Resources for "Why Immigration Matters"

Welcome to the resources page for the “Why Immigration Matters” program of the Greater Philadelphia Jewish Coalition on Immigration. 

Here you will find everything you need to make your synagogue’s activity a success.  Materials for each activity are listed under the four separate programs being offered: Advocacy, Educational Programming, Materials for Rabbis, Educators and Service Leaders and Service Projects. 

A complete copy of the resource materials can be found here.


Make your voice heard.  Participating Synagogues can use this sample letter urging their State Congressperson to refrain from supporting legislation that betrays Jewish values and undermines us as a society.  Letters will be collected by each Synagogue and forwarded to the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia to be delivered to the appropriate legislators.

Educational Programming:

Host a speaker to discuss current immigration policies and their impact on the residents of Pennsylvania.  Numerous well known experts in the field of immigration law and policy are available to lead a discussion at your synagogue around various immigration themes. Confirmed speakers include:

Erika Almiron and Zachary Steele

Judith Bernstein-Baker

Tamara Cohen

Jane Goldblum

Mia-lia Kiernan

Peter Pedemonti

Ilan Rosenberg

Cathi Tillman

DreamActivist Pennsylvania

Distribute background materials to help your congregants to better understand the complex issues behind the immigration debate:

A Jewish Vision for the Future of American Immigration and Refugee Policy: A statement signed by over 70 Jewish Organizations around the country in support of immigration reform based upon Jewish religious and ethical values.

What Part of Legal Immigration Don’t You Understand?: Published by Reason in October 2008, this diagram provides a clear and concise explanation of one of the main causes of undocumented immigrants in the United States.

A Different Perspective as to why the U.S. Needs Comprehensive Immigration Reform: Prepared by Jane W. Goldblum, Esq., founder and partner of the law firm, Goldblum and Hess, this document explains some of the important failings in our current immigraton system and how they can be addressed.

Immigration Primers: An overview of current anti-immigrant legislation in Pennsylvania and other states and a look at who is behind these proposals.  Immigration trends in the 20th and 21st Century - debunking the myths of immigrants today.

Materials for Rabbis, Educators and Service Leaders:

Incorporate justice for immigrants in your liturgical materials during Passover.  The Coalition has available various materials which you can use at your Synagogue during the Month of Reflection including:  Haggadah inserts, study materials for adult and youth classes, sermon starters and texts and creative liturgical additions.

Service Projects:

HIAS Pennsylvania resettles approximately 150 new refugees each year.  These families come to start a new life in the United States with only the clothes on their back.  Recently HIAS Pennsylvania has resettled refugees from Bhutan, ethnic minorities from Burma, Eritrea, Iraq, and the Former
Soviet Union.  Beginning in 2012, HIAS Pennsylvania will be resettling refugees from Darfur, Sudan.   Before refugees arrive, HIAS Pennsylvania finds a safe and affordable home and sets it up it with furniture and household goods.  Help HIAS Pennsylvania welcome these new Philadelphians by collecting new and gently used in-kind goods.  Participating Synagogues will be provided with an in-kind donation list which Synagogue members can use to help prepare welcome baskets which will be delivered to these families.  The Refugee Resettlement Program of HIAS Pennsylvania will assist in making your Synagogue’s drive a success.