Two dozen US rab­bis build protest sukka out­side Trump Tower

The Jerusalem Post - - NEWS - • By JA­COB GOFF KLEIN

Two dozen rab­bis as­so­ci­ated with T’ruah: The Rab­binic Call for Hu­man Rights, erected a sukka out­side New York’s Trump Tower this week to protest US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s im­mi­gra­tion poli­cies.

Rabbi Jill Ja­cobs, the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of T’ruah, con­structed the sukka out­side the Fifth Av­enue tower to call for a more wel­com­ing Amer­i­can pol­icy to­ward refugees and mi­grants.

“What makes Amer­ica strong is the di­verse group of peo­ple who come here seek­ing refuge and who build fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties here. Pres­i­dent Trump’s anti-im­mi­gra­tion poli­cies, in­clud­ing his un­ac­cept­able plan to trade ac­cep­tance of DACA [so-called ‘dreamer’] re­cip­i­ents for keep­ing other im­mi­grants and refugees out, de­stroys the fab­ric of Amer­ica with­out mak­ing any of us safer,” Ja­cobs said.

It is cus­tom­ary for Jews to wel­come vis­i­tors in their sukka dur­ing the week­long Sukkot hol­i­day.

The par­tic­i­pat­ing rab­bis in­cluded Rabbi Rachel Grant Meyer, ed­u­ca­tion di­rec­tor of HIAS, the global Jewish non­profit that pro­tects refugees.

Many of the rab­bis who par­tic­i­pated were im­mi­grants to the United States.

They erected signs that read, “My fa­ther was a Syr­ian refugee” (Deuteron­omy 26:5) and, “You shall love the im­mi­grant” (Deuteron­omy 10:19).

“The sukka re­minds us of our shared vul­ner­a­bil­ity,” said Rabbi José Rolando Mat­alon of Man­hat­tan’s B’nai Jeshu­run syn­a­gogue, who was born in Buenos Aires. “Our strength as a so­ci­ety is not mea­sured only by eco­nomic fac­tors and cer­tainly not by how strong our build­ings are or how tall our walls or how many weapons we have. Our strength as a coun­try is in our faith, our com­pas­sion, our hos­pi­tal­ity and our com­mit­ment to right­eous­ness.

“Clos­ing our hearts to im­mi­grants and refugees will not strength us but weaken us as a na­tion.”

(Cour­tesy T’ruah)

RAB­BIS AS­SO­CI­ATED with T’ruah: The Rab­binic Call for Hu­man Rights carry a pop-up sukka in a protest for im­mi­grants’ rights out­side Trump Tower in Man­hat­tan on Mon­day.

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