Statement on Refugees

Congregation Shir Shalom Board of Trustees


Adopted at Board Meeting of April 18 2017

In the US and around the world, there has been a disturbing surge in acts of anti-semitism, islamophobia, xenophobia, hate crimes, and terrorism.   The Board of Trustees of Congregation Shir Shalom joins Jewish, Christian, and ecumenical organizations, Muslim communities, and refugee service organizations in condemning these acts and seeking to move beyond them.

Of particular concern to us as Jews is the pending temporary US ban on all refugees.  These are often people fleeing for their lives, in the most desperate of circumstances. To even temporarily refuse them refuge is to condemn many to death.  We know this from our own experience—it took only weeks for the Jews on the ship St. Louis, categorically refused entry to the US, to be returned to Europe and death in the Holocaust.

Congregation Shir Shalom stands with Emma Lazarus, a young Jewish poet whose words on the Statue of Liberty–inspired by Jews fleeing pogroms in Russia—are a statement to the world:  “Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

In the spirit of the Statue of Liberty, the Board of Trustees of Congregation Shir Shalom opposes a blanket ban on refugees. We strongly support and applaud those locally, including Jewish Family Services, the International Institute, and others, who offer compassionate support and services to refugees.