HIAS, whose commitment is to “Welcome the stranger. Protect the refugee” has designated this Shabbat as Refugee Shabbat. (The organizations began as HIAS: The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society to help Jews fleeing the pogroms in Russia and Eastern Europe in the late 19th century, but now welcomes all who have fled persecution.) I am proud that the URJ, the Reform Movement, is one of the major Jewish organizations partnering with HIAS.
In honor of Refugee Shabbat I will be changing my Zoom background to this.
That is the Vaterland and, as I have previously shared, it is the ship that brought my grandfather Alexander Cohen to America.
I keep not one but two pictures of that ship in my office. One is a painting of the ship that my grandfather did shortly after arriving here. The other is an image from the New York Times of the ship …Learn More