Jewish Voices on the Travel Ban

by Natalie Jacobs February 27, 2017


op-edsMore than 1,900 rabbis across the country, including five from San Diego, signed a letter initiated by HIAS, the global refugee resettlement and support agency, imploring elected officials to “ensure that the refugee program be maintained and strengthened for refugees of all ethnic and religious backgrounds.” In a rare show of unity, all four of the major American Jewish denominations issued statements condemning or criticizing the executive order that was to halt refugee resettlement for 120 days (and indefinitely for those from war-ravaged Syria). Conversely, the Zionist Organization of America championed the travel ban. While the executive order has been blocked by the courts and is supposedly being re-written, it is still worth exploring the moral questions that its implementation brought up.

Excerpts from four op-eds on this topic were published in the March, 2017 print edition of the San Diego Jewish Journal. The full text of these letters are online here:

“Biblical History Repeating,” by Rabbi Michael Berk

“Children of Holocaust Survivors Perspective on Travel Ban,” by Marta and Henry Fuchs

“Preventing Radical Islamists from Murdering Americans is a Moral Act,” by Mort Klein and Elizabeth Berney

“The Ban and Jewish Identity,” by Rabbi Phillip Graubart


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