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by Jackie N
This year’s Holocaust Remembrance Day was different and far more traumatic for many Jewish Americans. On the same day that Jews across the country were remembering and mourning the Holocaust, an Executive Order was issued to temporarily suspended the nation’s refugee program, as well as travel from seven majority-Muslim countries.
Many Jewish and Sephardic families came to this country as refugees and there are still many Jews (and many others) that would be detrimentally affected due to the Executive Order banning foreign nationals from Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Sudan from entering the country.
The travel ban, thankfully, has been momentarily suspended by a court order. But this is by no means a permanent solution, and we as Jews will have to unite to fight for justice and against xenophobia and racism.
As Sephardic Jews, we remember and live by the famous words of Emma Lazarus, a Sephardic Jewish immigrant to the United States: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
In this spirit, I’d like to invite all members of the DC Jewish community to attend Sephardic Jews in DC upcoming Shabbat dinner on February 24th. Part of the proceeds from this Shabbat dinner will be donated to the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in support of their important work. All are welcome to attend but you must purchase a dinner ticket, and there is a limited number of tickets available.
A traditional Sephardic Shabbat prayer service will take place at 6:00 PM, which will be lay led by community members. The service is lay led, but we will try to ensure that we have a few siddurs made available.
In addition, we will be featuring dishes highlighting the historical indigenous Jewish communities from the impacted countries. The dinner will be a kosher meat meal but many vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options will be available. Featured dishes include Yemenite homemade bread (malawach), Syrian chopped vegetable salad (fattoush) Iraqi beet dumpling soup (marak kubbeh adom), saffron infused Persian rice (tahdig), Syrian style stuffed zucchini (kousa mahshi), and much more.
If you’re interested in getting involved or helping in any way please contact me!
The views and opinions expressed in this blog and on this website are solely those of the original authors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the organization Gather the Jews, the Gather the Jews staff, the Gather the Jews board, and/or any/all contributors to this site.