Congregation Beth Israel will focus a weekend of reflection, learning and action on the Jewish concept of welcoming the stranger as it applies to today’s immigration reform debate. From Shabbat services Friday, Jan. 12, to a day of programming Saturday, to youth education programming Sunday, the congregation and Austin community participants will come together to consider social action and hear a variety of perspectives on immigration today, both in Texas and nationally.
Texas Tribune reporter Julian Aguilar will deliver the keynote address, “Bordering on Insecurity.” Attendees will view an award-winning documentary on issues of border security in Texas, and learn about current developments from Aguilar, who reports on border affairs and politics from the Texas/Mexico border. Additional speakers over the weekend include Religious Action Center Reform Texas Consultant Rabbi David Segal, Austin Mayor Steve Adler, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipient and activist Juan Belman, and University of Texas Professors Madeline Hsu and Robert Abzug.
“In our political moment, we are once again deciding what America stands for,” said Segal. “Jewish tradition is both timeless and urgent, and we need to hear its message of welcoming the stranger. I look forward to joining Beth Israel’s weekend of learning and action to make Austin and Texas more welcoming, just and compassionate.”
?The theme of the weekend, ‘Welcoming the Stranger,’ reflects the values of the Torah regarding the ger, or stranger,” said Congregation Beth Israel’s Senior Rabbi Steven Folberg. “Congregants and interested community members will have an opportunity to learn about current issues and events from various perspectives, and respond by putting these values into action.” ■
For more information on the Welcoming the Stranger weekend of programming at Congregation Beth Israel, visit www.cbimlkweekend.org.