You’re walking down the street, on your way to pick up your children from school. Instead, you’re profiled and intercepted by an ICE agent. You’re picked up, taken away, and forced to sign documents you don’t understand before you can go free to get your kids.
That didn’t happen on the Southern border. It happened in the South End of Hartford—one of the heartbreaking stories told by Camille Giraldo Kritzman, Hartford Regional Organizer for CT Students for a Dream. Her presentation was part of a July community teach-in, co-sponsored by B’nai Tikvoh-Sholom in Bloomfield, the Farmington Valley League of Light and 23 other CT sponsors.
Jennifer Honen, a West Hartford psychologist who works with people who have been traumatized, said the children at the border have had trauma cemented in their brains from being separated from their parents.
“This will cause generational trauma for years to come,” she said.
Dr. Robert Sahl, Chief of Child & Adolescent Psychology, psychologist at the Institute of Living, reiterated that separation will have a tremendous psychic cost on the children. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, early separation from family members can cause problems in neurological development, health problems, and early mortality rates. Such separation at the border will cause depression, anxiety, substance abuse and shame.
Andrea Kasper, Head of Solomon Schecter Day School in West Hartford, thought everyone should give something up as individuals. In other words, take less and give more in order to accommodate the needs of the border immigrants.
Ruth Weiner, a child Holocaust survivor, told her own moving story about escaping the Holocaust through the kindness of strangers.
Rabbi Donna Berman, Executive Director of the Charter Oak Cultural Center, believes we as Americans are in a crisis of empathy.
“Put down your phones and let us find each other’s eyes again,” she said. “Don’t succumb to those feelings of overwhelm and become paralyzed.”
The moderator, Rabbi Debra Cantor of B’nai Tikvoh-Sholom, reminded the community: Don’t just feel bad—take action, in ways large or small.
Here’s what you can do:
Stay informed. Read publications such as New York Times, Washington Post, the Atlantic, the New Yorker.
Make a donation.
Here are some non-profits supporting these immigrants:
Call your elected officials:
Urge Congress to pass the Keep Families Together Act (S. 3036) to prohibit the separation of children from their parents. The Keep Families Together Act can stop the inhumane practice of taking children away from their parents who are trying to enter the United States—and we support and urges its immediate enactment.
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A New Blog from Farmington Valley League of Light
Today the Farmington Valley League of Light is launching a new blog! Since we are eager to communicate with you on topical issues, we will be posting our blog periodically as a complement to our regular Community Updates.
Our guest blogger is Alexis Zinkerman, an experienced blogger who is a volunteer with League of Light.