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Report on Three Recent Immigration Committee Events

Welcoming the Stranger:  A Call for Kehilla Sanctuary & Shelter Volunteers

On February 3rd the Immigration Committee held an event for those interested in volunteering when Kehilla has a guest in sanctuary. Participants learned about the steps that we have taken so far to prepare for this undertaking. We showed three short videos to give background and context. The first was the story of Jeanette, who sought sanctuary in a church in Colorado, where she stayed for 86 days until she won the right to leave and reunite with her family. The second highlighted Berkeley University Lutheran Chapel’s decision to offer sanctuary. The third was the story of Edith, who has been in sanctuary in Ohio for more than 500 days.  We were very fortunate to have Edith’s husband, Manuel, join us in person to talk about his family’s experiences. After these moving presentations we discussed the concrete tasks that will be needed when we have a guest in sanctuary and how volunteers will be organized.  If you are interested in volunteering but were unable to attend this first meeting, please fill out this form.

Watch the 3 videos here:

Jeanette’s Story (0 through 3:58 minutes)
Sanctuary at University Lutheran Chapel
Edith’s Story

Putting Our Bodies on the Line:  Matthew Leber Reports Back from the Border

Matthew Leber, Kehilla member and staff member of American Friends Service Committee, led a report-back and discussion about the December 10th action at the San Diego border that he helped to organize and his experience of being targeted, arrested and detained by the California Border Patrol.  Those attending, some of whom had also participated in the action, had the opportunity to talk together about the ways in which direct action can create solidarity with those most impacted by injustices, alert the media to situations that need attention, and change and strengthen those who participate. Everyone had the chance to consider their own next steps.

Accompaniment Program Meet and Greet

 Around fifty people gathered to welcome new immigrants who have been part of Kehilla’s accompaniment program over the past several years, along with their teams, hosts and sponsors.  We shared food, networked and admired new babies. During the past three years of our accompaniment work, Kehilla members have participated on seventeen different accompaniment teams.  If you are interested in learning more or joining a team, contact

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