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Providing Sanctuary FAQ

 

Sanctuary FAQs

What is Shir Hadash’s sanctuary project?

To whom would we provide sanctuary?

What are Shir Hadash’s current established selection criteria? (as of 3/15/2017)

Where in the Sanctuary building would our guest live?

When would we take in a guest?

For how long would our guest stay with us?

How will we address our guest’s personal needs?

How will we address any medical concerns?

How will we address our safety and security around our guest?

How will we address our guest’s need for legal services?

How will we address our guest’s need for privacy?

What are the implications for liability and insurance?

How does the US government view this effort?

Will ICE officers or police officers have an increased presence on our campus?

Are other congregations offering sanctuary?

Who is PACT?

Who is SHOC?

Where to send your thoughts/questions/feedback?


 

 





 

What is Shir Hadash’s sanctuary project?

Shir Hadash plans to take in a refugee who is in imminent danger of deportation and allow them to live in the Sanctuary building until their case is resolved through the court system.

 

To whom would we provide sanctuary?

One guest or one family of no more than 3 people, vetted by a local group of sanctuary advocacy lawyers we are working with, meeting Shir Hadash’s established selection criteria (see below).

 

What are Shir Hadash’s current established selection criteria? (as of 3/15/2017)

  • Asylum seekers

  • In the middle of the review process

  • Received a deportation order

  • Case is deemed highly likely to be successful by the advocacy lawyers

  • Serious risk of persecution, incarceration or death if they return to their country because of their political views, or the cultural group they belong to

  • No more than one person or one family of no more than 3 people

 

Where in the Sanctuary building would our guest live?

Guest will be housed in the Library of the Sanctuary building. There he/she will have access to the bathroom and the kitchen.

 

When would we take in a guest?

A task force is working to create the details for this effort, and we would welcome a guest after those details have been finalized.  This could be as early as summer, 2017.

 

For how long would our guest stay with us?

We intend to welcome our guest to stay for as long as his/her legal process has not been exhausted.  The entire asylum process can happen quickly or can take years.

 

How will we address our guest’s personal needs?

Food, furniture, laundry and other personal needs will be addressed by volunteers. One of our partner congregations operates a shower truck for the homeless and has agreed to bring it to Shir Hadash several times a week for our guest to use.

 

How will we address any medical concerns?

For minor issues, members of the congregation would be asked to see our guest. Otherwise, we would call 911.  (Hospitals are also sensitive locations).

 

How will we address our safety and security around our guest?

Our guest will not be in the school building where religious school and preschool are held. Pre-schoolers and Hebrew school students are already accompanied by their teachers when in the sanctuary building and this will continue to be an enforced Shir Hadash policy.

All minors will be accompanied by an adult when in the library with our guest.

 

How will we address our guest’s need for legal services?

Legal services are provided by local advocacy lawyers.

 

How will we address our guest’s need for privacy?

The Library will be treated as the primary domicile of our guest, and he/she will be afforded the privacy due. We will share a schedule of congregational usage. Otherwise our guest will be able to close the Library door, and a sign will require people to knock before entering.

A program of congregational education will be put in place so people know someone unfamiliar to them is in the building.

 

What are the implications for liability and insurance?

Insurance would respond to injury and property damage, but not to law enforcement fines or Directors and Officers liability.

 

How does the US government view this effort?

Places of worship, hospitals and schools are considered sensitive locations by ICE (US Immigration and Customs Enforcement). Since the sanctuary movement began in the 1980’s ICE has never entered a sensitive location.

 

Will ICE officers or police officers have an increased presence on our campus?

Local Los Gatos Police and County Sheriff’s office will not be ICE enforcers and the Los Gatos Town Manager has also expressed her position that Los Gatos will enforce public safety and not ICE.

 

Are other congregations offering sanctuary?

There are over 70 local congregations offering various levels of sanctuary, either by housing those seeking sanctuary or helping those congregations that are offering housing. The movement is much larger nation-wide. The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), the Reform movement of which Congregation Shir Hadash is a part of, has passed a resolution in support of protecting those facing deportation.

 

Who is PACT?

People Acting in Community Together, is a local, multi-faith, grassroots organization that provides leadership training and experience to community members of many different ethnic, religious and socio-economic backgrounds. Through PACT, people work together to solve the most pervasive social problems of our day.

 

Who is SHOC?

The Shir Hadash Social Justice committee is sometimes referred to as SHOC or the Shir Hadash Organizing Committee. In the PACT (People Acting in Community Together) network we belong to, each member congregation’s social justice group is referred to as an “organizing committee.”

 

Where to send your thoughts/questions/feedback? 

Click here to use the feedback form.

 

How can I volunteer to help?

email sanctuary@shirhadash.org

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