the signers.

The letter, which calls on elected officials to “exercise moral leadership,” reads in part, “In 1939, our country could not tell the difference between an actual enemy and the victims of an enemy. In 2015, let us not make the same mistake.”

“Some U.S. politicians are threatening to close our doors to refugees. This is a false solution to a real problem, conflating terror with those who flee it. By fostering intolerance, such words and deeds play right into the hands of our enemies and weaken our national character,” said HIAS CEO and President Mark Hetfield. “As the American Jewish community’s refugee agency for over a century, HIAS is proud to stand together with over 1000 rabbis, moral leaders of our community, to stand up for Jewish and American values by welcoming refugees.”

Describing the significance of the letter, HIAS Vice President of Community Engagement Rabbi Jennie Rosenn said, “this letter shows that support for refugees within the American Jewish community is overwhelming, and stretches across all denominations. More than 1000 rabbis have joined the call to elected officials to keep the door open to those who are yearning to breathe free. As rabbis, it is important to acknowledge that this is a frightening time in our world, but with confidence we can, and must, still welcome the stranger. We know all too well from our own recent history that the cost of not doing so can be tragically high.”

The full text of the letter can be found here: 

If you are a rabbi and you would like to add your name, you can do so here: