This statement was sent to SF State University President Les Wong to communicate the feelings of students of San Francisco Hillel.
Dear President Wong,
On behalf of San Francisco Hillel, we wish to express our support for the actions and sentiments you outlined in your Monday, January 30th, statement regarding refugees, visa holders and permanent residents from certain Muslim-majority countries.
Our perspective is rooted in our Jewish values. On 36 different occasions, our Torah commands us to remember the experience of being a “stranger,” recalling our experience as foreigners and victims of oppression. Rooted in the Exodus story, a central Jewish narrative, the ancient Israelites are told “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). Throughout our history, and to this day, this serves as a call to action, reminding our Jewish community that we cannot stand idly by as those among us are subjected to discrimination.
We stand in solidarity with those at SF State directly impacted by these orders. As a global people, Jews have lived as minorities in countries around the world. We have often been subjected to restrictions on where we could live and study. Many of us and our families came to this country as refugees and immigrants seeking a better life. We know if an order singled out Jews, we would ask our campus to act. As such, we are ready to stand with our campus to protect our basic freedoms, ensuring our constitutional rights to free speech, press, and assembly remain a core part of our places of learning. As part of a global movement, we readily offer SF Hillel’s allyship and resources as our campus together navigates the consequences of the recent Executive Orders.
SF Hillel Student President