NYC Pilot Event- August 2008

On August 19, 2008 HIAS Young Leaders New York hosted a second pilot of the Welcome the Stranger event. The event sparked some poweful discussion and insightful feedback. Young Leaders who attended this event plan to run the program at various Hillels in the New York City area in 2008 and 2009.

1 comment:

  1. Last night I attended (and co-moderated) a HIAS event called ”Welcoming the Stranger,” a multimedia exploration of today’s most pressing immigration issues from an ethical, humanitarian, historical, and theological perspective. Presented by the HIAS Young Leaders Education and Advocacy committee, the program was designed to explain the immigration debate, expose the need for reform to our immigration system, and encourage attendees to continue to spread the word to promote just immigration practices in their communities. More grass roots advocacy by HIAS Young Leaders!!!

    I am slightly biased, because I am a HIAS YL volunteer and actually helped review and revise the program in its early stages, but I thought it was really fabulous. We learned about the different periods of immigration, the people most affected by our broken system today, the Jewish biblical injunction to “Welcome the Stranger,” and the strength and power of the vehemently anti-immigrant voice. We also had meaningful discussions on difficult issues such as whether English should be required for Naturalization, and my favorite, whether participants would lie or break the law to enter a country if their future, safety, or family were at risk.

    I really hope that this program takes off in other forums, because its a great way to gain a clear understanding of the debated issues, and discover why it is important to pressure Congress for more compassionate immigration policies. The program is designed to target and motivate Jewish audiences to mobilize because the Jewish community has historically struggled with xenophobia and anti-semitism as immigrants to the US, and now is established enough to speak out in defense of today’s struggling immigrant communities.

    Two thumbs up for a very cool and informative event!

    Cross posted from