This is a guest post by Tali, a student in Habonim Dror Camp Moshava’s Bonimot Tzedek program. Bonimot Tzedek is a year-round program dedicated to the growth of high school students in the Washington DC region. Through leadership development, social justice education, and community organizing skill building, participants will become powerful leaders and change makers in their local and Jewish communities. JUFJ and Bonimot Tzedek have partnered over the past two years to work on Immigrant Justice issues in Montgomery County and Maryland.
Hi, everyone! My name is Tali, and I am a relatively new member of Camp Mosh’s Bonimot Tzedek. This year, Bonimot Tzedek has been working on several projects to support immigrants in our county and state. Earlier this year, Bonimot Tzedek advocated to pass a Trust Act in both Maryland and Montgomery County.
It is crucial – now, more than ever – that everyone stays safe and healthy during this unthinkably scary time. In Bonimot Tzedek, we are focusing on helping immigrants in ICE detention centers get basic medical needs during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our large-scale demand is to free all immigrants in Maryland detention centers, but at the very least, we encourage Governor Hogan to take steps to ensure that detainees are safe from Covid-19. To spread our message, we have held a virtual phone bank (20 teens came together via zoom and called our elected officials), and we have created a petition. We plan to print out and send the many signed copies of our petition to Governor Hogan.
This campaign is important to me because I know that I am going through the difficulty of not seeing my family and friends, as well as adjusting to a new lifestyle, but at the same time, I am truly lucky. I live in a safe home and a place where I am able to practice social distancing, and my family has enough food and water. On the other hand, there are thousands of immigrants and refugees who are in life-threatening situations, and it is crucial that we take immediate action to help everyone. The COVID-19 pandemic is scary for everyone, but it is important to continue thinking about other people and helping out in whatever ways we can–even if it is from our own houses.
So, how can people get involved with our campaign? Well, one way to get involved is to sign our petition to release detainees from Maryland detention centers and make sure that people in detention centers have adequate healthcare and medical supplies. When you are finished signing the petition, you can take it one step further by printing it out and mailing it to Governor Hogan. When printing out the petition, take a picture of yourself and/or the envelope, and post it on social media with the hashtag #FreeThemAllMD.
You can also call elected officials in Maryland to directly spread the message to them, including Governor Hogan, Representative Jamie Raskin, and Senator Ben Cardin. Both signing the petition and making phone calls are great ways to capture the attention of elected officials who can try to help make a difference for immigrants!
The perfect thing to do while sitting in the house is take some virtual civic action that can make a significant difference in the lives of detainees!
Sign our petition here.
When printing out the petition, send it to the following address:
Governor Larry Hogan’s Office
100 State Circle
Annapolis, Maryland 21401-1925
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.