JCC Manhattan is a central address for the Upper West Side Jewish community; as such, in response to community-wide interest in becoming more active and engaged in the issues of the day, we are sharing information and events as we become aware of them. These programs are not organized or administered by the JCC, and we do not claim credit or responsibility for the content therein. If you know of an event that should be listed on this page, please contact Rachel by clicking here. This list is subject to change, and we reserve the right to remove and add programs anytime, without notification.
Sun, Mar 26: Upper West Side Jews/United We Stand for Justice present A Teach-In
Led by Rabbi Michael Paley. Topics include Climate Change, Immigration & Refugees, and Health Care & Reproductive Rights. 10 am-12:30 pm. Congregation Ansche Chesed, 251 West 100th St (at West End Ave)
Wed, Apr 5: STANDING UPtown for Justice and Religious Tolerance: An Interfaith March
Noon-2:40 pm. A march starting at JTS (3080 Broadway at 122nd St) and ending at the National Black Theatre (Fifth Ave between 125 and 126 Streets)
ORGANIZATIONS DOING GOOD
ACLU: FAQ on your right to protest
HIAS Action Page
HIAS Current Action Alert
Leadership Conference: Tips on calling your member of Congress
Tablet's Jewish Groups Across the Spectrum
National Council of Jewish Women's Action Alerts
Bend the Arc Jewish Action
Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
JFREJ General Action Page
AJWS Get Involved Page
A LETTER FROM RABBI JOY LEVITT, JCC MANHATTAN EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND SHEILA LAMBERT, PRESIDENT, JCC BOARD OF DIRECTORS
We are a community of immigrants, a mosaic of Jews and people of other traditions hailing from countries worldwide. Many of us at JCC Manhattan can trace our lineage back only a few generations. We have been refugees, asylum-seekers, and strangers struggling to fit in to a majority culture not our own.
And so we worry at the recent turn of events. We know: The closing of borders is a sign of the closing of hearts. And we refuse to close our hearts to those seeking refuge, safety, and the American dream.
“Love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18) is a core Jewish value. That same chapter continues: “The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” The medieval rabbi Nahmanides explains: We know from our own experience that to be a “stranger” is to feel depressed and hopeless – and that we must do what we can to help.
The JCC offers, and will continue to offer, an array of programs on these issues.
- Our Nursery School has been hard at work recording the immigration stories of its families, to be shared by the children and their parents at an upcoming school-wide celebration.
- Recently, Generation R screened Stateless, the documentary on the Soviet Jewish refugees' experience of the 1980s and 1990s, and HIAS president Mark Hetfield and former NYANA executive Mark Handelman addressed the sold-out crowd. Their March 26 Traveling Suitcase will bring the National Museum of American Jewish History program to the JCC in a family-friendly exploration of immigration.
- The Jewish Journey Project brought together children to practice standing up for kindness, while their parents heard from an ADL educator on how to talk about racism and anti-Semitism with their children.
- A March 26 workshop, Researching Jewish Family History, in partnership with the Jewish Genealogical Society, will provide individuals with tools and resources to discover the immigration stories within their families.
- UJA-Federation of New York’s Engage Jewish Service Corps organizes older adult volunteers who regularly teach English to recent adult immigrants and write letters to immigrants being held in detention facilities who are seeking asylum.
- Our hundreds of math and literacy volunteers of all ages tutor in public schools every week, supplementing the ranks of teachers to help children, whose first language isn’t English, succeed.
Beyond our walls, our community partners have put out calls for lawyers to volunteer, and for all interested to join the HIAS Jewish Community Action for Refugees (see below).
JCC Manhattan believes that there are multiple ways to live in a community, and that the experiences we offer are invitations to explore, grow, and support one another. What binds us is a shared commitment to a better, fairer world.