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Synagogues Show Solidarity with Detained Immigrants on Holy Day

Holy day reminds Jews what it is like to be exiles, to be strangers in a strange land

Tisha B'av vigil
Credit: Nancy Mahl
Members of NJ synagogues marked the holy day of Tisha B’av at a vigil outside the Elizabeth Detention Center yesterday.

Some synagogues in New Jersey chose to show their solidarity with today’s immigrants and refugees as part of their celebration of Tisha B'Av, the holy day commemorating the destruction and expulsion of Jewish communities throughout history.

Rabbi Elliott Tepperman of the Bnai Keshet Reconstructionist Synagogue helped plan a vigil in front of the Elizabeth Detention Center, which holds approximately 300 immigrants being processed for deportation. Tepperman said Tisha B'Av, which takes place until sundown on Tuesday, is a reminder that Jews were also once strangers in a strange land.

"We are powerfully aware of the vulnerability of immigrants in the United States, whether they're here undocumented, whether they're refugees. And we know what it feels like to be that immigrant, and we know what it feels like to be vulnerable," Tepperman said.

Read the full story on WNYC News, a content partner of NJ Spotlight.

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