(Photo: Jack Owicki, Pro-Bono Photo)
On Aug. 11, the Jewish mourning day of Tisha B’Av, some 350 people gathered in downtown Palo Alto to lament a history of Jewish genocide and destruction and to vow that it not be repeated in the immigrant community. It was a time of tears, reflection and fervent calls for compassionate treatment of immigrants and a stop to the government’s cruel separation of children from their families.
“We express our commitment to stand with immigrants in our community, on our southern border and around the world,” said Rabbi Amy Eilberg, a Bend the Arc: South Bay Chapter Board member, in opening the gathering. “They are experiencing precisely what our people have experienced.”
Rabbi Sheldon Lewis of Palo Alto told the crowd that the government’s inhumane treatment of immigrants is compromising our moral integrity as a nation and is contrary to our Jewish teachings to welcome the stranger.
“We stand here today fasting and mourning, because we will resist the loss of values on our southern border that threaten our moral strength as a nation,” said Lewis, a Bend the Arc: South Bay Chapter Board member. “Compassion must be our guide. We declare emphatically, ‘No,’ to the cruelty to children and to families in our shared home.”