The horror of the Holocaust is not that it deviated from human norms; the horror is that it didn't. What happened may happen again, to others not necessarily Jews, perpetrated by others, not necessarily Germans. We are all possible victims, possible perpetrators, possible bystanders. Yehuda Bauer
Let us go forth with fear and courage and rage to save the world. Grace Paley
Serve a Meal to Madison's Homeless Community, 11:50 am - 1:00 pm
On July 20th from 11:50 am – 1:00 pm at the Beacon, 615 E. Washington Ave. Join Shaarei Shamayim members to prepare and serve a meal to Madison’s homeless community. Volunteers are needed both to cook and serve. More information and sign-up here.
EVENTS AROUND TOWN:
Well it is no secret that this world, our country, Wisconsin and sometimes Madison can be a depressing place to live and be part of. So, in addition to sharing action-oriented events happening in Madison - I will try to be a bit more intentional about mentioning events that I think are part of actively making Madison a better, more inclusive and equitable community
June 28: Recital for a Radical: Emma Goldman 150th Birthday Celebration
At the FUS Landmark Auditorium. “Join us for a concert with commentary on Emma Goldman, a radical anarchist fighter for free speech, free motherhood, and freedom from war leading up to the Russian Revolution. Lecture by Leonard Lehrman, and performances by soprano Helene Williams with Dr. Lehrman at the piano.” More details here.
June 30: Know Your Rights Training
From 2:00-4:00 p.m. at 2702 Arbor Drive. Although there have not yet been any individuals or families facing deportation who have sought sanctuary in one of Dane Sanctuary Coalition's host congregations, it is important to have plans in place if and when this happens. One important form of preparedness is learning about the rights of undocumented immigrants and how to protect those rights when providing assistance to individuals in sanctuary. Our presenters will be Jeffrey Spitzer-Resnik, an attorney and President of Shaarei Shamayim, and Ruthanne Landsness, a member of Orchard Ridge UCC and the Dane Sanctuary Coalition Steering Committee. This training is open to everyone, but is required for those providing assistance at a host congregation sanctuary site. Light refreshments will be served. Hope to see you there!
July 7 (and then weekly): Transformational Leadership Series
“Please join us for this Transformational Leadership Series led by the amazing Davette Baker. In this 12 session series we will explore positionality, privilege, systems of power and oppression, and systemic racism through discussions, activities, and film. We will build our individual and collective skills around taking action, movement building, and community organizing as we work together towards justice for all. This series is open to all and particularly relavent for folx interested in education, social justice, racial justice, and restorative justice work.” Details here.
July 19: Beat Road and Clare Norelle – Benefit Concert and Dance
This Concert and Dance will benefit the El Salvador Mental Health Project and First Unitarian Society Social Justice Ministry. Doors open at 6:30pm Suggested Donation: $10 Details here.
July 20: Voces de la Frontera Madison Membership Meeting / Junta de membresía de Madison. Join us for our monthly membership meeting! We'll discuss the next steps in the fight to restore driver licenses for all in Wisconsin. Details here.
Like anyone that chooses to read a social action email – I am horrified about what our country is doing to children and families at the Mexican border. When Trump was first elected, I know we all were terrified about what he might do – but slightly held on to the hope of checks and balances to mitigate the worst possibilities. When it was clear the Republican’s would refuse to provide a check or a balance to the worst impulses of the Trump administration, we all had our own worst-case scenario fears of what might happen. And we are deep into a worst-case scenario. It is very difficult to know what to do to push back/protest/curtail the human rights abuses/violence/trauma this administration is inflecting on families fleeing and crossing the border to the US. I think if there was a clear answer on what to do – we would be doing it. None of us want to be complicit in the violence our country is inflicting on people because they are Latino/Latina’s coming here from Central America and Mexico.
I have no answer – and imagine many of you reading this have more ideas than I am listing below or are doing things not listed below. I think we all need to make noise as Jews about what is happening. That this is part of the ‘never again’ Jews talk about. Whether it is on social media to get your like-minded friends to be more active, letters to the editor to engage with a broader range of people, writing articles to be in newsletters or listserves for every group we are part of, pushing national elected officials --who we know in Madison are also appalled by this policy-- but still - push them to hold public hearings about these detention camps. On a local level make sure Dane County and Madison officials and police know we do not want them to cooperate in any way with ICE, etc. There are things we can do. None of them are enough. This is a cruel administration. But let’s all do (and continue to do) something. I am using the writing of this social action email as my personal commitment to do one concrete thing a day.
Below is a compiled list of ways to have a potential impact:
**Support RAICES, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, to help separated families and detained people.
**Jennifer Rosen Heinz, CSS member, shares information on how to potentially sponsor someone seeking asylum.
**Stay connected with VOCES:Go to their website and click ‘stay updated’. This way you can get text updates about actions they are taking.
**The New York Times editorial board offers these suggestions on what we can do to help right now. Kella Hanna-Wayne (a person I don’t know) pulled together this very useful list. Click the links to see all their suggestions. I pulled some out and put them into a few categories.
1.Call Congress, your mayor and local representatives.
Contact your members of Congress and tell them that you want impending raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to be called off and detention conditions improved. The legal defense nonprofit Raices has provided a template and an online form that you can use to email your congressional representatives. You can also reach out to your local officials to ask that they initiate plans to help immigrant communities that are affected by the raids.
Contact the Dane County Exec here.
Contact your Dane County supervisor here.
Contact Madison’s Mayor.
If you don’t know your alder’s contact info – contact your alder here.
Contact Madison Police Dept here.
Dane County Sherriff’s contact info.
2. Donate to humanitarian efforts.
Many immigrants are not informed of their legal and civil rights as they pursue asylum or face deportation. Several nonprofits are providing free legal representation and other services for immigrants and the families of those detained. United We Dream, the American Civil Liberties Union, Mijente, Immigrant Families Together and the Immigrant Justice Corps are coordinating advocacy and services at a national level. Local organizations providing legal aid include the New Sanctuary Coalition in New York, Las Americas in El Paso and Raices in Texas, Americans for Immigrant Justice in Florida and the Denver Immigrant Legal Services Fund in Colorado. Here is a list of organizations that are mobilizing to help the influx of immigrants crossing the Texas-Mexico border.
3. Legal system.
--Check out what Lawyers for Good Government is doing and their suggestions, (especially for lawyers)
--The National Bail Fund Network, says one of the most effective ways to reunite immigrants separated from their families is to assist with paying their bail, which can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $80,500. You can find and donate to a bail fund in your city through the National Bail Fund Network.
Legal Delegations to the Border:If you are interested in joining a future HIAS-led pro bono attorney delegation to the border, you can find more details here.
Donate Your Frequent Flyer Miles: “Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HAIS) has partnered with Miles4Migrants (M4M), an all-volunteer nonprofit charity dedicated to using donated frequent flyer miles and money for the relocation of refugees and those seeking asylum--including families recently separated at the U.S.-Mexico border--to start a new beginning in a new home. HIAS and Miles4Migrants (M4M), will work to identify refugees and asylum seekers who need assistance purchasing airfare to reunite with their families.” Details here.
**Save Our Supermarket Campaign: South Madison Unite! is organizing a “Save Our Supermarket” campaign to stand up for uninterrupted healthy food access in South Madison. Seven developers told the City that they will submit plans to develop the Truman Olson site. Their final plans must include a full-service supermarket and are due on August 9th. There will be community input on these plans twice during the application selection process, according to the City. To stay updated and connected to these efforts either check out their website or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
**The people at Crooked Media have been very busy updating their website with very thorough (and easy to digest) information about all Democratic candidates running for president. You can check it out here.
**The Weekly List by Amy Siskind. “The “new normal” of American politics is not normal. The Weekly List reminds us of that. On a weekly basis, the List tracks specific news stories representing eroding norms under the current regime. Taken together, they reveal a nation pushed towards authoritarianism, the wielding of unchecked governmental authority by one person or group at the expense of the freedom of those who oppose them.”
**Highlights Magazine Issues Statement Condemning Trump's Detention Centers
**StoryCorps:1st-Generation Mexican American Attempts To Save Migrant Lives In The Arizona Desert
** Good things happening in Madison: The Foundation for Black Women's Wellness is raising money for the first Black Women’s Health Center in Dane County. They are 25% of the way to their goals. More details here.
**Love the idea of the Madison Refugee Union and proud of the work the JSS is doing here in Madison.