Congregation Sukkat Shalom

September 5, 2017

Action Needed!


This is from the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism:

Today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the administration’s decision to end the DACA program. DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, has allowed nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrant youth who were brought to the United States as children to obtain work permits, attend school, and contribute openly to our economy without fear of deportation. By ending the program, the administration will again make these young people, known as DREAMers, vulnerable to deportation or detention. Participants in and applicants to DACA trusted the federal government with their names and contact information when applying to the program – information that makes them especially vulnerable to deportation now.

In a statement released today, Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, director of the Religious Action Center, declared, “President Trump’s decision to end the DACA program is morally misguided and poor public policy. The contributions of DACA recipients – young people brought to this country by their parents and who lack citizenship through no fault of their own – make our country stronger.”

This appalling decision demands a strong, immediate reaction. The RAC is joining with partners around the country to show broad support for DACA, including calling on Congress to step up and support DREAMers where the President failed.

We hope you will join us by taking action:
  1. Urge your Senators and Representative to immediately pass a clean Dream Act of 2017 (S.1615/H.R.3440). Congress must act now to protect DACA recipients from deportation or detention. The bipartisan Dream Act would grant DACA recipients permanent residence status and provide a pathway to citizenship for DREAMers who attend college, work in the U.S., or serve in the military.
  2. Show broad, public, and unified support in your community by joining events, vigils, and other activities to support DREAMers. Visit to find events in your community. By joining with others, we will help show the full breadth of support for DREAMers and for a just immigration system.

We also encourage you to amplify the message and show widespread support for DREAMers by posting on your social media accounts. Check out the RAC’s Facebook and Twitter accounts for posts you can share.

In Leviticus, we are demanded to welcome the stranger and “love them as yourself.” This teaching is repeated 35 times in the Torah, the most repeated of any commandment. Our own people’s history as “strangers” remind us of the many struggles faced by immigrants today. The administration’s decision to end DACA compels us to affirm our commitment to these values by standing with the young people affected by the termination of the DACA program. Thank you for taking action with us.

May 26, 2017

The First Six Months


The Social Action Working Group (SAWG) is approaching its 1/2 year birthday. It has been an extremely busy six months with SAWGers working collectively and individually to further our mission of pursuing the ideals of tzedek and the mitvah of tikkun olam.

In the last six months we have:

  • Written a letter in opposition of the CBJ Assembly’s anti-camping ordinance and submitted it in the public record. The letter was also published as a My Turn article in The Juneau Empire.
  • Sent a letter to our local, state, and federal representatives detailing the rise in anti-Semitism in the United States and requesting our representatives respond to us with the steps they would be taking to stop this wrong. This letter also appeared as a My Turn article in The Juneau Empire.
  • Organized and hosted a Tu BiShvat seder.
  • Worked with other faith-based groups to look into the Sanctuary City movement and what we would be willing to do to protect our immigrant community. This group, in cooperation with the Juneau People for Peace and Justice, has met with JPD, CBJ, and Juneau school district to encourage them to follow the outline as established by the ACLU to protect the immigrant community.
  • Initiated and organized an ACLU Citizen Activist Training workshop that was held for the benefit of the entire Juneau community.
  • Helped with the Purim Children’s Carnival and hosted the Adult Purim events.
  • Participated in a round table with U.S. Coast Guard personnel on Yom HaShoah as part of the USCG’s civil rights and affirmative action programs.
  • Adopted a week in JPD’s Year of Kindness. Our acts of kindness included handing out gratitude cards and hosting an Ice Cream Social for our temple neighborhood.
  • Individually, SAWGers have advanced our mission by being active representatives in the Interfaith Group, the Juneau People for Peace and Justice,, have attended a workshop on effective lobbying, and penned On Living and Growing articles for the paper.

We have worked tirelessly the last six months and feel we deserve a bit of a pause. SAWG will take the summer off from formal meetings and will start meetings back up again in August. Have no fear though, if something arises that needs our attention we stand ready to flex our social action muscles at a moment’s notice!

We are looking ahead to the fall and already have in the planning an anti-Semitism workshop to be offered to faith-based and community groups and the possible visit by Dr. Jessica Zitter, the author of Extreme Measures, whose Judaism informs her work and writings.

We will post the date and time of our next meeting when we start up again in August. If you would like to join us in SAWG, we would love to have you!

April 30, 2017

Ice Cream Social


As part of the Juneau Police Department’s 2017 Year of Kindness, CSS hosted an Ice Cream Social for our temple neighbors on Saturday, April 29. Balloons were flown, games were played, stickers were handed out, and lots and lots of ice cream was eaten.
The purpose for the Social was multi-fold: to let our neighbors know what the odd looking building is, to thank our neighbors for allowing us to park in front of their houses when events exceed the capacity of our parking lot, and to foster a community that looks out for each other. Although the number of neighbors who stopped by was not as great as we had hoped, the Social was still a success as proven by neighbor Jeannie who came back to the temple with her drum to gift us with a song in appreciation. It was a perfect way to end the event. Thank you to Jeannie and all our neighbors.

April 5, 2017

Anti-Semitism Today


The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has created a five-minute video exploring anti-semitism in today’s world. The profound and insightful video can be viewed at the link below.

March 16, 2017

Social Action Network – Call To Action


Trish and Leah rock – they should run for public office!

Thank you for all you do!

March 13, 2017

Meeting with Police Chief Johnson regarding Immigration Enforcement


 SAWG went this evening to the Juneau People for Peace and Justice meeting where Police Chief Bryce Johnson was speaking about immigration enforcement. Some highlights from his talk:

  • JPD will not deputize police to be ICE enforcers.
  • JPD does not detain anyone; the state does at Lemon Creek.
  • JPD does not and will not check a person’s immigration status.
  • JPD does not and will not check an arrested person’s immigration status.
  • However JPD must identify people they arrest and if in that process they learn that the person is undocumented, they CAN notify ICE. This is totally under the officer’s discretion. This has only happened once in the last ten years due to a public safety issue with the arrested person.
  • JPD wants to do the best for public safety. Making Juneau a safe place to live for all people is their mission. All their decisions are based on public safety.
  • JPD would serve a valid ICE warrant.
  • If ICE asks for help from JPD, it would depend on what help they are asking for. If ICE had knowledge of a drug cartel or other incident that would compromise public safety, JPD would help. If ICE wants to do a general round-up of undocumented people, JPD would not help. Again, it is all about public safety.
  • Chief Johnson stated that he does not for-see ICE coming to Juneau. There is an ICE officer in Ketchikan and some in Anchorage.
  • JPD does not investigate documentation for abuse, domestic violence, rape, etc. It is of utmost importance that all people in Juneau are kept safe and feel safe asking for help.
  • When asked about Juneau becoming a Sanctuary City, Chief Johnson stated that within JPD things would not really change. They are basically operating under policies that Sanctuary City police follow.
  • Minor traffic stops are not arrestable offenses therefore if they pull over a person without documentation or a false ID, they will not be reported to ICE.
  • If a person is arrested on a minor offense and sent to Lemon Creek, practicality weighs in. ICE will not be called because they cannot get up here within the amount of time person van be detained at Lemon Creek.
  • Chief Johnson was delighted that the recent press release detailing these matters was sent out by CBJ thereby endorsing the policy JPD will follow.
  • Chief Johnson concluded by stating “Our criminals are not undocumented people.”