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SLIDESHOW: In Front of U.S. Capitol, Advocates Call for a Sweet New Year for Refugees

Sep 15, 2017

Blog Post

Gabe Cahn, HIAS.org

More than 50 HIAS volunteers gather outside the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, September 14, calling for a refugee resettlement ceiling of at least 75,000 for next year.

(Devon Cone/HIAS)

HIAS volunteers gathered outside the U.S. Capitol hold a signed Rosh Hashanah card to President Trump, calling on him to make this a sweet new year for refugees, September 14, 2017.

(Devon Cone/HIAS)

HIAS volunteers Ruth Ferguson (R) and Dena Nelson (L) address the crowd, September 14, 2017.

(Devon Cone/HIAS)

A volunteer holds a HIAS honey stick outside the U.S. Capitol, symbolizing the call for a sweet new year for refugees, September 14, 2017.

(Joshua Kurtz/HIAS)

HIAS volunteer Nathaniel Berman holds a sign at the action outside the U.S. Capitol on September 14, 2017.

(Devon Cone/HIAS)

On Thursday, September 14, more than 50 young professionals from across the Washington D.C. area gathered in front of the U.S. Capitol to call on our leaders to make this year sweeter for the more than 65 million people in the world seeking safe haven.

“We have an amazing opportunity to have our voices heard being here right now in D.C.,” said Dena Nelson, a HIAS volunteer who co-chaired the event. “And for many of us as Jews, we have personal family histories that demonstrate the importance of the U.S. serving as a country of refuge from persecution.”

With reports this week that President Trump is considering announcing an historically low refugee resettlement ceiling for next year, the group came together to call for at least 75,000 refugees to be resettled for Fiscal Year 2018.

Participants at the action distributed honey sticks signifying hope for a sweet new year for refugees, shared refugees’ personal stories and signed a Rosh Hashanah card addressed to President Trump urging him to welcome refugees.

“At this critical moment, Jewish millennials are showing up,” said Sarah Beller, HIAS’ community engagement director for greater Washington D.C. “Because of our own history, we refuse to stand idly by as individuals fleeing from persecution are denied safe haven in America.”

The event was organized by HIAS’ 20s/30s action network in Washington, D.C. and co-sponsored by a dozen Jewish organizations.

Not at the action yesterday? Don’t worry, you can still sign our Rosh Hashanah card to President Trump.