In response to Secretary of State John Kerry’s announcement that the U.S. would increase the number of refugees admitted to 85,000 in 2016 and 100,000 in 2017, Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
We welcome Secretary Kerry’s announcement that the U.S. will increase the number of refugees in the coming two years, even as we recognize that the new admission numbers remain insufficient considering the scope of the crisis at hand.
During these Days of Awe, we are acutely aware that our actions are being judged by God. Yet we are also being judged by the millions of refugees seeking a haven, by our fellow nations, and by history. The world is facing the greatest refugee crisis since World War II when it was in many cases our own grandparents and great grandparents who were searching for nations to welcome them in their time of need. Though the circumstances then and now differ in many ways, the struggle to survive and provide a better life for one’s children is universal and it is incumbent upon each of us to do our part to address it. The nations of Europe and the international community broadly must respond with greater speed, compassion and efficacy to this crisis, and so must we.
We call on Congress to work with President Obama to fully implement the increased number of refugees to be admitted over the next two years – even as we urge the President and Congress to welcome even more refugees into our nation and fulfill its tradition as a beacon of hope and refuge to those in need.
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The case of Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis and same-sex marriage has raised questions about the limits of religious freedom; residents in San Juan County, Utah are fighting a proposal to create a national monument that protects Native American land; and Jews in the Reform movement begin using a new prayer book for the High Holy Days
The post Religious Freedom Versus Rule of Law; Battle Over Bears Ears; New Jewish Prayer Book appeared first on Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly.
As the Jewish High Holy Days begin at sundown on Sunday, September 13, Jews in the Reform movement begin using the first revision in 40 years to their holiday prayer book, which now includes language more friendly to younger Jews, non-Jews, and those who identify as LGBT, as well as poetry, meditations, and artwork. “We really wanted to create a prayer book that is inclusive of the full range of who is in our community today,” says the book’s executive editor, Rabbi Hara Person, director of publications for the Central Conference of American Rabbis.
“We come every year. We sit in these pews, and yet every year our lives have changed, and we can really reflect on that change from year to year. Who is with us this year? Who was with us last year who’s not with us this year? Who’s going to be with us next year?” Watch more of our interview with Rabbi Hara Person, executive editor of the new Mishkan Hanefesh Jewish prayer book for the High Holidays.