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Moral Minyan Draws 100 At Aurora ICE Detention Center

About 100 people answered the call for a “Moral Minyan” on Wednesday afternoon outside the ICE Detention Center in Aurora to protest the recent “zero tolerance” immigration policy resulting in the  separation of migrant children from their parents at the US southern border.  The group from Boulder and Denver, including “two minyanim of rabbis,” held a short Mincha (afternoon) service and then blew shofars directed at the detention center.

Alan Rosenfeld, JD

Speakers, led by Rabbi Marc Soloway of Congregation Bonai Shalom, included event organizers Naomi Feiman (MD, Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics), Alan Rosenfeld (JD, Battered Women and Children’s Advocate), Rabbi Fred Greene (Congregation Har HaShem), Rabbi Tirzeh Firestone (Emeritus, Congregation Nevei Kodesh), and Rabbi Saloman Gruenwald, President of the Rocky Mountain Rabbincal Council.  Almost all speakers conveyed family experiences of being immigrants and refugees.  When asked by one speaker how many in the crowd had similar family stories, almost all hands went up.  The event concluded with songs, including “We Shall Overcome” and another blast from the shofars.

More pictures from today’s event.

In 1963 Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel proposed declaring “a state of moral emergency”  and called for “high moral grandeur and spiritual audacity.” The separation of families that we are witnessing at our borders is a moral emergency that transcends politics. 27 major Jewish organizations from across the denominations have signed on to a letter condemning the “zero tolerance” immigration policy that has led to 1,000s of children being separated from their parents.  The images and the sounds of crying children are heart breaking and we cannot stand idly by in the face of this cruelty that evokes the trauma of our own past as a people and will damage these children for life.

Although the immediate family separation issue appears to be addressed by executive order and by a court order, we cannot rest. Follow the movement on Facebook at Moral Minyan: Families Belong Together. There will be another inter-faith gathering on Saturday June 30 at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Boulder at 10:00 am.

Here are some links from other Jewish organizations:

ADL – Hidden Children of the Holocaust
Bend the Arc – Jewish Action
Open Letter from 27 Jewish Organizations

About David Fellows

I've been writing things since grammar school, and served as a writer, photographer and/or an editor on my junior high and high school newspapers; the Daily Trojan at USC (where I earned my journalism degree); the student newspaper at the Anderson School at UCLA (where I earned my MBA); and written and edited countless business documents and presentations in the ensuing twenty years. I've been involved Jewishly since my bris and in Boulder since 1995. I'm married to my Executive Director Cheryl, and we have two children, Lauren and Ethan.

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