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How IRT Began


IRT (formerly called Synagogue as Sanctuary) came together in 2016 when Temple members wished to take substantive action in response to U.S. government threats to ramp up deportation of immigrants. In early 2017, our Board of Directors unanimously passed a resolution, crafted by the Immigrant Rights Team, to declare Congregation Rodef Sholom a “Sanctuary” congregation.

Among our actions since our formation are:

  • Accompanying individuals when needed, including driving to court or attorney visits, providing temporary housing, interacting on their behalf with officials, and assisting with other needs through Marin’s Rapid Response Network.
  • Demonstrating community support for immigrants detained by ICE through rallies, attending court hearings and mounting letter-writing campaigns. Such support has been influential to judges in granting release. Read the Marin IJ article here.
  • Organizing educational and inspirational events connecting congregants to their own immigration stories. To see a video of Manli Ho’s talk about how her father, often called the Chinese Schindler, saved Jews during the Holocaust, click here.
  • Partnering with Marin Interfaith Council, the Multicultural Center of Marin and other local organizations to provide education and information and to work together to benefit the immigrant community. On January 9, 2018, Reverend Deborah Lee from the Interfaith Movement For Human Integrity discussed the history of Sanctuary, the current climate for immigrants in California, and the work of the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity. Watch Reverend Lee's talk here.
  • Establishing the Congregation Rodef Sholom Immigrant Rights Legal Fund to support Marin-based immigrants who require and/or are seeking legal services related to permanent residency or lawful status. 100 percent of donations go directly to legal expenses. 
  • ​Sponsoring an educational trip to the U.S./Mexico border with Borderlinks to deepen our understanding of border politics, migrant justice and conditions for arriving immigrants. 

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Email Janet Lipsey or call 415-990-3521

Tue, April 20 2021 8 Iyar 5781