“Exiles, Migrants, and Refugees”
a Tish’ah b’Av program with Rebecca Kirzner, Campaigns Director, Community Engagement for HIAS
Separating children from their families. Jailing people who are seeking a better future. Denial of basic rights. Fear of deportation. In a moment of horror – we are all spectators, protesters, and mourners. We join the Statue of Liberty in her grief, and her defiant refusal to lower her torch of welcome.
On Tisha B’Av, we weep as we remember the moments of destruction and disaster in Jewish history. This year, we will remember in particular, the moments that followed the destruction: when the Jewish people were refugees and exiles, fleeing oppressive regimes, religious persecution, war and poverty. In our stories from decades and centuries past, we hear the cries of children separated from their parents in 2018. In overcrowded refugee camps the world over, and in the lines of asylum seekers at the border, we see the faces of our ancestors journeying across continents in exile. Join us in the Charry Sanctuary for an evening of remembrance and awareness as we read their stories and ours – and together understand the common timeless threads of humanity, safety, and resilience. The ma’ariv service & reading of Eicha (Lamentations) will follow the program.
Tish’ah b’Av morning service will be on Sunday, July 22 at 8:30 AM and Minha will begin at 2:00 PM.
Rebecca Kirzner is the director of campaigns at HIAS, where she leads the organization’s grassroots advocacy and activism for refugees. Once an organization that primarily helped Jewish immigrants and refugees, HIAS now brings our Jewish values and 136 years of experience to the aid and protection of all refugee populations. Prior to joining HIAS, Rebecca was the Mid-Atlantic Regional Director at J Street, where she led J Street’s advocacy, political, and outreach strategy across 6 states, and cultivated hundreds of leaders and activists for the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement. She is a former high school teacher in the School District of Philadelphia, and holds a Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Around GJC, she is pretty commonly seen with her family: Rabbi Alanna Sklover, and baby Bina.