Immigration & Refugees

Immigration & Refugees

Fred arrested

Rabbi Fred arrested while at the US Capitol supporting DACA

Building on the energies and learnings of the Adat Shalom 2017 Biennial Retreat, and in support of our remarkable new refugee-resettlement social action initiative, our community has taken on immigration as an advocacy priority. Following our Tikkun Olam guidelines, the Adat Shalom Board voted (unanimously) on the following Statement on Immigration & Refugees, which allows us to enter into single-issue coalition work around immigration and refugee resettlement.

ADOPTED 6/20/2017

Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation pledges our support for refugees and immigrants.

Our tradition commands us to love the strangers/גרים/immigrants among us, and treat them as members of our own community (Lev. 19:34). For thousands of years, Jews fled violence and persecution, and sought better lives in new lands. Our people’s history is one of wandering; arrival and safe harbor on these shores is central to American Jewish identity. We who were once the "huddled masses” now stand with all who are “yearning to breathe free."

Our core values and collective history compel us to address the world’s worst migration crisis since WWII and the Shoah. We bear responsibility, along with American society, to welcome refugees in numbers proportionate to the global need. Though aware that immigration can at times pose economic challenges and strain local resources, we affirm that immigration is, on balance, a positive influence and a social good.

To fulfill our responsibility, we must treat every immigrant with dignity. Adat Shalom is already helping to resettle and mentor new arrivals. Beyond helping immigrants personally, we must also advocate for fair and sensible policies that establish a path to citizenship.

We now join in the advocacy efforts of responsible immigration agencies, such as HIAS and the International Rescue Committee, to defend this nation’s historic commitment to welcoming immigrants and refugees – in society, in the legislatures and in the courts. And we collaborate with the Jewish Reconstructionist Communities, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, and other faith and secular partners in addressing the migration crisis. We can and will do more.

In all this, we stand with RRC President Rabbi Deborah Waxman, who asked us to join her call for “a national policy that welcomes and protects the stranger, a policy that lives up to the highest ideals of our faith and our country … defending our cherished values of welcoming and embracing the stranger.”


As a result of the adoption of this policy, Adat Shalom is working with Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area to support a family of six from Afghanistan that arrived in mid-September. Volunteers furnished their three-bedroom apartment and stocked the pantry and fridge with food, met them at the airport, and provided a meal for their first night in their new home. Other volunteers have been driving them to appointments, helping to get the children enrolled in school, showing them how to use the bus and metro (as well as a few sights in DC), tutoring them in English, going shopping with them for clothes and food, setting up their TV and computers, and helping with resume writing and job search.

Drivers who are available during the day are needed. All volunteers who drive the family or spend more than an hour a week with them must have a background check. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you are interested in volunteering.

Monetary donations are needed for this project. If you can help, you may donate online here or send a check to the Adat Shalom office. Please indicate "Refugee Resettlement" on your donation. Thank you!

Read a HIAS Blog Post about the efforts of 11 Washington Area Congregations to support refugees - including Adat Shalom! More information about Refugess can be found at this HIAS website.