Ad Hoc Committee
Anti-Death Penalty Action Group
Committee Against Abuse
LGBTQI Welcoming Committee
Rebuilding Together

The Kehilla Immigration Committee is a group of members who are involved in many different aspects of immigration-related work. The purpose of the committee is to coordinate these efforts, provide mutual support and facilitate communication among ourselves and with all of Kehilla. We support educational events, political advocacy efforts and direct services to immigrants. We communicate about upcoming events and actions through an email list and have quarterly meetings.

Current Subcommittee Activities:

1) Accompaniment and Housing

The Accompaniment Coordinating Subcommittee organizes teams of volunteers and housing hosts to provide practical support and shelter to newly arrived immigrants and refugees.

2) Monthly Protest at Richmond ICE Detention Center

Let Our People Go is a multi-faith, interactive protest at the ICE detention facility in Richmond (5555 Giant Highway). It is held on the second Sunday of every month from 11am to noon and is organized by the Let Our People Go Subcommittee, with help from allies such as Bend the Arc.

3) Sanctuary

The Sanctuary Subcommittee explores the various ways that Kehilla and its members can be involved in sanctuary work.

For more information about the Immigration Committee and its activities, contact Julie Litwin and Frances Kreimer at

For more information about Let Our People Go, visit the Let Our People Go Facebook page or email

Click here to learn more about Kehilla as a Sanctuary Synagogue

Resources for Learning More about Immigration-Related Issues:

 Center for American Progress

A progressive policy think-tank in Washington, DC that provides high-quality analysis of immigration issues in the US, including information on refugees, DACA and naturalization.

Migration Policy Institute

A nonpartisan Washington, DC think-tank. Provides profiles of immigrant groups in the US, immigration trends in countries around the world and summaries/analysis of recent policy developments in the US. Also provides some map tools, a data hub and extensive policy reports.

Pew Hispanic Center

A nonpartisan research organization and leading think-tank on Latinos in the United States. The website has reports about demography, economics, education, identity, attitudes (of Latinos, and of non-Latinos towards Latinos), immigration, labor, politics, and remittances.

UC Hastings Center for Gender and Refugee Studies

Provides legal assistance, research and resources focusing on women, children, LGBT individuals, and other refugees who flee persecution.


Learn More, Volunteer, Donate:

 (Much of what follows comes directly from organizations’ websites.) 

Organizations with National/International Focus on Immigrants and Refugees, Some with Local Affiliates: 

Advancing Justice

The mission of Asian Americans Advancing Justice is to promote a fair and equitable society for all by working for civil and human rights and empowering Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other underserved communities.


American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

The ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project is dedicated to expanding and enforcing the civil liberties and civil rights of immigrants and to combating public and private discrimination against them.


Bend the Arc

Provides information and lists actions in support of fair and just immigration reform


Boat Refugee Foundation (Stichting Bootvluchteling)

Does sea rescue and refugee work in Greece.



CIVIC is the national immigration detention visitation network, which is working to end U.S. immigration detention by monitoring human rights abuses, elevating stories, building community-based alternatives to detention, and advocating for system change.


Doctors without Borders/Medecins sans Frontieres

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) works around the world to provide refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) with everything they need from psychological care to lifesaving nutrition.


Filoxenia International

Filoxenia International is a grass roots interdisciplinary team helping refugees stranded in Greece.


Hand in Hand

Hand in Hand is a national network of employers of nannies, housecleaners and home attendants, our families and allies, who are grounded in the conviction that dignified and respectful working conditions benefit worker and employer alike. Member of the California Domestic Workers Coalition.


Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)

HIAS works around the world to protect refugees who have been forced to flee their homelands because of who they are, including ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities.


International Rescue Committee (IRC)

The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future.


Jewish Voice for Peace

Provides resources and lists actions relating to the Syrian refugee crisis


Kids in Need of Defense

KIND staff and pro bono attorney partners at law firms, corporations, and law schools nationwide represent unaccompanied immigrant and refugee children in their deportation proceedings.


National Network for Immigrant Refugee Rights

The National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (NNIRR) works to defend and expand the rights of all immigrants and refugees, regardless of immigration status


Organization for Refuge Asylum and Migration (ORAM)
ORAM specializes in the protection of exceptionally vulnerable refugees, including LGBTI refugees.


Oxfam International

Helps meet basic needs of refugees worldwide.


United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR)

UNHCR works to ensure that everybody has the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge, having fled violence, persecution, war or disaster at home.


United We Dream

United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation. It organizes and advocates for the dignity and fair treatment of immigrant youth and families, regardless of immigration status.


State and Local Organizations Serving Immigrants: 

Asian Immigrant Women Advocates

AIWA works with immigrant workers employed in the Bay Area’s garment, home care, hotel, restaurant, assembly and other low-wage industries, and low-income immigrant youth in Oakland. The organization seeks to empower women and youth through education, leadership development and collective action.


California Immigrant Policy Center

CIPC advances inclusive policies that build a prosperous future for all Californians, using policy analysis, advocacy and capacity building to unlock the power of immigrants in California.


Causa Justa Just Cause

Causa Justa :: Just Cause builds grassroots power and leadership to create strong, equitable communities.


Central American Resource Center SF

CARECEN of Northern California provides vital direct services and engages in community development and advocacy to help create a vibrant and thriving Latino immigrant community in San Francisco, the Bay Area, and beyond.


Centro Legal de la Raza (Oakland)

Centro Legal de la Raza protects and advances the rights of immigrant, low-income, and Latino communities through bilingual legal representation, education, and advocacy.


East Bay Interfaith Immigration Coalition (EBIIC)

EBIIC is a network of faith leaders across the East Bay who are deeply concerned from faith convictions about the rights and dignity of immigrants


East Bay Sanctuary Covenant

EBSC provides sanctuary–support, protection, and advocacy–to low-income and indigent refugees and immigrants. Its Refugee Rights Program provides refugees and immigrants with a variety of low cost or free legal services.


ICE Out of California

This website aims to identify the current trends in collaboration between local law enforcement and ICE so community organizers and advocates can strategically push ICE out of California.


Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights

ICIR calls together people of faith to promote the rights, fair treatment, and dignity of all immigrants regardless of their immigration status and works for a healthy, inclusive California where all people are welcome and have access to full participation in the life of the community.


Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity (IM4Human Integrity)

Nueva Esperanza Accompaniment Teams and Casa Nueva Esperanza

The Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity works to achieve an equitable, inclusive and healthy society, culture, and economy where all people, including the most vulnerable, disenfranchised and marginalized have equal opportunities and access to the resources and tools needed to achieve a dignified life

Nueva Esperanza is a part of IM4Human Integrity and is a collaborative initiative of individuals, faith communities and partner organizations that seeks to respond to the needs of recently arrived minors and families requiring support, housing and resources. Casa Nueva Esperanza is a transitional home for migrants in the East Bay.


Jewish Family & Community Services East Bay

JFCS provides refugee and immigrant services including family and parenting support, legal services, mental health services, refugees welcome fund, senior services, health navigation, LGBT refugee services, refugee resettlement and the Russian Jewish program.


La Clinica de la Raza

The mission of La Clínica is to improve the quality of life of the diverse communities by providing culturally appropriate, high quality, and accessible health care for all.


Legal Services for Children

Legal Services for Children provides free representation to children and youth who require legal assistance to stabilize their lives and realize their full potential.


Mujeres Unidas Y Activas

Mujeres Unidas y Activas is a grassroots organization of Latina immigrant women with a double mission of promoting personal transformation and building community power for social and economic justice.


Oakland Catholic Worker

The Oakland Catholic Worker is a House of Hospitality offering transitional housing (up to 4 months) to Latin American Immigrants.


Oakland Community Organizations (OCO)

OCO’s immigration reform work is about making sure that all people have the right to become a U.S. citizen.


Post Release Accompaniment Project

PRAP provides direct services to both people in detention and their loved ones; for example, PRAP volunteers advocate for release from detention as well as provide transportation, hospitality and legal services upon release. This model challenges the notion that detention is necessary, while also providing diverse support to immigrants to ameliorate suffering and achieve freedom.


Refugee Transitions

RT’s mission is to assist newcomer families in becoming self-sufficient in the United States by providing services to help them attain the English language, life, job, and academic skills they need to succeed in their new communities.


Sogorea Te- Land Trust:  An Urban Indigenous Women-Led Land Trust in California’s East Bay
Facilitating the return of Chochenyo And Karkin Ohlonle lands in the SF Bay Are to Indigenous stewardship.


Street Level Health Project

Street Level Health Project is an Oakland-based grassroots organization dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of underserved urban immigrant communities in the Bay Area.


UC Berkeley Refugee Resources

UCB Refugee Resources is a clearinghouse for activism and information and provides a website, listserv and community of people at Berkeley and the surrounding area to respond to refugee issues around the world, especially the Middle East.


UC Berkeley Undocumented Student Program

Provides resources and support services for students wanting to attend or attending UC Berkeley.  Offers opportunities to help local undocumented students apply to Berkeley.



  • Update from the Sanctuary Task Force Recap of Kehilla’s steps towards offering sanctuary:
     1985: Kehilla declared itself a sanctuary congregation and became an active member of the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, a network of faith communities engaged in helping refugees escape death squads in El Salvador.
    2016: Our High Holy Days theme focused on immigrants and refugees.
    November 22, 2016: The Kehilla Board of … >>
  • Two Recent Blows Against Immigrants in Detention by Sam Davis and Julie Litwin
    CIVIC Visitation Terminated
    On March 5, 2018 the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office stopped volunteers from the organization Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC) from visiting immigrants detained at the West County Detention Facility (WCDF) in Richmond. Since 2011 CIVIC, a national organization working to end the isolation and … >>
  • Stand Together CoCo On March 1, a new immigration hotline to report ICE activity or to seek assistance for someone detained by ICE was launched to serve Contra Costa County residents: 925-900- 5151. The hotline is part of a deportation defense initiative called Stand Together CoCo. OCO is one of a coalition of nonprofits that manages the program, … >>

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