Birmingham Temple for Humanistic Judaism places art installations opposing the current administration’s stance towards immigration.

Featured image courtesy of Rabbi Jeffrey Falick

As a statement of opposition to the stance of the current administration towards immigrants, the Birmingham Temple for Humanistic Judaism has placed an installation of political art on the hill before the Temple.

The installation, appearing under a sign proclaiming it “for the thousands of separated immigrant children,” displays hundreds of stuffed animals and other children’s toys on a forest of bare vertical sticks. A sign before the display proclaims that the Birmingham Temple “declares solidarity with immigrants and refugees.”

When the artist Elaine Roseborough of Huntington Woods designed this installation, she found a venue for it at the First Methodist Church of Ferndale, then the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Detroit before it came to the Birmingham Temple.

Rabbi Jeffrey Falick explains why the congregation chose to display the installation:
“We want to say to children — children and others — who are fleeing for their lives from South Central America and elsewhere that they are welcome here.

“This country was, until recently, a proponent of human rights across the world,” he continued. “Now America is perpetrating an enormous moral failure. Policies of xenophobia and racism proceed from Washington and meet with similar attitudes across the nation.

“We, the Jewish community, have seen this before. We have experienced it; so we have an obligation to speak out, to go on record as opposed to what our government is doing.

“We are answerable to our children and grandchildren for what we allow to happen. Woe to the Jewish community that stands on the sidelines or gets distracted by quibbles about word choice. If you do not like calling these facilities ‘concentration camps,’ find another word that you like. How about ‘brutal, inhumane, disgusting?’

“I don’t understand the public silence,” he added. “But we will not be silent.”

 

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