Adat Shalom on Immigration & Refugees

Immigration & Refugees

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.

We are hoping to be assigned a refugee family to support as early as Labor Day and we must spend August getting ready. Once we're assigned a family, we'll have just one to two weeks to fully furnish their apartment and supply their pantry with a month's worth of food. If you are able to donate any of the items on our list, or money to purchase food and clothing for the family, please sign up here  and/or send your monetary donation to the Adat Shalom office (stating "Refugee Resettlement" on the memo line) as soon as possible. We have a good start on our list, but need to keep up the momentum even as the August heat slows us down and drives us out of town!

Details about signing up to donate furniture and household items (both gently used and new) and to send money to buy food and clothing can be found here. Note that if you need somewhere to store items before the family arrives, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. directly. Read a HIAS Blog Post about the efforts of 11 Washington Area Congregations to support refugees - including Adat Shalom!

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.”