We Were Strangers, Too: Immigration Reform Advocacy

Join the Jewish community’s effort to welcome the stranger as a citizen, and advocate for comprehensive, fair immigration reform for 11 million undocumented immigrants today (info in my Yom Kippur afternoon sermon). Please add your family’s immigration story in the comments of this blog article to create a beautiful collection that demonstrates that we are a nation of immigrants.

For a direct connection to your representative, go to Take Action.  At the bottom, enter your zip and add the link to this blog post to the form letter to share with your representative our collection of family immigration stories, found in the post comments.

6 Responses to We Were Strangers, Too: Immigration Reform Advocacy

  1. Rabbi Jill Maderer says:

    My great-grandfather, my namesake Jacob, emigrated from the Ukraine in the early 1900’s. Escaping the anti-Semitism of the pogroms, and imminent conscription into the Russian Army–a military term lasting at least 25 years for Jewish boys– Jacob saved for a ticket to America. Jacob left behind his wife Judith, with a plan to work for two years, and then send her the money to come join him. Sure enough, two years later, the money arrived. But Judith worried that if she boarded that boat, she would never see her sister, Gussie, again. So, with complete faith in Jacob’s love for her, and his dedication to bringing her to America, Judith sent her sister on the boat, with a message that Jacob should work for two more years, to send another ticket to Judith. Two years later, Judith joined Jacob in America, and they built a life together.

  2. Kevin Shapiro Mc Laughlin says:

    My Great Great Grandparents were Zachry and Bertha Karlowsky. They were both Jewish and came to the United States, in 1890, from Russia. They settled in Philadelphia, living and working in the Jewish Quarter. Today this neighbourhood is called Society Hill. Zachry owned a Kosher grocery shoppe (meat) and Bertha baked challah bread every Shabbat. She was known for giving the loaves to the local police officers and firefighters. Their daughter Elizabeth, my Great Grandmother, would become president of the Hebrew Ladies Charities in the 1930’s. She helped raise thousands of dollars to help the victims in Germany. Another daughter, my Great Great Aunt Ethel, owned 2 Kosher hotels in Atlantic City: The Majestic and the Pierrepoint. Later in life she was the second wife of Yudele Belzer. He is considered one of the most famous Yiddish composers in history. He wrote 1600 songs and trained 200 Cantors. Their blood now flows through my veins and I am happy knowing I come from good stock!
    Kevin Shapiro Mc Laughlin

  3. My grandfather was a Holocaust survivor who arrived in the US with his wife and teenaged son in the 1950’s. He and my dad found the freedom to join conflicting political parties!

  4. Ellen Simon says:

    My grandfather, Max Katz(previously known as Kutzonoch) left his wife Bessie, my grandmother, my Uncle Sam, age 4 and my mother age 1 and came to Philadelphia in 1909 from Kiev in Ukraine. In 1911 he brought them to the United States and in 1912, my Aunt Bea was born. She is about to celebrate her 101st birthday on September 27. They moved to Wilmington, Delaware where my grandfather opened a soda water plant where his main product was seltzer water in a bottle with a special top so that the carbonation could not escape. He learned English and became a very successful businessman. When I was quite young, I attended his Orthodox shul and sat downstairs while all of the women were in the upper balcony. That was a special treat! The courage and bravery shown by my grandparents is so amazing to me. I think about them all of the time especially on the holidays, when we always celebrated together with the table groaning with beautiful meals and homemade challah!

  5. […] conclusion of Yom Kippur, please go to our website, and click to the blog.  In a post called, “We Were Strangers, Too,” we will offer advocacy resource information, and an opportunity to share your family’s […]

  6. […] Be inspired by President Obama’s testament to the Jewish people’s devotion to answering the call!  Please share your family’s history and learn simple ways to advocate for fair, comprehensive immigration reform here. […]

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