Sign In Forgot Password

Sanctuary Or Shalom


Sanctuary Or Shalom is an action group at Or Shalom focusing on a congregational-wide effort to support immigrants under threat in our community. This group creates awareness and opportunities for action within the wider congregation and allows for more deeply engaged work for interested members. 

Action OPPORTUNITY: letter to Governor Newsom: End Transfers from Prison and Jails to ICE

We are deeply concerned that the conditions in ICE facilities in California are making the current public health crisis even worse for those who are in detention as well as for the community at large.  The lives of immigrants in crowded unsafe detention centers during this pandemic are at risk. The process of immediate transfer from prison to ICE detention is a double sentence.  In the time of COVID-19, it could even be a death sentence. This is unconscionable. Under AB103, the Attorney General has the power to inspect detention centers with full access to immigrants, staff and relevant documents.

To that end Or Shalom signed on to this petition as an institution to insist that Gov. Newsom stop all transfers from prisons and jail to ICE.  We encourage you to:

  • Sign this petition that is related to this letter from Immigrant Movement 4 Human Integrity

  • If you want to do slightly more than signing a petition, please call or email the Governor, Attorney General, and your state representatives to insist that they address this situation (Thanks to Rise Up to Action for putting together the information below). You can access scripts and contact information here.


Donate to food pantry serving our undocumented neighbors.

Faith in Action’s weekly food pantry serves 500 bags of fresh organic produce,  eggs, dairy and masks to Latino immigrants, many undocumented, from Mission and Bayview, and helps with other emergency and long-term needs. Mark your donation for the food pantry. Or Shalom is a member of Faith In Action Bay Area, a network of 120 faith groups working for social justice. 

Join Friends Afuera - support a specific detainee 

Support a detainee (caught up in the U.S. immigration system) through an exchange of personal letters and $30-60 monthly donation for commissary. Several individuals and groups at Or Shalom are doing this and are starting optional monthly Zooms to discuss their meaningful experiences. Learn more here.

Demand justice and safety  from our governor for detainees during COVID 

Contact Governor Newsom and demand that he investigate conditions and deaths from COVID 19 at private ICE detention centers; stop transfers of those released from prison to ICE detention; and support the release of detained parolees on humanitarian grounds.  Call: (916) 445-2841 Write: and click on  “Contact.”

Or Shalom Declares Itself a Sanctuary Synagogue

In late March, 2020, following several months of meetings, educational activities and action opportunities, Or Shalom members voiced unanimous approval in taking the step to become an explicit member of the New Sanctuary Movement and declare Or Shalom a Sanctuary Synagogue. At its April meeting, the OS Board made it official by passing a motion confirming this step. 

As we learned during our discernment period, offering support and sanctuary is multi-faceted and not always physical. While we’re currently on pause for in-person action, there are continuing opportunities to act from our shelter-in-place situations. 

  • Join other synagogues in San Francisco to support the Immigrant Bond Fund. 

  • Join members of our Safety Net Action Committee in writing letters to those in detention. OS member Linda Chafetz is the point-person for getting involved. See her story about her experience here. 

  • Join OS members who attend Interfaith Movement 4 Human Integrity at their monthly vigils (now online) at the SF ICE Building to raise our voices in support of immigrants in detention. OS member Deborah Frangquist has been participating and can help answer questions. Click here for OS member stories about the ICE vigils. 

Questions? Have ideas? Want to get involved? Contact Janet Jacobs, to discuss. 


Go and Study: Resources about Sanctuary and Immigrant Advocacy

HIAS - Welcome the stranger. Protect the refugee. Is another resource that helps us understand the moral and ethical imperative to take a stand in support of immigrants. 

Our own movement, Reconstructing Judaism, regularly participates in New Sanctuary Movement activities (our rabbis have joined groups in protest at the southern border) and speaks out against the current inhumane practices and policies, like Remain In Mexico. 

Mikdash: A Jewish Guide to the New Sanctuary Movement. Published by T’ruah. 



Thu, October 29 2020 11 Cheshvan 5781