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Immigrant Justice

Immigrant Justice is a JRC Value.

Our focus on immigration justice is grounded in our fundamental Jewish values of repairing the world, doing acts of kindness, welcoming the stranger, and pursuing justice. Immigrants have enriched and continue to enrich our society.

The importance of immigrant justice corresponds to the JRC Board’s strategic values of tikkun olam (repair of the world), btzelem elohim (made in God’s image), and chesed (loving kindness).

JRC's Values in Action

JRC's members, both as a congregation and as individuals, are dedicated to a variety of social justice movements and causes. You'll find a link at the bottom of each of our VALUES pages that will connect you to a congregant coordinating these efforts; please reach out for more information.

How we engage with Immigrant Justice at JRC.

The Immigration Justice Task Force (IJTF) seeks to educate JRC members on immigrant issues; to directly serve immigrants; and to advocate for pro-immigrant policies and legislation.

Education: IJTF provides learning opportunities for the JRC community through events and communications. Examples of past events include:

  • Expert speakers on refugee and asylum issues.
  • Viewings of and discussions about immigrant-focused films.
  • Program on Illinois policy relating to or impacting immigrants.
  • Program on Jewish values and immigrant justice.
  • Immigration “fair” with representatives of multiple local organizations working on immigrant justice issues.

Service: Since fall of 2021, IJTF members have provided a broad range of direct support to two Afghan families who escaped Taliban rule. In addition, IJTF members have collected items needed by organizations that serve immigrant communities.

Advocacy: JRC is a congregational partner of the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs (JCUA) and the Chicago Jewish Coalition of Refugees (CJCR). IJTF seeks to coordinate JRC member advocacy efforts with those of JCUA and CJCR on specific issues. IJTF also communicates advocacy opportunities suggested by other immigrant rights organizations. Some of the advocacy opportunities take only a minute; others involve a greater commitment. IJTF members have, for example:

  • Submitted comments on federal rules regarding immigration.
  • Provided “witness slips” for the state legislature indicating support for immigrant rights.
  • Engaged in constituent meetings (in person or via Zoom) with state and federal representatives on immigration issues.
  • Participated in in-person advocacy days in Springfield.
  • Participated in immigrant justice demonstrations and rallies.