Immigrant and Refugee Solidarity Committee

Merle Wolofsky's Montreal synagogue, Dorshei Emet, collected winter clothing, boots and toys before their first Syrian refugee family arrived in Montreal. This family of six was warmly welcomed at the airport with signs, a bouquet of flowers, stuffed animals, the Syrian family's relatives and the temple's Rabbi and his family as well as members of their Syrian Refugee Sponsorship Committee. At HBT we admire the supportive policy of the Canadian government towards refugees and we oppose the current crackdown on immigration from the administration in Washington, D.C.

HBT Immigrant and Refugee Solidarity Committee

HBT is organizing to provide volunteer help and solidarity with immigrants in the Boston area now at increased risk of detention and deportation. If you want to become involved in HBT's Immigration Sanctuary Committee, contact: Alice Levine, or Ken Farbstein,


how to volunteer

There are two key ways for HBT members to volunteer:

  • Join with a Rapid Response Network that will respond to alerts to go to locations near where we live or work to “bear witness” and to provide support in cases of raids or arrests by ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) of undocumented immigrants.

  • Provide Sanctuary Congregation Support by joining with other local congregations to assist to one or more families that may seek physical "sanctuary" in a Boston area churches and temples since they are at risk of detention and deportation. 

Given the scale and ramping up of ICE detention and deportation actions, we expect a more immediate role for volunteers for the Rapid Response Network. But we are seeking volunteers for both efforts.

If you are interested, contact: Alice Levine, or Ken Farbstein,

JCRC Statement on Immigration and Refugees

"We Must Not Close Our Doors": Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston Communal Joint Statement on Immigration and Refugees. The Jewish Community Relations Council of Boston has released a statement responding to the executive orders on refugees and the climate of fear and mistrust such policies are generating. The statement calls for political leaders and our communities to promote religious tolerance, protection of immigrants in our country, and the responsible protection and resettlement of refugee families. For the full statement see the JCRC website.

Protecting Immigrants and Refugee

On February 8th, the HBT Board unanimously approved a proposal from the Tikkun Olam Committee that HBT become a Sanctuary Support Congregation for immigrants and refugees in the Boston area. This proposal responds to the aggressive anti-immigration measures of the new Republican Administration that threaten many of our neighbors. Already, 23 HBT members have demonstrated active interest in this effort by attending a training to learn what it means to become part of a statewide network of Sanctuary Congregations. The training was held at HBT on January 16, 2017 sponsored by the Massachusetts Community Action Network (MCAN) and the Jewish Community Relations Council. That training attracted 100 members of a number of local synagogues!

As a Sanctuary Support Congregation, HBT will coordinate with other congregations to provide assistance to immigrants in Boston who seek physical “sanctuary” if they are at risk of detention and deportation.  As a Sanctuary Support synagogue, HBT would not directly house such individuals. But we are committed to identify some specific ways to provide support to those individuals. We will all be learning more about what this will look like and how HBT members can contribute to this effort.