Protecting Immigrants

Never Again Action & #JewsAgainstICE

JFREJ has been fighting ICE for as long as the agency has existed. In 2019, we helped our members to launch a new national organization, Never Again Action, as a home for the millions of #JewsAgainstICE who want to make their voices heard in this moment of moral crisis. ICE is deporting our neighbors, separating families, and putting children in cages, but we won't stay silent. Our families have been refugees, arriving on hostile shores; we know concentration camps when we see them; and when we say, "never again," we mean it.

Now, with COVID-19 sweeping through incarcerated populations, ICE detention will become a death sentence for undocumented New Yorkers. In our own backyard across the tri-state area, there are 10 concentration camps full of thousands of children, parents, siblings, and friends, caged for their immigration status alone, and facing deportation. The need to #FreeThemAll is more urgent than ever.

In June, JFREJ helped to hold down the very first Never Again Action shut-down of an ICE immigrant prison in Elizabeth, New Jersey. We coached and supported other actions around the country as the movement caught fire. Here in New York, for Tisha B’Av, we held down the largest action of the summer, and likely the largest action ever to take place against Amazon. Joined by our partners Mijente and Make the Road New York, more than 1,000 members of our extended community descended on Amazon’s Midtown Manhattan bookstore to demand that Amazon Web Services cancel its contracts with Palantir and ICE. ICE uses Amazon and Palantir’s database technology to target immigrants for raids and deportation. Members led a two-hour service in the middle of the Amazon store, reading from Lamentations and sharing the testimonies of immigrants detained in Trump’s concentration camps. Forty-four of us were arrested in protest, including a minyan of 11 rabbis. This action also spurred Never Again Action to join the broader campaign against Amazon and draw connections between IBM’s support of Nazis with tech companies’ support of ICE. And in spring of 2020, Jews For Racial & Economic Justice, Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, Never Again Action, New Sanctuary Coalition, and the New York Immigrant Freedom Fund joined forces to launch the Let My People Go campaign, to bail people out of jail and immigration detention, and demand that Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio free jailed and detained New Yorkers.

JFREJ will continue to be the hub for Never Again Action in New York, organizing #JewsAgainstICE throughout our city until ICE is abolished, and no one is illegal.

Let My People Go

With the support of over 50 grassroots fundraisers, 2400 donors, and 20 synagogues and Jewish organizations, JFREJ's Passover Let My People Go campaign has raised over $250,000 and helped free scores of New Yorkers from jails and ICE detention across three states. But our work isn't done — far too many of our neighbors are still incarcerated, without the ability to socially distance or practice even the basic hygiene necessary to protect themselves.

Join us and help them, before its too late.