February 1, 2017 | 5 Shevat 5777
"And you shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the feelings of the stranger, since you were strangers in the land of Egypt." --Exodus 23.9
Dear Members of the PJA Community,
Last Friday, President Trump signed an executive order limiting the entry of individuals from specified countries and suspending the U.S refugee admissions program. While the legality and implementation of this order are currently being debated in federal agencies and courts, we want to take this opportunity to affirm our support for every member of our community.
Our school is founded on six middot, values that form the foundation of the decisions we make and the actions we take as a school and as members of our community. Among these are community, respect, and responsibility.
We are one kehillah - community. We recognize that our diversity is our strength, and we are committed to standing together. We pledge to support everyone in our community, regardless of their religion, race, national origin, sexual identity, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic that might subject them to discrimination.
Kavod - respect - is central to our mission. As Jews, we believe that we are all created in God's image. We are committed to recognizing the dignity of every person, and we know that we are all worthy of respect.
Finally, we teach our children about akharayut - responsibility - on a daily basis. We have a responsibility to care for one another and to support one another. We also have a responsibility to speak out against injustice when we see it.
In the weeks ahead, our teachers and counselor will address questions from the children about issues in our national life in ways that are age-appropriate and that are consistent with our school values. Should you have any questions, concerns, or be in need of resources to support immigrant families, please do not hesitate to contact any of us.
Jonathan Glass, Co-President, PJA Board of Directors