On Wednesday, July 17, former JCJ seminary fellow and current Assistant Rabbi at Temple De Hirsch Sinai in Seattle joined immigrant rights advocates, elected officials, and members of different faith networks to march from Riverton Park United Methodist Church in Tukwila to the nearby ICE and USCIS building. The event was held in solidarity with Jose Robles, who was expected to meet with ICE at the facility. Jose still needs to go in to see ICE and file a stay of removal with ICE.

During the event, Rabbi Fine led calls for ICE to do the right thing and allow Jose to return home to his family in Lakewood. His speech, which he delivered at the rally, is below. JCJ is proud of Rabbi Fine and many other of our community members for making their voices heard on the treatment of undocumented immigrants and the conditions at detention centers.

Rabbi Fine’s speech:

Acknowledging this land as the historical land of the Duwamish people,

(My name is Rabbi Avi Fine, I am a rabbi at Temple De Hirsch Sinai)

I stand here as the descendent of immigrants. As the descendent of people who fled the violence, hatred and persecution of eastern Europe.

I am here to say that I, and all of us here, stand with you Jose. And we stand with all people being treated inhumanely by our government.

36 times our Torah, the bible, commands us to care for and love the stranger. It is the most repeated law in all of our torah.

But the word stranger isn’t a great translation of the Hebrew. The word stranger implies distance between people. It implies that our fates are not tied up together. It implies otherness.

And we know those things are not true.

A better translation tells us to love the “resident alien”.

Or better yet to love the immigrant.

Because my fate is tied to your fate, just as your fate is tied to mine.

We are no strangers to each other, we are sisters and brothers.

If there is one thing that faith teaches us, it is that we stand by each other, link arms and march together.

We call on you, God

*God of the captive,
God of the imprisoned and detained,
The voice of heartbreak echoes across the land,
Help us to respond to the cruelty in our world with love.
Give our feet the strength to keep standing.
We are standing up to say never again
We are standing up to affirm the dignity and safety of every human being
We stand up to say we will not stand by.

*Citation from Alden Solovy

Rabbi Avi Fine is an Assistant Rabbi at Temple De Hirsch Sinai in Seattle, WA. To take action to support undocumented immigrants, click here.