“Jewish Values and the Rights of Immigrants” by Amy Eilberg

Reference: Truah


In this presentation: 

Rabbi Amy Eilberg spoke in this session about what draws us to interest in immigration. Much of the session was dedicated to conversation about the Postville crisis and its ethical implication for us as Jews; Rabbi Eilberg and others told stories of Postville and discussed how to respond to them, and also offered a capsule history of the Hechsher Tzedek movement.

Participants also discussed issues of immigration as they appear in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (it might be helpful to have a copy of that declaration on-hand to refer to as you read that section of the transcript), as well as many texts from Jewish tradition about the stranger, the immigrant, and the common Torah trio of the geryatom, v’almanah (stranger, orphan, and widow.) Toward the end of the session, Rabbi Eilberg taught a text from the Hasidic master known as the Degel Machane Efraim on seeing God in the stranger, and closed by asking the question of where this kind of holy work (truly seeing God in the face of the Other) is being done in our communities today.

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